As a general rule, parents are suckers when it comes to buying toys for kids. Toy companies know this and use every method available to prey on parents. They tell you what toys to buy for each developmental stage of your child’s life. They tell you that their toys will help your child develop important skills, like stacking stuff, creating DaVinci level artwork, or defeating hoards of evil robot dinosaurs. Clearly I would never suggest that these skills are unimportant. However, parents should know that all of these skills and more, can be developed without any toys at all.
There are countless reasons why buying toys for your kids is stupid. I will only share a few of them, trust me though, there are more!
Kids don’t really want toys
How many times have you bought your kid a toy and they played with the box or the wrapping instead. Even when they played with the toy, the fun only lasted a few hours, maybe a few days at the most.
Kids like to play with things that are not toys
We have a playroom full of toys, yet my kids want to play with the plastic food containers, the remote control, daddy’s laptop, or the baskets that the toys are supposed to be stored in.
Nature provides free toys like sand, mud, stones, sticks, flowers, insects, and frogs. How could a toy be more fun than any of that?
There are also a lot of crappy toys
Usually, you don’t know how crappy a toy is until you’ve bought it, brought it home, and your kid has destroyed it while trying to figure out how it’s supposed to work. What’s the point?
Kids prefer office supplies to toys
Really, office supplies are just toys for grownups. Kids are happy drawing, cutting, punching holes, stapling, and taping stuff.
Toys end up being a safety hazard
How many times have you nearly maimed yourself stepping on cars, lego, blocks, or squeaky dolls? Toys are just not safe to have in the house.
Never Enough Toys
I’m really not a fan of having a house full of toys, mostly because kids prefer non-toys whenever they can get away with it. However, after a few play dates with other families, I started to feel bad about the fact that my poor children had way fewer toys than all of the other children. Apparently my children are living in ‘toy’ poverty.
In order to address this neglect of my children’s play needs, I assessed our toy selection to determine exactly what type of toys we might need to purchase. I realized, to my horror, that my daughter only had 1 doll. What if my son wants to play with a doll? What if we have another child in our home that also wants to play with a doll? What if the doll needs another doll to play with?
To make matters worse, my daughter’s doll wasn’t even really her doll. It was mine. She was using my childhood cabbage patch kid. Sure, I don’t really need it anymore, but doesn’t my little princess deserve a doll of her own? Dare I mention that the doll didn’t even have any extra clothes?
So I went on a thrift store shopping spree and came home with 3 more dolls, a doll bassinet, and a handful of doll clothes. Now both my children can play with dolls and they can have friends over to play with dolls too. Enough dolls for everybody, right?
Not so. They still only want to play with the doll that the other one has. The moral of this story, it doesn’t matter how many toys you have, your children will all want to play with the same toy at the same time! What a waste of 10 bucks and an hour of my precious time.
Seriously folks, save your money. Forget the toys.