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Too Much and Too Many: How Commercialism and Screen Technology Combine to Rob Children of Creative Play

by Susan Linn
March/April 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/too-much-a/5018645/

At the age of six, and because of television, I became enamored of Flash Gordon, a precursor to Spiderman and the whole raft of today's superheroes. My mother had already taken me to see Walt Disney's Peter Pan at a local movie theater, which I adored; and I became equally mesmerized by the musical version that was broadcast annually on NBC in the next few years. Flash Gordon and Peter Pan figured heavily into hours and hours of my pretend play. In my world they were great friends, joining forces with each other, and me, to fight the twin evils of Ming the Merciless and Captain Hook.

Play is so fundamental to children's health and well-being and so endangered that the United Nations lists it as a guaranteed right in its Convention on the Rights of the Child (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1989). For children in the third world, societal horrors such as exploitation through slavery, child conscription, and child labor, deny children their right to play. In the United States and other industrialized nations, seduction, not conscription, lures children away from creative play. There are too many screens and too much marketing in ...

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