Thursday, June 7, 2012

Toys: Too Much of a Good Thing

There's a trap for us parents out there.  It's called marketing.  Everyone tells us that our kids need this...our kids want that.  But do they need and want all of it?

As a parent, I fell into the trap.  My kids often got something most of the times we went to town.  I always justified it with a..well it was just 25 cents at the garage sale...and let's be honest, I used toy purchases as a bribery method at times.

The mound of toys became overwhelming.

It retrospect, that pile of toys was not just overwhelming for me, I think it was overwhelming for the kids too.

I am a avid quilter.  I have fabric and patterns.  I have a room and cupboards for all my goodies.  I can keep it all fairly organized but it can all overwhelm me sometimes.

I have a junk drawer that has no organization it overwhelms me ALL the time.  I can NEVER find anything in it...the same goes for my utensil drawer in the kitchen.

Who ever said too much of a good thing is not a good thing was completely right.  Truthfully speaking, I will never make all the crafts and projects that I have patterns for.  I will probably never used some of the utensils in that drawer and goodness knows I'll never find the AAA battery in the junk drawer and if I won't have any power left.

Sometimes the excess just weighs me down.  There are so many projects there to make that often I don't make any because I can't choose which one to make.  Sometimes I just start a different project because I don't want to go in and find all the needed items.

I am guessing that kids feel the same way.  Is it all too much for them?  Are they overwhelmed with too many choices?  Do they sometimes just forego playing because it's a pain to find all the pieces needed for the game?

I know lots of family disagreements that happened at our home happened in relationship to toys.  They weren't picked up...they weren't in the right place...they weren't taking care of them...I can see now that I should have just bought fewer toys regardless of if they were only 25 cents.

More importantly than all of that...The excess of toys limits their imagination.

My farmer husband who grew up the only boy with 5 sisters often tells stories about his toys as a kid.  He tells how he spent hours with a tricycle that had a broken pedal.  He would turn the tricycle around and push it through the mowed grass pretending it was a combine and that he was harvesting crops.  He says it was his favorite toy.

For me..the favorite thing that I grew up with was by far the pet dogs we had.  I played with them far more than I ever played with toys.

Think about it...Do you have an excess of toys?  Are toys overwhelming or entertaining your children?

1 comment:

  1. You are so right! I think our children have their creativity stifled because they don't have to imagine their tricycle is a combine - they have a toy combine sitting in the yard already. My children are grown now, but I have noticed that my daddy's generation of people tended to be more creative than my generation. Then my sons' generation is even less creative than mine. (I'm not speaking of individuals, but of the majority.) My daddy tells of living during the depression and playing with a stick. That stick could be almost anything he wanted it to be. I guess as a grandmother I've been stifling my own grandkids by giving them too much. Thank you so much for this post!