Welcome to "Toy" week here at OPOD. We will be looking at things children play with this week. We start with this picture from 1921 of a young man playing with a HAM radio set. I can not think of any more educational toy or hobby than HAM radios. In order to set up and operate these things, you really have to learn a lot of electrical engineering. The objective is to talk to people very far away under a variety of conditions. This requires careful design and construction of radio equipment and antennas. The kids that I knew growing up that did HAM radios have all become very successful engineers and businessmen.
I am really surprised these days how little thought we give to the toys we give our children. It seems that Xbox is a very popular one, and parents often put little thought into exactly what children are learning when they spend 14 hours straight playing a game where the objective is to maim, kill, and destroy. It is as if parents are really purchasing a free "baby sitter" when they get such consoles.