Monday, August 30, 2010

More reflection: Money and toys

"You are quite different from other people, you know", said Sandyha, as she sat with us one evening, helping Anjali and I with one of what she calls my "crap innovative projects". I was going on about how I was looking at toys in the store and they were all made of plastic and felt and were mostly so uniform and expensive and soulless.

"Why?", I asked

"Let me see", she said, "for one thing, you think a lot about money"

Whoa. That was unexpected. Do i think a lot about money? Ofcourse, I naturally think a good bit about spending and then, before buying something, I stop and think if I can make the same thing. For instance, when i was in Portland, I saw this fairy garden kit for $25. It was really pretty, with a box and all. Then i looked at what it contained. A potting tray ($0.50), grass seeds ($1.50), pebbles (free from the park), soil (five kilos for $5 or, if I am adventurous, free form the park). Now which kind of Mathematics makes it add up to $25?

Then again, one of the things I was firmly brought up to believe was that if we think about money, and enforce its value, so will the children. And we do intend to implement an allowance scheme in a couple of years time.

On the topic something nice happened yesterday evening. The girls were drinking some juice from a nice carton. After the juice was finished, Anjali brought the pack to me.

"Mummy, finished juice", she said

"Good, now through the carton into the garbage", I advised. My hands were a bit full, as I was doing something with Sophia.

"Mummy, throw catron in garbage", said Anjali. And then she added

"Maybe we can make something with it... like a flower vase?"

"Maybe we can..." I said, thinking. "in that case, we'll have to wash it". Can you put it in the sink to wash?

So she went and put the carton in the sink. Now I have to think about how to turn it into a flower vase without all the fruits showing up. Paper mache seems an obvious idea. but we spent all of yesterday evening paper macheing my tissue paper roll stool, that I dont think Anjali will like another session of paper mache. I'll try to rip off the top layer and get her to color them with markers or something.

But the delightful thing is that she has come to understand that we can make something out of throw away stuff. 

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