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Children's culture object

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 4 months ago

Children's culture object/artifact


Below, post your name, describe your object, and then answer the following questions: why did you choose the artifact that you did; what does the artifact mean to you; why does this object represent children's culture and how are you defining children's culture (children's culture when you were growing up vs. children's culture of today)?

Rubric: Out of 25

Lack of object description – minus 1 to minus 5

Didn't answer why you choose the artifact that you did – minus 1 to minus 5

Didn't answer what the artifact mean to you – minus 1 to minus 5

Didn't answer why this object represents children's culture – minus 1 to minus 5

Didn't define children's culture - minus 1 to minus 5



Alejandra Klorig

My object is a book of Calvin and Hobbes comics by Bill Watterson. The collection is titled, "Scientific Progress Goes 'Bonk'". I chose this artifact because Calvin and Hobbes comics were something that I read constantly as I was growing up. I think that Calvin and Hobbes is a good representation of a typical but also atypical childhood. He has a lot of adventures, imaginary and real, a best friend that doubles as his stuffed tiger Hobbes and gets into a lot of trouble. There are very few adults in the comic and in fact Calvin's parents are never referred to anything more than Mom and Dad. I think that Calvin and Hobbes represents a special type of children's culture. The comics are things that change as the reader matures. The reader begins as a child and enjoys the jokes, antics and imaginary adventures that Calvin, Hobbes and Co. are involved in but as the reader matures so does their appreciation for the comic and the more mature themes and jokes. Most of all Calvin and Hobbes is about a little boy sometimes too curious and ingenious for his own good, who causes a lot of trouble, is an imaginary space hero (among other characters)and who's best friend is a stuffed tiger that will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich.


Jennifer Hunt


The cultural object I chose is the piggy bank. When I was little, my grandma gave me a pink piggy bank with a little ribbon around its neck. She put four dollar coins in it for me to save; I still have that piggy bank today with the money in it. I don't exactly know what made me pick this object, but it was the first thing to come to my mind. I think that piggy banks are an excellent object to give to a child. It teaches the child that every penny counts, and that saving is important. It also teaches values of patience and honesty (whether or not the child leaves the money in the bank). The piggy bank is a very traditional children's object. As it began as a simple pig, it has evolved into many shapes, colors, and sizes. The traditional aspect of it always remains, however. The bank always has a plug at the bottom, meaning money can easily be put it but uneasily taken out, unless the bank is broken. On another personal note, before I embarked on my college journey one of my mom's friends in Germany sent me a piggy bank as a graduation gift. (will bring to class). She wrote a sidenote simply saying: Every penny counts, start saving early. I think that piggy banks are a must for children, and they remain as popular today as ever.


Amanda Schafer


I chose as my cultural object my baby blanket. It was the first symbol of my childhood that I thought of and thus the most important to me. I chose this artifact, because like most cliche childrens memories, I too had my mom read me bedtime stories, but not with out the comfort of my blanket. I thought the blanket symbolized the importance of family bonding in early childhood. Therefore what better example of compassion and family structure than the very thing that gave me my security as a child. This artifact means that I am still connected with my childhood and my family even though I am away at college because of the fact that I brought it here to college with me. I would define children's cultureas a look into our past, and finding a way to relate it to the present and future. By this, I mean finding similarities throughout the ages whether in custom, tradition, or virtue that can not only be carried through to today but also expanded upon. The two cultures, that of yesterday and today, thus are not very different at all. The means by which it is expressed may have changed but certainly not the main points of culture. Examples such as family bonding and comfortability in the home, the things must reminicient to me when I think of my baby blanket.


Lauren Blatter


The object I will display as my artifact is my Beanie Baby. He is a cute dog that I have had for about ten years. I choose this artifact because stuffed animals made up a large part of my childhood; sleeping with over one hundred stuffed animals a night can really make you love something very much. This artifact for me means family because it was sent to me by my mother; it also reminds me of sleep away camp because that is where I received the dog and camp was a huge part of my child hood. This object represents children’s culture because as we all know; Beanie Babies were huge when we were kids. My mother made many sacrifices for me and would stand in line at ridiculous hours so that I could get the newest Beanie Baby. I have over 500 in my collection which are still displayed in my room. They vary in sizes, shape, animals, and names; and to me that represents the diversity in our world. I am defining children’s culture of when I was growing up. I think Beanie Babies have gone down in popularity but I will still see them being sold and buy them for my collection!


