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TWU Professor Says Imagination Is Child’s Play

Holiday Feature Story

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DENTON — Parents who invest a lot of time and thought into choosing Christmas gifts for their child may find themselves frustrated when the child plays with the box the present came in rather than the gift itself.

Dr. Ron Fannin, associate professor of family science and coordinator of the child development program at Texas Woman University, advises parents to relax — it’s all part of growing up.

“When children are doing these things, such as pretending a box is a rocket ship or a car, they’re projecting what they want to have going on in their lives,” he said.

Many of today’s toys don’t require much of the children playing with them, Dr. Fannin said.

“Many times, we’re caught by our own technology. The toys do everything — we just watch,” he said. “As adults, we buy toys all the time. Ours are just more expensive and less involved. If a child has a toy, he wants to use it.”

Small children enjoy both physical and imaginary involvement with their toys. Dr. Fannin said a better question for parents considering gifts is what will hold the child’s interest.

Sometimes, the simpler toys may be best, he said.

“Children view the world as a huge Rorshach (inkblot) test — they can make it anything they want it to be. Complicated toys eliminate that ability to bring their own imagination into play.”


For Further Information Contact:

Karen Treat
Senior Copywriter
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: ktreat@twu.edu



Page last updated November 9, 2004

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