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.