Chelsey Campbell


For the show and share on Friday, I am going to bring a Neopets McDonald's Happy Meal toy. It is a small stuffed cat called an Aisha. I had a couple reasons for choosing this item as my cultural artifact. First, I think the toy is representative of the Neopets craze of several years ago among children. For those who don't know what it is, Neopets is an online simulation site where you can create an account and "adopt" the pets, which you then care for. In addition, you can also buy and sell items, build a house, acquire furniture, clothes, artifacts, and other goods, and even play the "stock market". A few years ago, every kid loved to play Neopets, and the popularity soon spread beyond the computer. I even remember a store in the mall that carried Neopets stuffed animals and merchandise! So, this item is a reminder of one of my favorite games to play as a kid, as well as the place of the computer and interactive media in modern childhood.


Secondly, I chose this particular artifact because it was a McDonald's Happy Meal prize. We discussed earlier in this class that restaurants advertise their promotions (particularly on television), and children will have no other substitute for that toy and restaurant. When Neopets became extremely popular among American children, these toys were released at McDonald's in order to get children to beg their parents to dine at that restaurant. I felt that this toy was indicative of that propensity of restaurants to choose popular subjects and themes among children to ensure that they will enjoy going to that establishment.


Melissa Mattson


The object I chose for this show and share is a diary. Of course it’s not my actual diary from when I was little, just an example of one. Writing in a diary is the one this that I remember doing all the time when I was little. It was always the first thing I did when anything remotely important happened to me. I believe that writing in a diary is a very feminine pastime. During the class discussion of Brown’s “Child’s Play” we addressed this gender divide. Writing in a diary is a way to get in touch with one’s feelings; a trait mostly associated with females. We also discussed that the verdict as to whether this activity is naturally occurring or historically encouraged is debatable. I also believe that having a diary was popular in my generation. Girls had one of their own and then they even had one with a friend. I remember one Christmas I got an electronic password journal, very high tech might I add, proving I wasn’t the only one in my generation that had a diary. Having a diary is also a way to be completely self-absorbed; a quality all children have. A child can sit and write about their life, their friends and their problems for as long as they want. Looking back, my favorite part about having a diary is being able to look back at your feelings days, months or even years before and laugh.


Crystal Frawley


The object that I chose for this Friday's show and share is an iPod. An iPod is a combination digital audio player and portable hard drive from Apple Computer. It provides an easy way to download and listen to music. I chose this artifact because I think it represents the technilogical advances that affect children today. They toys marketed and sold now are so much different and increasingly more advanced than the toys available to even me as a child. When I was little, I remember dancing around to my favorite tape on my portable cassette player and now little kids can listen to 2,000 different songs on their iPods. Today, if you handed a 10-year old a cassette player and took away her computer, I don't think she would be very happy. I also think music is a very important aspect of childhood, as we discussed briefly in class. Little girls idolize Britney Spears and every little boy wants to grow up to be a rock star. The iPod combines the importance of music and the rapid changes and advances in technology that affect children today.


Kara Adler


For this show and share I am bringing in a picture of a Furby. I remember all the hype for the toys in 1998 even before they came out on shelves so I begged my dad to get me one. The day they released at ToysRUS my dad got in line at 5am before the store opened just to make sure he could get me one before they sold out. He brought home a Furby for me in the specified colors I asked for (grey and white) and the increasing technology and qualities of the toy were revealed each day I played with it. My sister also got one and even with her being four years older, it still appealed to her. A four year age barrier can be difficult at a young age; however, the Furbys provided a common ground in which my sister and I could bond. You could personalize your Furby by choosing between different names, voice pitches, fur patterns, and eye color. The variety of combinations allowed for a diverse toy which is vital in children’s culture because each child has their own imagination and preferences. The toy was able to display different emotions with eye, ear, and mouth movements to make it appear more life-like. One Furby could also influence another Furby by making the other Furby imitate its actions, for instance, making another one sneeze or giggle. Children often like playing in groups and this feature expanded the toy to a broader audience, making it possible for a bunch of kids to play together with their toys. The toy had a special language called Furbish and by owning a Furby you knew the language too which made you feel like you were in an exclusive group. I chose the Furby because I believe it defines children’s culture of my generation by being a toy that is engaging, personal, exclusive, group adaptable, and technologically advanced. It served as a modernized version of the Barbie doll or action figure.


