My name is Sarah and I started college at the age of nine. Two years later, I am still going strong, and the youngest University of Wisconsin Badger. I want to give you a sneak peek into how I got where I am at such a young age: I played.
It has been proven that kids learn through play! The only catch is, they have to be surrounded with great things to play with. Would you let a kid eat whatever they wanted? Nope. You can’t live on cotton candy, funnel cakes and chocolate chip cookies for very long. The same is true with the world of “junk food” for toys and many people don’t even realize it.
When I was much younger, toy stores still had “boy” aisles and “girl” aisles of toys. Boys seemed to have all the fun stuff; dinosaurs, robots, building blocks and trains! Girls got the dress up outfits, dolls and seriously – pink lacey ironing boards. I’m sure you have heard that common phrase:
“I got into M.I.T. because I learned how to iron perfectly by the time I was 7!”
Of course not, LOL!
As the aisle labels disappeared, the STEM toy revolution soon kicked in and you could tell they were mostly geared for the gals. Barbie Science Kit anyone? Lego Friends? If it was pink, or purple, it was geared for us. Gender inequality still at its best as Lego Friends was all about tea parties, sleepovers and cute little kitchen scenes.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still love some Goldie Blox, and K’nex? I could move right next door to your warehouse and be happy. My point is, just because they throw a “Mensa Kids” label on their box, it might not really be about Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math.
What can a parent do?
Get your precious munchkins to a place like Discovery World and let them get their hands dirty.