M.H. asks from Marquette, MI on April 14, 2010
Toys or No Toys?
My DH and I both read a book called Anastasia. He has now decided it is a bad idea to give children toys. It encourages materialism and consumerism and is unnecessary to the development of children. I disagreed with this point in the book. Too many toys is bad for imagination and all of the above, but children do need things to figure out and explore and aid in learning and imagination. Any thoughts on this subject?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
We had a discussion today and agreed that some toys would be ok. Toys that encourage imagination, outdoor play and motor skills (like legos), would be ok. We are going to restrict TV to cut back on the commercials and the I wants. We already have two bookshelves that are for kids books only. In our house books are not considered "toys" they are necessary. Same goes for craft and drawing. The disagreement came because my family has started buying action figures and electronics for the kids. Before I could communicate to my family restrictions, we needed to come to an agreement between the two of us and have rational reasons why. Thank you everyone for your help and support with this. I truly appreciate it.
D.W. answers from Gainesville on April 14, 2010
I really hope you are kidding! Of course you don't want a house over-flowing with toys but toys spark imagination, encourages creative thinking, fosters learning and most importantly are just plain fun. Those are all things that are essential to a child's growth and development. Not every toy and every experience needs to be solely based on learning. Yes, you need that and it's crucial but fun and play are just as crucial.
6 moms found this helpful
C.B. answers from Kansas City on April 14, 2010
i think it's your family and you have a right to do what you want. but i think it's unrealistic and cruel to expect your kids never to have toys - not because kids "must" have toys, but because there will always be "uncle joe" or "grandma mabel" who delights in giving the kids a little something. whether it's a holiday or just because they don't get to see them much...how would you handle that? take that away from the relatives by saying ahead of time, "sorry, don't get our kids toys, we don't approve." or by taking them away later once you've gotten home, and upsetting your kids? it's not "all" about commercialism and consumerism. sometimes it's just about love and joy. i would agree if you decided you don't want them to have the big commercial name brand toys, the buzz lightyears and the disney princesses...but i think anything in moderation is okay as long as it's not blown out of proportion. moderation is the key to everything in my opinion.
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B.C. answers from Norfolk on April 14, 2010
I don't give my son every crappy piece of plastic garbage that comes out as a toy, but we choose toys we feel he will enjoy and be stimulating for creative play. We do tend to go overboard on the Legos, but you couldn't look at his playroom and say he owns the contents of an entire toy store. If your DH is concerned about materialism and consumerism, he would do better to limit TV time. The constant commercials tend to encourage the 'give me, get me, buy me' attitude. There are certain catalogs/web sites I like for their creative well thought out toys. Here are a few:
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L.C. answers from Raleigh on April 14, 2010
ha.....one Christmas( before my husband and I were married) we watched his sister's kids open million toys and vowed that when we have kids they will have less than 10 toys (period) Well our kids are now 5 and 3 and they have "million" toys. Most of them were bought at the yard sales/ thrift stores/craigslist so I do not feel bad. WE have so many kids come over that they all get played with. I think it mainly my problem though whenever i see something fun I get it. Growing up in the communist country we had very little toys......I guess I did not play enough so I am catching up now:)
S.K. answers from Detroit on April 15, 2010
I think even the "commercial" Disney toys have value. My son loves Toy Story and has Buzz and Woody, and miniatures of other characters. It is so fun to play with him with these toys. He makes up all kinds of stories and we can really see his imagination in the play.
I would agree that you don't want to go overboard and get too many toys, but kids definitely need some toys.
Some of our favorites: kitchen set with pots, pans, utensils and some food; legos; lincoln logs; small stuffed animals and figurines; baby dolls; small cars; doll house; coloring books and crayons; books; playdough; finger paints; sidewalk chalk.
We have a boy and a girl and none of these toys is exclusive to just the boy or the girl. Our son loves to play with the doll house (of course his play is very different from our daughter's, which is where fights start when they play with it together).
Our kids love to read and we spend a lot of time every day reading with them. The only thing about legos and lincoln logs is the tons of small pieces; they end up all over the house!
Our kids currently have more toys that I would like (my parents, siblings, and friends buy a lot for them), but they don't get every toy they want and they do play with all of the ones they have. And the neat thing is they don't always play with the toys in the ways that you would think. Kids' imaginations are really fantastic.
J.W. answers from Saginaw on April 15, 2010
Unless you are willing to be the child's only entertainment, kids need toys of some kind. Most toys help children develop imagination, not hinder.
A.C. answers from Cincinnati on April 14, 2010
As a person who plays with kids for a living, I would say that toys are important to a degree. Play works on cognitive skills (e.g. problem solving), learn property of objects (e.g. by banging they learn what is hard/soft, size of objects, etc), social skills (e.g. turn taking, following game rules, sharing, etc), physical skills (e.g. fine motor skills such as manipulation, use of 2 hands together, etc), and many other skills. That being said many toys out there are horrible - they are cheap, junky, electronic and have no creativity challenges (used one way only). I LOVE the oldie but goodies (depending on the age of the child) - Lincoln Logs, Legos, classic board games, etc. For infants rattles/ manipulative toys (e.g. shape sorter, stacking cups, etc) are important for wrist rotation, hand skill development (isolating fingers, grasp patterns, etc).
So Yes toys are important BUT it is not important to get every toy. Compromise. My sister-in-law and husband went through the same conversation you are when the twins were born. Solution: On holidays books are the primary gift plus 1-2 special well made toys (from the parents NOT others).
L.A. answers from Detroit on April 15, 2010
Everything in moderation. Yes, children today have far too many toys than they know what to do with, but there are educational toys that aid in learning.