Do you ever feel like your house is overrun with toys? Well, it probably is if you consider that the average American child receives 70 toys a year! So if your child is older than one or if you have multiple kids then that is a whole lot of toys we’re talking about!
Besides the fact that it can look like a mess and be hard to clean up, is this really so bad? Well … I think it can be. Why? I’m glad you asked (you did, right?!?)
- An overemphasis on toys makes play dependent on adults and the things they provide, limiting kid’s creativity.
- Too much stuff leads to too many choices, which can overwhelm kids and distract from the natural growth of childhood.
- When there’s an over-abundance of toys none have value so kids don’t learn to take care of their things and always want more.
- Parents can feel like a fast way to ‘connect’ is to give their kids something new, sending the message that happiness can be bought.
“Too much stuff leads to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds.” – Kim John Payne
While we’re led to believe that toys develop our child’s imagination and that they’re necessary for growth, kids use and grow their imaginations naturally given time and space to do so. A small, manageable quantity of toys invites deeper play and engagement.
With this less is more approach – you spend less money (because you don’t buy/replace toys), you spend less time (because cleanup is quicker) and your child is more creative. Win, win, win!