This post could also be titled: 'Kids are SO cool!'
The past year has been a very good one for me. I've gotten to work for a small toy brand that I started out admiring and now downright love. And as a side benefit of that work, I've made friends with a seven-year-old (I don't think there are a ton of 25-year-olds who can say that...)
See, the team I work with is a team of freelancers. Each and every one of us works from our kitchen tables and our home offices. Every so often we get to work from each other's kitchen tables and home offices. That means that a couple days a week, I wind up at G's house. If I happen to be there at 3:00, I get to help welcome the kids home from school. Sometimes that leads to grand adventures.
More after the jump...
Just yesterday, we took a work break to walk to CVS so G's youngest could buy some candy. The cashier bagged his loot, and we made our way back to the house. After he stashed his candy in his room, I caught him tossing the plastic bag in the air and watching it float back down. He was clearly amused. And engaged. With a plastic bag.
There were a few soda bottles left on the kitchen table from lunch, and I suggested taping one of the bottle caps to the bottom of the bag to give it some weight. We were both delighted when the idea worked, making the bag float more consistently and predictably.
This, of course, led to trying different weights on the bottom of the bag. One of the candy containers (a small cylindrical vessel) was just right, and the perfect opportunity for more experimentation. We filled it with water, then rice, then nothing at all.
We played with that plastic bag for nearly an hour. And it was really fun.
To be honest, as a toy designer this whole experience gave me pause. Who needs a $29.99 remote-controlled airplane when you have a plastic bag? Clearly a child does not. But as a human, playing with that bag made my week. In this time of ipads and kids with Facebook profiles and nearly constant text messaging, kids still have 'it.' They can see a plastic bag as a parachute and stay engaged in curiosity-fueled play. That is the best news I've heard lately.
This brilliant short film also brightened my week. It's so fun and very sweet to see all the different adventures of a cardboard box.