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Kid to Kid

Why Less is More : How reducing your child’s toy collection is a positive thing

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Toys, toys, toys! Now more than ever kids have a plethora of toys to choose from. But “toys are not merely playthings.” They are tools for molding children in their development. Toys “form the building blocks for our child’s future, teach our children about the world and about themselves.” Beyond that, they are a means of sending messages and communicating values. Therefore, it is important that parents think about how effective their children’s toys are and what foundation their toys are laying.  (Why Fewer Toys will Benefit Your Kids)

Many child psychologists support the idea that ‘less is more.’ Studies show that fewer toys will benefit children in the following ways: kids learn to be more creative, develop longer attention spans, establish better social skills, learn to take greater care of things, develop a greater love for reading, writing, and art, become more resourceful, argue less with each other, learn perseverance, become less selfish, experience more of nature, learn to find satisfaction outside of the toy store, and live in a cleaner, tidier home.

Objects of play must be simple and safe and allow a child’s’ imagination to flourish. The best toys to assist in healthy development are the ones that allow kids to “fill in the blanks.” Blocks, plain dolls, art sets, musical instruments, balls, household objects, things from nature, etc., allow the child to determine what that object is and how they want to interact with it. The child is empowered to define what the ‘toy’ is and how to play with it.
One main consideration to contemplate when bringing toys home is a toy’s “play value”. Liat James, author of ‘Raising Children’ states that play value is the most important aspect when it comes to toys. In an article from bbc.com, James breaks down the three factors that make a brilliant toy and how to decide what to keep, what to buy, and what to pass on:

  1. Social Value: play that teaches sharing, patience, and healthy social skills
  2. Versatility: toys that can “be” anything
  3. Durability: Long-lasting and safe

To help other parents in their journey of cutting back, share your experiences and ideas by commenting, liking, and sharing!

Topics to get you started:

What’s the most imaginative toy your child has made out of an everyday object? 

What toys do your children love and play with over and over again? 

What art supplies or musical instruments are the best to have in the home?

 

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