I’m going to come straight out and say it – our (western) kids have far too many toys.
Even families that I meet with financial struggles have too many toys in their homes.
Too many toys causes significant stresses to families and can have negative effects on children (or at least take away some opportunities for positive growth).
A lot of parents feel like they are robbing their kids of a fun and fulfilled childhood if they minimise their toys. They feel that giving toys shows they love them. This could not be further from the truth.
Minimising toys teaches kids how to improvise, to use their imagination, to be grateful for what they have, to spend their money wisely and intentionally, to not be so uncomfortable when unstimulated (or “bored”) and to be resourceful and content.
Some parents justify it by saying “But they play with them all”. This is a fair statement. I don’t argue with that as the parents always know their kids best and it’s likely to be true. Because after all, kids do play with toys.
But even if your kids lived in Toys’R'Us, eventually they’d play with all the toys – simply because they are there!
That doesn’t mean they NEED ALL the toys in order to be happy and healthy.
Your kids’ favourite plaything is you. And you are free and don’t take up much space. Next time you think about buying your kid something, instead give them a hug, tell them you love them and ask them what they’d like you to do with them for a bit of fun.