Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last year's recall of over 20 million toys should give us all pause as we purchase gifts for children this holiday season.  Wouldn't it be great if toy makers created toys that reflected a love for children and our communities?  Instead we are deluged with toys that are unsafe and offensive from corporations promoting materialism.
2. European made toys have the highest safety standards.  They are more expensive, but a few quality toys are all a child needs.  Too many toys can foster materialism.
3. Practical gifts- yes they can be fun and useful! Consider: sports equipment, a camera, sleeping bag and tote for sleepovers, bulletin board, a new lunch bag etc...
4. Family activities- passes to the children's museum, zoo passes and of course board games
5. Discernment.  All toys shouldn't have to teach moral values, but at the same time should never compromise them.  think, "can I imagine Jesus as a child playing with this?" (that sounds really cheesey I know!)
6. Give the real thing! Gifts that model positive adult behavior could be child sized tools, real cookware, art supplies, musical instruments, desk set, stethescope...
7.  Gifts that encourage appreciation for God's creation.  A fish bowl, plants and watering can, bird house/feeder, telescope or magnifying glass
8. Did I mention BOOKS?

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