Toys as the Path to Healthy Social and Personal Development

I want to make my kids happy. I will spend afortune on overpriced dollhouses because I never got one, much as I longed for Barbie’s Dreamhouse. I’ll throw money at loud, shinytoysthat makesounds because I was one of the fortunate kids that owned a Furby. And nothing compares to my kids grinning ear to ear when they see a package with their name on it.

But even I’ll draw the line.Making my kids happy doesn’t require spending a lot of money on overpriced presents that will soon meet their fate as a pile of broken/missing/unidentifiable bits. There are times when Maxie doesn’t get her Monster High nail salon, and I won’t bat an eyelash. I’ll teach her the art of manicures when she’s older, but I remain the unflinching face of “nope” near the toy isle.

  1. My child is spoiled!
  • Pelting our children with everything they want is the road to Spoiledville, population Nobody-Wants-to-Sit-With-You.
  • Cry all you want, little girl, mommy’s ok with this. She’s ok, and equipped with Warcraft references to throw back at you.
  • I know everybody wants to be the kid with the expensive toys, but nobody really likes the kid with expensive toys. It’s Personal Identity Intro class, and you are about to major, kiddo. You’ll do great.
  1. My child still doesn’t know how to play!
  • No offense, fellow parent, but you might be casting pearls before swine. Not that your angel is any such thing, but do they even know how to operate that fancy toy? “Kids these days”, they’re digital natives all right, but maybe they should start out with something simpler at first?
  • Although they are amusing, pricey toys rarely do something didactic that a cheaper toy can’t do. Balance bikes? We never had them, and we can walk, and ever ride a bike up a cliff, so… remind me why they’re so haute?
  • Educational toys are an excellent thing that hasn’t changed that much since our days. LEGO are still the best thing you can invest in. Bouncy balls are still a great way for your angel to learn social skills in the park. And say what you will about old toys, but my mother’s set of wooden blocks was a favorite of hers, mine, my brother’s, my dog’s, and both my kids’. I even got them an “extension pack” of Good To Play wooden puzzles that have enjoyed a longer lifespan than anything else they’ve ever owned.

  1. My child destroys expensive toys all the time!
  • What we need to understand is that all children go through a destructive phase. It was nightmarish to observe at first, but I don’t know… looking back, hello little Pollack.
  • You will know your child is in a destructive phase, it will come crashing. Often literally. And then you get rid of anything really high-tech and pricey, and bring out the indestructible wooden blocks and destructible but irrelevant paper and crayons. Time to lock up the only physical Encyclopedia set you have!
  1. The toy makes frustrating noises!
  • I hear you. If you just bought a toy machinegun that LEDs up the place and screams “FIRE, FIRE”, you are not alone, and this too shall pass.
  • Battery-operated toys that produce sounds overstimulate children.
  • Don’t be surprised to see your kid running through the house and playing this frustrating sound over and over again!
  • Until you take out those batteries and they cry it out for a day or two, and learn that the toy works just fine in the “off” setting.

  1. I need to buy an entire collection!
  • 1st rule of shopping- Never Buy Toys That Are a Part of an Entire Set.
  • If you think it’s a really good toy and it is totally worth it, start thinking of how nasty capitalism is. Go angsty against the government. Against franchises. Think of every blockbuster that was ruined by excessive special effects. That’s right. Keep up the good fight, and don’t let the franchises get you!
  • And if you do complete a collection, your child will be bored with it and ask for some other collection, and this will happen, it is a fact.
  1. It requires assembly every time!
  • If there is no playroom in your home, you should never go for huge toys that require assembly every time your child wants to play.
  • Such toys are usually very expensive and they come with “simple” instructions in tiny print, on 20 pages! NBD.
  • When you see a huge box, just remember that you will spend at least 3 hours trying to figure out how these miniature 100 parts are put together.
  • You do not have 3 hours to assemble toys. You are a busy responsible parent with many things to do.

After all, it seems that expensive presents aren’t always the best solution for our youngest ones. If you want to make them happy, just occupy their attention with creative projects. Yay Pinterest!

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