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29 December 2011

The Best Toys of All Time

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Almost a year ago, Wired magazine put out its list of the five best toys of all time.  I opened the article with great interest and significant skepticism as I thought: “What video games or tech products will they name?  And which will I disagree with? Will any of my favorites be there?”

Even though I think of myself as a young-ish man, I feel like some of my values are extremely old fashioned compared to the culture we live in. So I was incredibly surprised, and amused, to read the list, because it seemed to come directly from my childhood years of the late 1960s and early 70s.

According to the Wired article, the five best toys of all time are…

  1. Stick
  2. Box
  3. String
  4. Cardboard tube
  5. Dirt

(Read the full, amusing article here: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/01/the-5-best-toys-of-all-time/all/1.)

I am sorry I didn’t blog about this before Christmas, especially if you have children who were pleading for the latest video game or other tech toy. You could have referred to this article and packaged up a cup or two of topsoil, slapped a bow on it and saved $39.99. Again, my apologies.

So, what’s our application to Christian camp and conference ministry?  Let me answer that question with a question:  Do you ever feel like we are replacing some of the most basic, tried-and-true methods of ministry with something current, “hip,” and popular? If so, does it ever come at a cost you wish you hadn’t paid, or at the expense of something you didn’t intend? Please share your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “The Best Toys of All Time

  1. This reminds us to stick to the basics and allow relationships to be the primary focus while the surrounding “fluff” is added to enhance relationship building. If the fluff helps, keep it. If the fluff gets in the way, trash it.

  2. Gregg:

    I lovve this post. I saw the article referenced on facebook when it came out and I argued with my brother-in-law as to whether dirt could really be classified as a toy.

    It also reminds me of a conversation I had at a staff recruiting event. I was confessing to the director a local YMCA camp my envy of the neat “toys” that they had for their program (jet skis, skate park, sailboats). He said that often his counselors would have to interrupt the campers from a low tech game of Annie Over (throw the ball up on the roof game) or land the washer on the nail (whatever that’s called) to remind them it was time to go jet skiing. So, the low tech interactive outdoor games that we enjoyed in the neighborhood really do have a place. (And they never need maintenance!)
    Keep the encouragement coming. Thanks!

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