PLAY-GAMES | Play-things, I think, children should have, and of divers sorts; but still to be in the custody of their tutors or some body else, whereof the child should have in his power but one at once, and should not be suffered to have another but when he restored that. This teaches them betimes to be careful of not losing or spoiling the things they have; whereas plenty and variety in their own keeping, makes them wanton and careless, and teaches them from the beginning to be squanderers and wasters. These, I confess, are little things, and such as will seem beneath the care of a governor; but nothing that may form children's minds is to be overlooked and neglected, and whatsoever introduces habits, and settles customs in them, deserves the care and attention of their governors, and is not a small thing in its consequences.
玩具 | 我认为小孩应该有玩具，而且要有各种玩具；但是应该由导师或别的什么人监管，小孩一次只能玩一种，只有他们归还它以后才能拿另一种。这可以教他们早一点当心，不要丢弃或毁坏他们拥有的东西；然而若他们自己保管很多各种各样的玩具，使他们挥霍与漫不经心，教他们一开始就奢侈浪费。我承认玩具是小事情，似乎不值得导师操心；但是能形成小孩心理的东西是不能忽视疏漏的，只要在他们是引出习惯、形成惯例的，都值得导师的关心与注意，都不是影响很小的事情。
One thing more about children's play-things may be worth their parents' care. Though it be agreed they should have of several sorts, yet, I think, they should have none bought for them. This will hinder that great variety they are often overcharged with, which serves only to teach the mind to wander after change and superfluity, to be unquiet, and perpetually stretching itself after something more still, though it knows not what, and never to be satisfied with what it hath. The court that is made to people of condition in such kind of presents to their children, does the little ones great harm. By it they are taught pride, vanity and covetousness, almost before they can speak: and I have known a young child so distracted with the number and variety of his play-games, that he tired his maid every day to look them over; and was so accustomed to abundance, that he never thought he had enough, but was always asking, What more? What more? What new thing shall I have? A good introduction to moderate desires, and the ready way to make a contented happy man!
"How then shall they have the play-games you allow them, if none must be bought for them?" I answer, they should make them themselves, or at least endeavour it, and set themselves about it; till then they should have none, and till then they will want none of any great artifice. A smooth pebble, a piece of paper, the mother's bunch of keys, or any thing they cannot hurt themselves with, serves as much to divert little children as those more chargeable and curious toys from the shops, which are presently put out of order and broken. Children are never dull, or out of humour, for want of such playthings, unless they have been used to them; when they are little, whatever occurs serves the turn; and as they grow bigger, if they are not stored by the expensive folly of others, they will make them themselves. Indeed, when they once begin to set themselves to work about any of their inventions, they should be taught and assisted; but should have nothing whilst they lazily sit still, expecting to be furnished from other hands, without employing their own. And if you help them where they are at a stand, it will more endear you to them than any chargeable toys you shall buy for them. Play-things which are above their skill to make, as tops, gigs, battledores, and the like, which are to be used with labour, should indeed be procured them. These, it is convenient they should have, not for variety but exercise; but these too should be given them as bare as might be. If they had a top, the scourge-stick and leather-strap should be left to their own making and fitting. If they sit gaping to have such things drop into their mouths, they should go without them. This will accustom them to seek for what they want, in themselves and in their own endeavours; whereby they will be taught moderation in their desires, application, industry, thought, contrivance, and good husbandry; qualities that will be useful to them when they are men, and therefore cannot be learned too soon, nor fixed too deep. All the plays and diversions of children should be directed towards good and useful habits, or else they will introduce ill ones. Whatever they do, leaves some impression on that tender age, and from thence they receive a tendency to good or evil: and whatever hath such an influence, ought not to be neglected.
"如果不给他们买玩具，他们怎么得到你允许他们的玩具呢？" 我的答复是，他们应该自己做，或者至少竭力去自己试着做；在此之前他们不该有任何玩具，在此之前他们不能有任何很精致的东西。一个光滑的卵石、一张纸、妈妈的一串钥匙、或者任何不会伤害他们自己的东西，都可以让小孩子玩得开心，不亚于从商店买来的花钱的、新奇的玩具，那些不久就会过时与损坏的。小孩若不是习惯玩玩具，他们从来不会因为缺少玩具而感到乏味与不高兴的；当他们小的时候，他们玩什么都可以；当他们长大后，假如不是别人愚蠢地花钱给他们买玩具，他们就会自己去做。实际上，一旦他们自己设法去制作他们的创造发明，就应该教导和帮助他们；但是如果他们自己不动手，只是懒散地呆坐不动，期望别人提供给他们，他们就应该什么也得不到。而且如果你在他们遇到困难时帮助他们，这比你给他们买任何花钱的玩具更让他们感到亲近。他们不能做的玩具，例如陀螺、小鱼叉 、网拍，以及类似要耗费劳力的东西，确实该给他们买。这些他们为实用而应该拥有的东西，不是为了新奇多变，而是为了运动；不过这些应该尽量少给他们。如果他们有了陀螺，抽陀螺的棍子与皮带应该让他们自己做和搭配。如果他们只想坐享其成，他们就不该得到这些。这可以让他们习惯去自己努力、自己寻找他们需要的东西；借此他们会学会适度的欲望、勤奋、努力、思考、创意与节俭；这些品质对他们长大成人的时候很有用，所以不嫌学得太快，也不嫌扎根太深。小孩所有的游戏和娱乐都应该以培养好的与有益的习惯，否则它们会使他们形成坏习惯。无论他们做什么，都会在幼年留下一些印象，由此他们会形成好或坏的倾向：凡是有如此影响的事情都不该忽视。
摘自Some Thoughts Concerning Education (English-Chinese Edition)(ISBN-10: 1537479857)