1 Year Old
Natural Quality Materials for Play/No Plastic
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
Far away and many years ago my husband and I stayed on an extravagant, built up part of a gorgeous island in a privileged row of ocean front hotels. From there, despite warnings of danger, we travelled away from the towers of wealth, beyond the dozens of local, joyful children playing in a field with one single, perhaps flat ball, and to the town of mud huts. Here, I observed a younger boy playing alone with 3 pebbles, fully engaged, concentrating and uninterrupted. Upon returning to America I wrote an article, on the other side of boredom: the interests, independence and creativity found if we would only allow our children the privilege of going through it. Thereafter when my Alex would say, “I am bored” I would respond with the title of my article “3 Pebbles.” Come to think of it, he rarely said that again.
The goal is beyond providing just a few, natural, quality, simple materials to support and stimulate the finest development of our children’s imagination. It is also about providing life force through living natural images including age appropriate products in silk, wool, and cotton just like in their breathable clothing. There are wooden bowls and spoons and wicker baskets. Also, nature offers much inspiration for play through branches, stones, pinecones, acorns, chestnuts and shells and so much more. These materials are desirable to the senses in a way that lifeless synthetics never could be. When artificial materials made into toys with details, bells or whistles, they result in short attention rather than in engaging imagination. Furthermore, synthetic products come in bold colors that rush children out of their dreamy young inner state. Also when wooden and plastic cutting boards were studied, there were higher residual bacteria counts and holding of toxic substances in the plastic.
The “So What” Attitude can come from inexpensive, care free, stain resistant and unbreakable plastics which do not respond to the laws of nature. We can bang, drop, spill and in other ways not be careful, considerate or gentle and it doesn’t matter, “so what” for we have no effect on it. Our children miss out by not benefiting during their formative years from the awareness and development of treating their environment well. If it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter, eventually what does matter?