We come back from a holiday both my husband and I carry gifts for the children. We hear their giggles and slowly enter the kids room to surprise them. They leave their toys, scream in delight and rush towards us. We drop our gift bags and hug them tight. While they tell me their stories my man hands the respective gifts to the kids. With all excitement they start to guess what’s under the wrapper, and with all anxiousness tear the wrapper to reveal their possessions.
It’s a Lego, squeals Sparsh. While Anaya jumps with joy seeing her book key chain and scrap book. They youngest in the house little Avni starts exploring her airport book and begins to assemble her toy. They carry their new toys to show to everyone in the house while I stare at the ones scattered on the floor crying for attention.
After two days their favourite aunt and uncle visits us and gift them each with some more toys. This time I notice the mountain of toys and amongst that I see the toys we had bought for them. My heart sinks. I begin to ponder am I getting them more than what they need? Do they really play with toys? For often they are glued to the screens. Do they even have the time to clean up? 7 to 4 they are in school. When they cannot take responsibility of their toys I think it’s time that I stop buying them more.
As a matter of fact, every toy excites the child only for the initial week and later it lays unnoticed for months together. Decided this winter break I will ask them to revisit their old toys and analyse and understand if it carries any value to them now. If yes, they need to keep it properly else I will donate it to the needy.
You will all agree; more toys mean more mess. I will make them clean up their toys section and encourage them to maximise their happiness with minimum toys. To me, making a new friend or learning a new sport is far better than playing with a toy. One neighbourhood friend is worth more than a basement full of toys and a hike in the woods beats a new video game any day. We think buying toys is buying happiness to them, yes they feel happy, but for how long is what we need to understand.
Toys are good for babies and toddlers it helps in the development of sensory and motor skills, hand eye coordination and many others. But for kids aged 6 and 9 toys are becoming meaningless. They are so fascinated with gadgets and screens that they hardly play. Activity sets which involve creative thinking and engage the hands are well entertained but board games are becoming less popular. I don’t remember the last time they played monopoly or sat down to chase each other over the carom board. Even their all-time favourite Ludo and UNO must be lying somewhere piling dust.
Yesterday I asked both my kids what they wanted for Christmas ans apart from one robotic dog they did not anything else to ask for. We (my husband and I) agreed for this last buy and decided to gift them no toy gifts from then on. There are so many other things which can keep them busy like a day trip to a museum , a factory visit , a play date, a self cooked meal , gardening , making jellies , joining a club or even learning a life skill.
Its time they know and value what they have before claiming a new one. Please let me know your thoughts on the same. For I know more or less we all sail the same boat.
Happiness and sunshine 🙂
Disclaimer: This post is not intentional or meant to hurt anybody. It’s just a reflective.