Meaningful Play Time-article taken from Weleda news 1997

It is of vital importance for the development of children’s personality that they be able to play. They take their games quite seriously , and the adults around them should take them seriously as well. Children who are unable to paly is in a certain respect ill. As a result of uncontrolled stimuli which make children over alert and nervous, this tendency is unfortunately on the rise today. In its extreme form it either manifests itself as wild outburst of activity or as a state of passivity and apathy.

Children will play the right way if they have the proper toys. And because their talents and abilities only unfold gradually as they grow older., toys should correspond to the different forms games take on at the various stages of development.

One basic rule should be remembered: do not give too many toys or toys that are too perfect. Children that are overwhelmed with too many toys (half a dozen stuffed animals, a tricycle, four or five construction sets, just as many dolls etc.) by well meaning but misguided friends and relatives, soon loose the ability to concentrate on any one game.

They become nervous and apathetic, laying the groundwork for future aggression or a feeling of satiation and boredom. If in addition toys are too life-like , a too perfect reproduction of adult reality-they stifle the powers of imagination.

The simpler the child’s toy the better. wooden or stuffed animals, if possible handcrafted. Dolls eyes or ears should only be suggested, so that the child’s imagination can add something to the figure. A simple wooden train set is better than a metal one. The child should not be given any technical toys until they are at least of school going age, preferably not until the age ten.

Before this age, anything that stimulates feeling and imagination is good for them, particularly things that allow them to be creative. The sand box for the small child, later modelling wax, wax crayons and water colors. Modelling with various materials ( being able to use their own hands) is of real benefit to the children.

Summing up we can say a few toys artistically made and of good quality, of are far greater value than a room full of today’s mass produced toys. Proper play things are of such importance that parents should not hesitate to bring up the subject with grandparents, godparents and friends at Christmas or birthday time.