Daniel Goldin


The object that I have decided to choose is my mini replica Ferrari F50. I chose this object because I was very fond of the toys that I could actually play with when I was younger, I guess I never was a fan of my Raffi cassettes. I particuraly loved my toy cars and my model cars. I remember I used to build ramps with my blocks and shoot the cars off of the ramp as fast as I could make them go. This model F50 is particuraly meaningful becuase it was of the most magnificent of fine European automobiles of my day, including the Lamborgini Diablo and McClaren F1.


This object signifigantly is represenative of children's culture. Most people that have or collect model cars are ones that don't yet have their licences. When I was growing up racing this model car around was the next best thing to driving. A child's model car collection is truely something for him to be proud of.


I feel that today kids are less appreciative of non electrical gismos such as their XBOX, Ipods and PSPs. I feel like collectable items such as model cars, baseball cards, and various other toys have gone out of style with the younger generations.


Leslie Scott


The object that I chose for the show and share on Friday is a piano book. I chose this object because I feel like music is a large part of people's lives. Ever since Puritan times people have looked to music for entertainment. Learning to play an instrument in your childhood is something quite common in our culture and was a very big part of my childhood. I started playing the piano at a very young age, and although at times it could be very frustrating, I have found it to be more of a relief from the outside world. I took piano lessons all throughout elementary, middle, and high school, so it has always been part of my life.

I feel that this piano book represents childrens culture because, as stated above, many children these days get involved in band or orchestra starting as early as elementary school. For a lot of children, playing an instrument is a big part of life. I don't think that the time now is too different from when I was growing up concerning music. However, I do think that it has changed over the decades. I think that people were more musically inclined when it was first coming out-like in the 1700-1800's. Despite this, children today are still very involved in music.


Laura Feezor


My object was Holiday Barbie 1995. She is blonde with blue eyes and wears a green velvet gown. I loved playing with Barbie when I was little; I actually played with them until I was around 10. My favorite thing to do was to pick outfits for Barbie and create a new story for her everyday in her Barbie dream house. I chose this object because the doll reminds me of imagination and simplicity which I consider to be two defining characteristics of childhood. It represents children’s culture to me because I could constantly come up with new stories for Barbie, usually depending on my mood. When I played with my dolls the real world disappeared; these were my friends and my life. I think that happens often when children are playing with a beloved toy, usually that may even be the goal of the toy. Barbie belongs to both children’s culture when I was growing up and children’s culture today, however with some changes. Barbie now has more life-like proportions and politically correct themes. Yet the most heartbreaking change of all was when Barbie and Ken’s divorce was announced. Still, girls, and even sometimes boys, love playing with their Barbie and I assume this will continue to be so for many years to come.


Jodi Schneider


For show and share I will be bringing in a pair of glasses. Although most people might not think of a pair of glasses as a children's cultural object, I have been wearing them since I was six months old. Growing up as a child, wearing glasses (as well as an eye patch at one point) had a large impact on me. I remember wondering why I was the only person wearing them and I remember feeling sad when other children would refer to me as "four eyes." However, my mother always told me that other people would begin to wear them and she was right. In fact, I became the reason why many of the girls in my class began to wear them, even if they did not need them! Something that I was originally self conscious about as a child became something that truly defined me growing up. It was not a bad thing that I was the "girl with glasses," the other girls wanted to get cute pairs like I had!


Jeff Biezunski


The object I have is a picture of me dressed up and ready for battle. The Ninja Turtle nunchucks on my side are my objects. I chose this object because I was really into the Ninja Turtles as a child and was deeply absorbed in anything Ninja Turtles. I tried to imitate them and dressed up like them at times. Now that I look back I am not sure why I liked them so much, but I guess children are easily absorbable. This artifact means a lot to me as I have a lot of childhood memories attached to it and I laugh every time I look at this picture and how goofy I looked. However, at the time I thought I was cool. This object is most definitely a part of children’s culture because it is a weapon of the Ninja Turtles who are a group of fictional, unbelievable heroes. It is also a cartoon and would be considered a part of children’s culture at any time since not many adults are into crime fighting, sewer hopping turtles.


