I did not write this but it expresses my thoughts so well that I asked Heidi for permission to share it here. You can see Heidi’s blog at this link... 

- Melissa
I used to think that tools and toys were designed for specific purposes, and that that's how they should be used.

This resonates really well with my personality, which is very black or white / right or wrong, and that's probably exactly why I used to think that.

However, in recent years, I have found so much joy in allowing my kids to be free to use their tools and toys however they see fit.

Math-U-See blocks, legos, wooden blocks, game pieces, and this abacus are just a few examples of things my kids routinely use in a completely non-conventional way.

I don't think tools should necessarily not be used as toys, and I don't think toys should necessarily not be used as tools.

It's okay to do math with your Legos, and it's okay to build towers out of your math blocks.

It's okay to dump all the Bananagram tiles out on the floor to build words, and it's okay to use your phonogram tiles to spell words like "poop."

It's okay to learn about gravity and stability with wooden blocks, and it's okay to create sound patterns with an abacus.

I want to encourage you mamas: Give your kids the freedom to explore. They are only little for so long, and if we squash their creativity when they are young, they may never get it back.

So give them toys, and give them tools. But don't demand they use them one way or another. Give them freedom, and watch them create. They might just amaze you.


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