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Johnny’s Robots

Johnny with his robots

A few days ago, Johnny was asking for a robot “that can walk and talk.” Mike found some cardboard, cut it into a robot shape, and gave it eyes and a mouth. Then he and Johnny covered the entire thing in tin foil. Then they cut out a little boy robot. Such a simple craft, and it doesn’t walk or talk the way I would expect a robot to if I had made that request, but Johnny is thrilled!

And it makes me wonder… How often do parents go out of their way to fulfill what they perceive to be a fairly complex request made by a child when in reality a simple solution would suffice?

 Foundation of Robotics & Prototyping

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

18 thoughts on “Johnny’s Robots”

  1. Yes, Mary Anne, I agree that we often shoot beyond the mark. At the moment I also find myself enticed by so many “frills”, thinking it is good in some way when really my family, the children and I would do better with a much more reduced life!

    1. I find that I have to constantly ask myself, “Do my kids need this, or do I just (think I) want it?”

  2. Your boys make an excellent team. Together they made Johnny’s wish for a walking, talking robot come true.

    What a brilliant thing the child’s imagination is.

    Your question has got me thinking.

  3. What a great story! For Anna’s 3rd birthday she asked for a farm. We bought her an expensive Playmobil Farm set. Turned out she wanted to go to the real farm.

  4. Carla @ Jansen Family Adventures

    Such a great point! It’s so easy to forget how they can be satisfied with the simple!

  5. That robot is better than any you could buy.

    My son has that very same shirt! Robots, planes — I think our two boys would get along very well.

  6. My husband is pretty good at turning cardboard into fabulous play things. My daughters love it when he pulls out a hug box because they know it’s going to be turned into something fun.

  7. Elisa | blissfulE

    Hm – an excellent question. And a fabulous result for this request!! In Johnny’s imagination, those robots can do ANYTHING!

  8. Very thought-provoking. I would definitely have interpreted that as a request for a fancy electronic robot toy with pre-recorded sounds and mechanical walking.

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