Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don't Kids Play Anymore?

We are having trouble finding friends for Crumpet. Partially because he finds it difficult to socialize, but partially because he actually plays with toys and pretends things. No one else seems to. We've had many kids come to play, and they immediately ask where the Wii is. When I tell them we don't have one (No Wii? What kind of weirdos are we??), they ask if they can play on the computer. That's a definite no. So they leave... Crumpet has a room full of toys, but after they dump everything on the floor to look at it, they aren't interested. Crumpet's best friend, who lives a few doors down, will play for a few minutes, but then he starts asking to play the Kinect. Crumpet really has very little interest in the Kinect. Yesterday, he had to beg the other boy to actually come play upstairs rather than stare at the blank t.v. until I was ready to start up the Kinect.
Don't get me wrong. Crumpet plays computer games. He watches t.v. Far more than I feel comfortable with sometimes. But he also likes to get outside and do other things. He loves to build with Legos or pretend to be a cat. He's 4. I feel like that is what he should be doing.
I'm hoping that in the fall, we will be able to join a homeschool group and perhaps we will find some other kids who have been raised with less t.v. and more traditional fun?
I guess I should also throw this in: it is mostly the boys who are so addicted to the video games. Many of the girls will try to play other games with Crumpet, but then we run into another problem. Crumpet is addicted to Star Wars and much of his pretend play revolves around that... The girls tend to tune that out! (Sexist? Perhaps, but this is what I'm seeing here...)


  1. How interesting. We have a similar problem with a neighbor boy that Anna plays sometimes. He doesn't have a game console at home but apparently quite used to playing it at other friends' houses. When they play together, it's pretty much similar. Anna wants to play doctor, and he wants to play police. Unless they find a middle ground or play parallel games very little actual playing together takes place.

  2. Oh Kim, this sucks. :-( My son loves to play with his Duplo blocks and tools and all that stuff. We watch TV too, probably too much LOL but when we get together to play with friends it's "not an option".

    Then again I think part of it is because my friends and I have different toys - so their boys are just excited to see what we have that they don't. LOL

  3. I've noticed that too. My rule is when friends are over the games and TV are off.

  4. Well, here is a little peek at how it plays out at our house. We use to have the tv on a lot and we do have a Wii. However, the kids haven't been aloud to watch tv for about a month and Wii has been limited to only about 30 minutes a day (or none at all depending on behavior). Hannah will not watch tv-doesn't like to, only has one dancing game that she likes to play on the wii. When it comes to playing, she is creative and likes to pretend. Caleb (coming from the same house) HATES to pretend play. He LOVES to play games, but he is very grounded in reality. Very black and white. So my answer is: It is the nature vs nurture issue- partly it is because some kids are not taught (nurtured how to play, but some kids just are not natural pretenders. I think we already saw this when they were younger, but Caleb would not be a good playmate for him! He'd be wanting to know where your Wii and computer are ;)-----unless we got out a game to play ;)

  5. Ok, Crumpet sounds like the PERFECT friend for Matthew. How do you feel about moving to Minnesota?

    I agree that there is waaaay too much sitting in front of something and being entertained vs. actual active playing. I really do think some kids don't know how to play. How very sad.

    Matthew loves electronic toys as much as the next kid, but we limit it to things that (mostly) encourage his active participation. We don't watch much tv (I say as he sits in front of it right this minute, hee hee), have no wii, etc. IMAGINATION is what will get them through life successfully. It's tough now, but friends who will influence him to be more like them in this manner aren't as important as developing that creativity and imagination.

    I really do think you'll find more kids like Crumpet in a homeschool group setting. Hang in there! :)

  6. We had a similar problem until we started meetig regularly with several other homeschooling families. There really is a societal problem with children losing their ability to engage in imaginative play. He'd fit in nicely here. My daughter has taught all her friends how to play dragons and star wars. :)

  7. How sad. My kids play a lot of Kinect with their friends, but of course they are teenagers- they no longer play with GI Joes of dress up like super heroes. We never had this problem when they were that age (partly because Wii didn't exist) and they were older before we brought game systems into our home. I do see this with my young extended family members- they are content to sit in front of the TV for hours and sadly their parent's are content to leave them there. :(

  8. Our daughter would love pretend Star Wars play with Crumpet! It's because dad is a fan which means she's a fan too!