Full steam ahead to the Jackson Street Roundhouse and Museum. Nishad loves trains, hence his 2nd birthday was a train theme. We thought this would be a fun destination on yet another cold Minnesota day. Where else can you ride a caboose for $2 a ticket? http://www.mtmuseum.org/jsrh.shtml
We don’t want our kids to be slaves to commercial products and marketing, so we take special delight in showing him ‘real’ trains. He really has no idea what Thomas the Train even is- and we like it that way. Occasionally, we encounter something ‘Thomas’ and I just make a silly face and say, “That’s so silly. Trains don’t have faces.” And he laughs and says, “That’s not a real train. We don’t like that.” Woo-hoo. Or should I say, “woo-choo!”
Our kids don’t watch TV programs either. Occasionally, we do let him see ‘real’ animals…or if he is sick, an episode of this or that, but that just started a few months ago. Nishad does have a “Curious George” stuffed animal that he knows as “Bunder” (which means monkey in Hindi). People will come up to him and refer to “George” and he’s often quiet as he isn’t quite sure why they are naming his monkey.
An inspirational article that Ashish first read at Oak Hill Montessori was exactly about how children 3 and under shouldn’t watch TV. TV takes away from their sensory skills. It also allows marketing directly to your child- watching ‘shows’ cuts out the middle man. This makes marketing so much easier as they manipulate your child and tell them what their needs and wants are. Here is a great article on this topic: http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/blog/2007/10/television-and-montessori-child-part-1.html
All in all, I think Ashish and I have done pretty well so far at sheltering our kids from the Batman’s, Thomas’, etc. I don’t think we are alone in our beliefs either. Ashish made me feel so good when he commented, “I’m glad that our son learned how to count from you teaching him- not a DVD.”