Take toys out of Happy Meals? What is the benefit of that? Seriously. Toys are not trivial objects of entertainment. Toys entertain, inspire, educate and invite thinking and doing. Toys inspire the choices children later make in their adult lives. Toys change the world. Unfortunately, this is little known and seldom unacknowledged.
Frank Lloyd Wright's toy blocks inspired him to become an architect. What if those blocks had come in a Happy Meal? More importantly, what if they hadn't?
The Wright Brothers credit a toy airplane they received as a birthday gift as inspiring their fascination with flight, without which powered flight would never have been born. What if that airplane had come in a Happy Meal? Or not? How might the world be different? Toys entertain and inspire children, and children alter the world as adults.
Toys matter. Read Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman to see clearly how the toys, or ‘gifts’ of the original kindergarten educational program influenced some of the 20th century’s greatest minds.
Ask yourself and ask others, "What was the influence of toys in your life?" One Nobel Prize winning scientist was quoted as saying that one of the greatest losses to our culture has been the relative simplicity of the modern building blocks that have replaced the far more versatile, challenging, and complex Erector sets made up of motors, belts, and gears. What he was saying was, "Toys matter. They really do matter."
Please don’t take the toys away.