More toys do not equal more fun.

2008toyroomThis holiday season consider filling your time together with more activities instead of more things.

The whole holiday experience does not have to revolve around opening gifts and receiving more toys to clutter your children’s lives. Try making breakfast together Christmas morning or spending the morning making gifts for others. Watch a Christmas movie together or play a family game.

This article by Laurel Moglen explains that wonderfully. It suggests lowering your children’s expectations of gifts and raising their expectations of activity and time spent together.

Do more toys and gifts really create more happiness for your children?

Stand in the middle of a room overloaded with “stuff”. Take notice of how your body feels. I definitely do not feel relaxed and at peace. In fact, I feel overwhelmed and would much rather leave the room and go someplace else.

Now, picture a child in a room overloaded with toys. I often hear complaints from parents about how they buy their kids all of these toys and the kids don’t play with any of them. Or how the kids avoid the toy room all together and just follow the parents around everywhere crying for something to do.

So many times the solution is to buy more toys. Have you considered they may need less? I know, crazy thought right? WRONG! Just like I find a cluttered living room, kitchen or bedroom overwhelming, kids are leaving their toy rooms because they find them overwhelming and over stimulating. When I try to use those spaces or want to find something I need, it can become confusing and I’d rather not deal with it. I believe kids feel the same way about a packed toy room.

I have read an amazing book called “Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne. In some ways it may seem extreme but the basic message I received from it regarding toys is that less is more.

  • Get rid of all those broken toys you will never fix.
  • DONATE the toys that are no longer age appropriate and the toys that you have duplicates of.
    No one needs 500 crayons, 15 Barbies or 100 books.

Yes, I said books.
I know all of you parents (myself included) have often thought that you can never have too many books. But the same theory applies, less is more. Too many can be confusing and if you just can’t get rid of the books at least rotate them. Or just use that library card that has gotten lost in your wallet. An experience at the library can be just as enriching as having a house full of books that clutter your space.

Clear your children’s space, parents.
Teach them gratitude, instead of entitlement.
Teach them to love people, not stuff.

My point: Toys and gifts are not a bad thing. Ask yourself, “Do we really need more stuff?”

board game

By: Jessica Carter Gattorna at Get Organized with Jessica