Play With A Cardboard Box!


Someone had posted on my Facebook feed that they were looking for games to put on their child’s iPad.

Her child is three years old.

Maybe this is where the generation gap falls into place. From my perspective, giving children high technology gadgets in order to keep them entertained, educate or keep them from bothering their parents while they are on their iPads or smartphones, is reducing the child’s ability to think for herself when she gets older. High tech devices do that to a person – they make you stupid. Do you even know your home phone number by heart anymore? Do you HAVE a home phone number anymore?

And, for those of you who need to put this into a real life scenario, this same child will lack common sense when they need to make a choice – about anything.

I may be sounding like my parents’ (who am I kidding…I AM sounding like my parents right now), but when I was growing up we didn’t have these high tech toys. The highest tech toy my parents indulged in buying my sister and I was Pong, and that was when we were teenagers.

pongNot beer pong. Pong. To us, this game was epic. We could play for hours just going back and forth with each level getting faster and harder to achieve. I equate this to Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers when Mario got to the haunted house and I repeatedly got killed. My son would plead to let me hand over the control so he could play.

NO WAY. I’m conquering this if I have to stay up ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

Pong was kind of like that, but I didn’t obsess over it as much as I did trying to get Mario through the haunted house.

The other game we played when we were younger was called, Ugh…what was it? Oh yeah….

“USE YOUR IMAGINATION.” That’s right, folks. My parents would give use a cardboardcardboard box box and say, “Use your imagination!” This was to shut us up from telling them we were bored over the summer months with nothing to do.

We designed our own menus and had friends over for a night at our grand opening of our restaurant that my sister and I dubbed, “The Grapevine.”  The name was fitting because my mother was 100% Italian. Back in the day, plastic grapes and plastic food was the big thing to decorate your house with, along with chianti wine bottles wrapped in straw…..or whatever it was. She had plenty of plastic grapes with a lot of dust on them. Everywhere you looked – in the kitchen, by the homemade bar downstairs my dad made out of plywood, in our living room….dusty plastic grapes filled the nooks and crannies like butter fills a warm English muffin.

We would have backyard carnivals with simple games that cost you a penny. All the neighborhood kids came by and we had games like bozo buckets, bean bag toss, a puppet show using Barbie and Ken dolls, and an egg tossing contest. With our penny earnings, my mother would drive us to McDonalds for a feast (This was before Happy Meals were invented and you were rewarded for eating high caloric food).

Eating at McDonalds was a luxury.

Let’s not forget these toys as well:

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Bring back memories? I want to be a child again. But, not in today’s times. Send me back to the simpler days.

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