I went to see Toy Story 3 at the weekend. I took my 4 year old as it was his birthday and it was the first time he had ever been. He loved it and so did I, its a great film. It got me thinking though as there is a clear underlying theme that only adults will see which I think is the point.
To me its about letting go of our childhood and moving onto adulthood and the memories we leave behind when we do this. I admit I got teary at the end. It struck a cord with me. I remembered back to my childhood and the toys I played with.
Action Man, Subbuteo, Evil Kenival, Rubik's Cube, Tonka toys, the list is endless. I played with all those toys for hours and hours and they gave me many happy memories. That also got me thinking about now as well.
Technology has come so far, that's great it has made our lives easier, but has it taken away memories from our kids? What will they remember about their childhoods? Playing with their PS3 or Wii. Probably yes, but will they remember the games they played? Doubt it. They will merge into one another and they will lose the most important thing of all.
They will lose their imagination. The one thing that helps them to dream, the one thing that will allow them to think and see things differently. Playing with my Action Man as a kid I dreamt up all kinds of scenarios and battles for them which has fuelled my imagination for the book I'm writing now. Did I get that from a computer game? No. I got it from playing with my toys as a kid.
I didn't follow a script that someone had written for me I made my own story. This is what worries me the most now about my kids. I restrict their use of computer games to very little and I encourage them to play with their toys. To see my kids being teachers with Teddy's and playing space adventures with their buzz light year toys is fun to see.
They are using their imagination and perhaps dreaming up things that they could do when they are older. We should as parents encourage this amongst our kids and encourage them to be what ever they want to be. I know its only a film but Toy Story touched me more than I expected. It also brought back some great memories for me as well.
That's the power of good story telling, it makes you think and touches you deep inside, it moves you when you least expect it. So lets encourage our kids to play with their toys and use their imaginations to harness what may be lying deep inside of them.
After all the next, Branson, JK Rowling, or Spielberg may be asleep in your house as you read this. They may be eating their breakfast or playing with their toys around you. The beauty of kids is that they never cease to amaze me. So lets take the time to help them.
One day they will make you very proud................if you let them.