A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Where Are the Plastic Hot Dog Buns? March 23, 2012

Filed under: children,family,parenting — mandyholbert @ 6:34 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I saw the saddest thing in the toy store last night.

Yes, in case you can’t tell, that is a set of plastic roasting sticks with plastic marshmallows and plastic hot dogs. How would you go about roasting these plastic campfire delicacies? Easy, with this, of course:

Yep. A plastic campfire. And where would you get the wood to burn in your plastic campfire? Oh, they’ve covered that, too. See?

What fun your children will have roasting their plastic marshmallows and plastic hot dogs over a plastic campfire for which they chopped plastic wood with a plastic ax!

Seriously?  By the time you purchase all these toys (at $19.99 each), you very  easily could have had a real campfire with your child for a fraction of the price.  And I daresay, a real campfire would be a much more memorable and engaging experience.

Really, how long can Junior sit in his bedroom holding a plastic frank on a stick over a fake fire pretending to roast it?  And how will he know when it’s done?  And when it’s done, how will he go about eating it?

I understand camping may be impractical for some families, but there is no excuse not to let your child enjoy the pure joy of a good old-fashioned campfire.  There’s just nothing like the smell of wood burning, the smoke saturating your clothes and hair, the kids gathering more sticks, the memorizing sight of the dancing flames and burning embers, and the sizzle of the hot dog drippings hitting the fire as the frank plumps and sweats on the end of the perfect roasting stick.

And don’t even get me started on S’mores!

The plastic toys didn’t only feel lazy and cheap to me.  They represent a child being robbed of an intrinsic part of growing up.  Robbed of sitting around the fire, telling stories, laughing, and bonding with family in a way that just can’t be done on the couch.  There’s just something about sitting under the stars and wondering what animals are just out of sight.  There’s something about biting into that S’more and all the gooey marshmallow oozing all over your face and fingers and your not caring because it’s dark outside anyway.

Kids need campfires.

You just can’t put them in a box and put a price on them.


10 Responses to “Where Are the Plastic Hot Dog Buns?”

  1. You continue to entertain us with your adventures, Mandy. This is one of my favorites… What is the suggested age for this set? Copper will be 7 in October, but she is a mature 6 (sometimes) and would love this set! just saying… lol

  2. mitman64 Says:

    Plastic junk for virtual fun. What next? Why would anyone buy these types of “toys”. A real campfire for real kids with real hot dogs & real marshmallows, maybe even a little real char from over cooking is a great adventure for kids. Plastic junk isn’t the answer!

  3. Ah but you see it’s a plastic tea set especially for little girls. What can we give boys? I know, a plastic campfire set. (take a look at the photo of the kid on the box. Girls couldn’t possibly enjoy camping) And in the next isle safe plastic trees to climb complete with crash mat and safety helmet. Children need never leave home!
    I have to ask though, being a Brit, what is a S’more?

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Wow! I didn’t realize s’mores weren’t universal. Toast a marshmallow until it is gooey all the way through. Then place it between two graham cracker squares with a square of chocolate too. The chocolate and marshmallow melt together to make one of the most scrumptious treats ever. We never camp without s’mores. Please try this!

  4. mandyholbert Says:

    Please let me know if you really try them. It would give me much satisfaction!

  5. I’m happy those toys spoke so powerfully to you, even if in a negative way. Because it was so interesting to hear your thoughts on why they shouldn’t exist (besides the $20 price tag!).

    I am a toy fanatic as well. As in, we buy the ones that don’t need batteries. 🙂 The ones that my kids will sit and play with and imagine whole worlds with. So in that sense, a pretend s’mores set seems fun. But my kids could make that themselves with some sticks from the yard and cotton balls. We’re always gathering sticks from the yard for something. Why? Because they’re real.

    Because you’re right. You just can’t take these things, these tangible, earthly, good-for-the-soul things away from your children. We’ve been camping, and hope to go more this summer. The kids love it. And we’ve had our share of s’mores. You’re doing well. It’s important to protect your children, to “keep them from being robbed,” as you said.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      I’m with you. My kids are not deprived; they do have toys. But they are equally as happy to spend the whole day outside traipsing around pretending with objects they find along the way. The toys they do have often get used in ways the manufacturer never intended! Thanks a lot for reading!

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