Every time I read a story about people/companies trying to ban toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals, I think those people did not play enough as children and they are looking for attention. Seriously, research has proven time and time again toys are good for children and society.
When I write ‘good’ for society, I am not referring to the obvious benefits to a parent (and those in earshot) of keeping their child occupied and quiet. Dr. Stuart Brown from the National Institue for Play did research concluding play can act as a powerful deterrent, even an antidote to prevent violence, in violent individuals. He also said, “Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.” There are a lot of adults that could use Happy Meal toys.
One of the smartest men that ever lived, Albert Einstein said that play is the highest form of research.
Joseph Chilton Pearce, an American scholar said, “ Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.
The Strong Museum publishes The American Journal of Play and this is what their play experts had to say:
Everyone needs play. It is essential to learning, creativity, and discovery. It guides physical, intellectual, and social development. It drives innovation, increases productivity, and contributes to healthier lives. Children playing on playgrounds learn to incorporate found objects and put them to novel uses, develop creative pretend and dramatic play scenarios, and build on the ideas of others. Inventors draw on these same skills to make imaginative and unlikely connections that lead to exciting new products or important medical and technical advances. Collectors play at acquiring their favorite things and, in doing so, help document important cultural trends.
Play is critical to human development
Research proves that play:
-builds ability to solve problems, negotiate rules, and resolve conflicts;
-develops confident, flexible minds that are open to new possibilities;
-develops creativity, resilience, independence, and leadership;
-strengthens relationships and empathy; and
-helps grow strong healthy bodies and reduces stress.
Children who play do better in school and become more successful adults
Through play children learn to:
-question, predict, hypothesize, evaluate, and analyze;
-form and substantiate opinions; and
-persist through adversity.
Kids may or may not be heavy from eating at McDonalds, but it is their parents who take them there and it has nothing to do with the toys. McDonalds should be congratulated for including toys and encouraging kids to play. It benefits us all short term and long term. They should add them to the adult meals.