Andrea Sanchez


The children's cultural artifact that I am bringing tomorrow is a bottle of nail polish. I think this goes along well with our discussion about Brown's article becuase it represents girls wanting to be like their mothers. Nail polish is representative of children's culture when I was a child, and I think it also applies today. It was and is a symbol of being grown up- something I think a lot of children want to be(which is also something we have discussed). For me, nail polish was not only a way for me to be like my mother and feel grown up, but it was a form of expression. I remember that in my Catholic middle school green, blue, and any other shade of dark nail polish wasn't allowed, so wearing it felt daring and rebellious. While now, I only wear neutral colors of nail polish (and only on my toe nails), I can still remember when nail polish was exciting and fun to wear- now it's just a chore.


Danielle Ernst


For my show and share, I am bringing Beach Fun Barbie. However “new and improved,” she still represents the Barbies I had as a child. I had at least a hundred Barbies when I was younger. I never really “played” with them in the sense that I never made them act out a scene or anything like that; I just liked dressing them up and doing their hair. I think Barbies are a big part of children’s culture, at least for girls. A lot of girls idolize Barbie which I believe is one of the reasons the company made modifications to her proportionality. If you think of when Barbie first came out, there was only one, and just look what it’s become now. There are hundreds of different Barbies of all races and ethnicities, all different occupations and ages. There is a Barbie that could appeal to any little girl. All the other products that are Barbie related also have a huge impact on young girls. There are costumes made so girls can look like Barbie. There are life-size Barbies and Barbie heads that you can put make-up on. All these products influence girls and affect the lives of the women they become. I do not think I know any girl that has never played with a Barbie before.


Lydel Matthews

For the show and share, I choose a couple of books from the Sweet Pickles series to represent American culture. Each story incorporates American folklore through its emphasis on admired and contrastingly shunned upon characteristics. As the author, Richard Hefter, states, “In the world of Sweet Pickles, each animal gets into a pickle because of an all too human personality trait.” There is a tale devoted to every one of the twenty-six animals that reside in the small town. Several factors influenced the machination of scenarios: fear, greed, vanity, trust, sharing, health, rest, responsibility, protest, etc. As an only child, I really identified with this series because individual characters possessed different outlooks and approaches to each situation. When comparing my childhood culture with that of today's, I can't help but think it has become more commercialized. Television shows seem to focus more and more on just one or a few select characters rather than a large group and resulting interactions. Not to be so pessimistic, but I feel bad for children today. Would anyone else agree that contemporary subject matter is really watered down? I feel like producers have run out of ideas and, therefore, lowered the standards for what quality entertainment should entail.


Patrick Lynn


For Friday's show and share item, I have chosen a Stewie Griffin stuff toy from Family Guy. I have selected this children's cultural object in order to show the difference between our childhood and today's children. Young children are being exposed to more "adult" characters than ever before. My six year old cousin is a Family Guy addict. To me, the Stewie Griffin illustrates a loosening of today's society toward more adult content. Don't get me wrong. I have no problems with this change. This object is a representation of today's culture and a beacon for where the trends in society are going in the future. I would define children's culture when I was growing up as a more innocent, low-tech era. We really didn't have computers and cell phones. Cartoons and action figures were gold on the playground instead of iPods and cell phones. Children's culture used to be more innocent and now it is more about attacting the child and the older siblings at the same time.

Adam Amir


I will be bring in a Gameboy color with Pokemon in it. I chose this childrens cultural artifact because it represents my absorbtion in late elementary and most of middle school. From the cards, to the show and even video game stats and strategies were a total blast for me. This represents my competitive trait as a kid, I just had to be the best and the most informed. While Pokemon's popularity has waned, this can still represent children's culture today: obsessive and consumer oriented. The diversions from game to show to card game to clothing line are a great example of how much marketers will essentially milk kids.

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