Tag Archives: Toys

Chores – Good or bad for young children?

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Many parents ask themselves when is the proper time to start giving their children chores, if ever.  I had chores as a kid. I had to clean my room, cut the grass, weed the garden, pile wood, do the dishes, vacuum, laundry, the list goes on.  I don’t think I am any worse for wear from it, in fact, I believe whole-heartedly it was the very best thing for me.  My parents believed that chores instilled work ethic and that they were teaching their children life skills.  I believe the same.  My daughter is only 3 and she has chores, albeit age appropriate chores.

I created her a chore chart.  She got to decorate it with stickers and colour it.  Its broken up into sections; laundry, dishes, garbage, and toys.  For laundry, all she has to do is put her dirty laundry in her hamper.  For the dishes, she has to put her dinner dishes in the sink and when I do the dishes, she helps dry the spoons.  For the garbage chore, I have her put her treat wrappers, or craft scraps in the trash.  As for her toys, when she’s done playing with them, she simply has to put them away.  They are not stenuous, or beyond her age level and comprehension.  Everytime she fulfill’s a chore, she gets a sticker that goes on her chart.  Once she has filled each of the sections, say 5 in each, she gets a treat.  It could be a trip to the ice cream store, baking cookies with Mommy or a little toy or new colouring book.  All her allowance goes directly into her bank account.  I think it teaches her responsibility and it allows her to feel like she is contributing.  She loves being a “big girl” and helping me.  Its a great bonding experience for her and I as well.

So what are your thoughts? Chores for children – good or bad?

And the prize for the worst toy goes to…Baby Alive!

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Remember when we were kids, the toys we loved the most, were generally the toys our parents hated the most?  Mine was definitely Lite Brite, and my mother, while she loved my colourful pictures, a near choking incident put my favourite toy into a box and was never seen again. Well now that I’m a mom, I’m starting to sympathize with my own.  On my daughter’s birthday, one of her daycare classmates bought her a toy that is in my opinion is the worst toy!  While it is not a choking hazard that makes this toy so awful, its the fact that it poops on my carpet.  Yes, you read correctly.  It POOPS on my carpet.

Baby Alive

Or it did, until I quickly disposed of its fake food that makes it poop.  Baby Alive comes with a bottle that you can fill with water, a bowl and spoon, two diapers, and two packs of food.  My daughter was very excited to feed this doll and change her bottom, that as soon as we got home, we had to open it.  I prepared the food and then we began to feed Baby Alive.  Now, perhaps I was foolish to assume that the diaper that was on Miss Baby Alive was constructed well enough to hold its coming contents, but I now know that to “assume” makes an ass out of you and me.  Or just me in this case.  The diapers didn’t hold anything.  Just leaked out the side onto the carpet.   So in a panic, I tore off the diaper and picked her up to put the replacement diaper on her, the rest of her contents fell out.  SPLAT! While I am sighing in absolute frustration, my daughter is laughing hysterically. To further add insult to injury, the box actually warns that “It may stain some surfaces.” It was in that moment that the remainder of the food was thrown in the garbage.  I remember having dolls as a child that peed when you sat them on the toilet and when you flushed the yellow water went away.  It was not that the doll actually peed, but that the button on the toy toilet would flush away “pretend pee”.  This doll actually has BM’s.  It’s crude.

This doll was actually nominated by the Commercial Free Childhood Organization as one of the Worst Toys.  It lost the winning title to Barbie, who won for being scantily clad.   It warns that this doll actually limits using imagination and hinders the nurturing behaviour in girls.  Baby Alive is also very expensive.  The replacement diapers, food and accessories can definitely add up as it only comes with 2 diaper and 2 packs of food.  Any child would want to use this doll more than twice.  So while I may have taken away the funpart of this doll, my daughter will have to do what many other girls from generations past had to do; pretend.  Pretend feed it with pretend food, pretend to clean up pretend poop.  Use the imagination that was given to her.

I will also let you all know that there is another reason why this doll is the worst.  It speaks.  Its eyes roll in its head, open and close, open and close.  I was once walking through my daughter’s bedroom late at night when she was sleeping.  The room was dark.  I tripped on one of her toys that she didn’t put away and my stumble created enough of a vibration to awaken the demon.  In the dark, the blonde haired, doe eyed doll said these chilly words;  “You are a good mommy.”  Now, I understand that there are dolls that speak, but hearing words from a doll in the dark whose button I didn’t push, sent chills down my spine.  Reminds me of another doll…..

Chucky

* For the full article on Baby Alive, please see here *