Happy Children's Day! Toys make children happy and 16 year old Yamini Prashanth shares her story on how toys played their part in her growth as a published writer, TEDx speaker and overall accomplished person.
One of my favourite stories when I was 3, was a story about a small boy who mishandled his toys, never played with them or loved them, till his toys decided that they had had enough. I had clear opinions on this story. The boy was the villain and his toys, the heroes; because at the age of three I knew that my world would be considerably bleaker without my precious toys.
I've had the unique privilege of growing up with several toys: a giant lion gifted to me by my great grandmother, a kitchen set that I played pretend with for hours, a tent in which I could escape from reality, and flash cards which taught me almost as much as my teachers.
As a result of this, I developed something that has shaped me as a person, and that's imagination. It taught me how to imagine myself in a better position, in a different place, at a different time, with different people, or even in the shoes of those who weren't as fortunate as I was. Putting these toys back in their place (something I admit I was notorious for forgetting to do) also develops one's discipline and sense of responsibility and care. They taught me silent lessons: how to share, how to work or play with others, and how great it felt much later, to hand them over to someone who would love them just as much as I did.
There's something so special about them that you could say that they are, sometimes even literally, the building blocks of one's character. They built me up to progressing to begin a healthy reading habit, that went on to enable me to write a few books of my own, which was a dream come true. None of it would have been possible without an imagination, that, like I mentioned earlier, toys played a key role in providing me with.
Many children I know today, however, are more attached to their screens than anything else, and spend hours playing in someone else's imagination rather than their own, which, to me, kills the magic, and makes me feel almost sorry for them; for they can't pass a piece of technology down to their children, or hug it, or feel sometimes, that it could even be their best friend. Only a toy can do that. Only a toy can be a young mind's best friend.
It's time we brought toys back into the lives of children and adults who have children. They make for the best memories and impart to children an imagination, which they will value for their whole life.
Yamini Prashanth is the 16 year old author of three published books- “Mishti", a children's novella, published by unicorn books private limited in October, 2013, "Best of Granny's stories", a collection of 20 stories meant for 6-8 year old kids, published by Tinytot Publication in September 2014, and “UMA- not so perfect”, a 35000 word, young adult fiction published by the well-known publishers, Mango DC books. Her fourth book, which is a collection of poems has been recently accepted for publication, by a well known publishing house. Her first book was published when she was 11 years of age.
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