Do Our Kids Have Too Many Toys?

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Coming up to Christmas I had a number of conversations with other mums and dads about toys and the sheer number of toys are kids seen to have nowadays. Most of us seemed to recollect “back in OUR day” that we didn’t have boxes of toys and it also common that most of us didn’t have toys in our bedrooms.
In my case, as one of three girls from a family with not much money, most of our toys were shared toys and toys only ever appeared at Christmas or on one’s birthday.

This is in stark contrast to my own children’s toy “experience”. A trip to the shopping centre at any given time may yield another small car or train, book or a miniature My Little Pony.

But is this “excess” creating a generation of children that don’t appreciate toys and will this lead to more far reaching consequences?

As we lamented the “good old days” we decided the reason for this toy “excess” was the price of toys. When we were kids toys were expensive. A Barbie was at least $30 and a Cabbage Patch doll was about $70 if I remember correctly. Walk into any store now and toys and books are in comparison ridiculously cheap. By the time we know it, a lousy $5 or $10 here and there leads to an ever growing mountain of toys, most of which may go unplayed with for any length of time.

So what now? Well my action plan started today whilst shopping for a birthday gift for a friends child. I picked up a My Little Pony first reader book. I looked at the price…..$4….BARGAIN….”my daughter will love it, plus she will read it…”. STOP RIGHT THERE….. I put the book down. Thought about it again. She has plenty of books, some she still hasn’t opened, yes she would love it but hey does she really NEED it? No….so I walked away without the book.

So I saved $4, had one less item in the book collection and I feel happy with that. The next thing on the action list is a toy cull. All outdated toys will go. Those that are kept will go into storage containers and be rotated.

At the end of the day, I love my kids, and yes I want them to have the things I never had as a child but I think it is time to tame the toy “excess” of my children’s generation sooner rather than later!

Linda

Comments

  1. Love your blog, Linda! Our house is also overloaded with toys, so instead of buying more, we spend our ‘toy budget’ on fun things that we can do together – a trip to the movies, bowling, picnic treats for a trip to the park. Hopefully the memories will last longer than a piece of fad-plastic. 🙂

  2. good idea re the toy cull – maybe you can donate the outdated ones to a women’s shelter 🙂

    • niftylinda says:

      Yes Wendy they usually are donated to the local St Vincent de Paul or Salvation Army 😀

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