I have worried for a while that with toys these days being more processed, electronicized, commodified, and homogenous that young kids would lose their imaginations to the “attractions” of directed play. I thought this might be particularly true on the very day when most kids in Vancouver are smothered in piles of new toys. I am glad to be proved wrong.
Yesterday, the ever-loving and I went to Tom & Jerry’s on Hastings for Christmas dinner. The food and service were great, and herself could have calamari & salad instead of turkey. This is not to mention the complete avoidance of prep or clean up.
However, the food is not what I am here to report. Tom & Jerry’s (or perhaps it is now Moulin Rouge) has a small dance floor in the middle of the space, along with disco lights that spray a random and moving selection of coloured patterns across the floor. I haven’t seen such a thing for decades.
The restaurant became quite busy, mostly with families with children, Two of these children — separated in time by about twenty minutes, and perhaps 7 or 8 years old — became absolutely transfixed by the coloured lights moving across the floor, the source of which was quite unknown to them. Both kids had grand times trying to stamp on some of the lights as they moved, like a whack-a-mole game. They laughed and shrieked and had a fine time entertaining themselves and many of us watching.
The sheer pleasure they got from a simple experience was a wonder to behold. No plastic, no programming, no cost — just fun.