Tag Archives: child play

Where’s the Button?

Some of the Most Important Toys Run on Imagination, Not Batteries

2-year-old daughter offering her doll some tea

Our 2-year-old daughter lives in a time and place where every object is a gadget, where even every stuffed animal is expected to talk, sing, dance, light up or something. So when she picked up her colonial doll her Grandma brought from Colonial Williamsburg, she asked “Where’s the button?”

I told her there is no button, that the doll worked with her imagination. Then I said “Would you like to offer your doll some tea?” She was sitting at the table with the doll, so this only seemed natural. This clicked in right away, like a switch going off in our girl’s active mind. She got right down to pouring tea for her special guest and striking up an engaging conversation.

Moments like these are valuable as a dad when they remind me to mentally check in to be fully “in the moment” with my daughter and help her engage her most powerful developmental tool – her imagination.

When do you find yourself wandering to your “to-do list” or subjects other than engaging with your child? What are some moments where you and your child are reminded to engage your imaginations? What cues help you check in?