Why do we place more value on Barbie* than on books?
In the past, we had an Amazon wish list for the kids for the holidays. That way, when the family asked for gift ideas, it was right there to make it easier on them. One year, my MIL ordered some things and told us, "There weren't many options. I wanted to get them something they really wanted, not any of that school stuff." :-o
I went back and looked at the list and there were actually very few school books on there (2 or 3 on homeschooling/the Jewish classroom for me). There were some that weren't fiction and a few language CDs, but that was it.
How does this make any sense? Educational things are bad? Then why are so many people jumping at the chance to buy Leap Pads and those V-tech educational video game systems? Is educational only considered a happy adjective if the item in question blinks and beeps and make ridiculously obnoxious noises? Why are school-related books bad? Our girls love school. They're out there right now doing some workbooks because they begged to do them. It's not uncommon for them to announce, "Let's do school." Their current favorite books are one about dead fairies, a few about dinosaurs and one about mummies.
I just can't understand why someone would rather buy lots of plastic crap that will be destroyed (or will be used to destroy other things) in a few weeks. Dh and I both adore books. We're forever reading. My MIL has always been proud that dh learned to read early. So why not do everything you can to give that gift to your grandchildren? Education is HUGELY important to both of us. Why would you give them a Polly Pocket who will be naked and headless in a month when you could give them a book that could stay with them for the rest of their lives?
Looking at the kids' wishlist this year, there are lots of educational toys on there. My mother called to tell me she bought bunches of things from their wishlist. While one is educational, all the others are frivolous things. The toys that my kids really want, but many consider "school things" remain largely untouched.
*FTR, I can't stand Barbie dolls and we don't have any. I just used her as an example.