How Many Toys Are Too Many?

Is it just me, or do you also feel that your child has too many toys? It seems impossible to walk around my house without running into some kind of toy. I cannot help it but to feel guilty of having so many things for a one-year-old that can’t really understand what too much is.

I was talking with some other first-time-moms of one-year-olds and found that they are all in agreement: our children have too many toys. The funny thing is that even though all of us know that it is impossible for our babies to play with everything every week, we are all certain that we will continue to collect more toys until, well, they are adolescents or maybe until the go off for college.

I think that toy accumulation is unavoidable since toys have age groups to meet your child’s intellectual and recreational needs at every stage and also because there are toys for every season. I for one, returned the big gift that we had gotten our daughter for her first birthday thinking that what she received for that special occasion was more than enough to keep her engaged and happy for a while. But I also have to confess that I returned it thinking that we could use that money to buy her a sandbox or something for the summer months.

I wonder if it is this way around the world. I know that at least in Mexico, where we have enlisted into consumerism for decades now, my friends with children run into the same issue. We all feel guilty about the amount of things we get for our children, yet, we don’t do anything to change our insatiable behavior.

If I’m already overwhelmed with the belongings of a one-year-old, I cannot imagine how I am going to feel when I start buying things for the new addition to our family. It definitely makes me reflect and want to get more gender neutral toys and baby gear that both children can use and enjoy.

I’m afraid that if we continue to be active consumers of the baby-entertainment area, our children will grow to be spoiled kids that won’t know the meaning of the word satisfaction. I’m curious to hear what the parents of older children have to say about this toy accumulation disaster and the effects that has had in their children. I may be surprised and hear some positive reactions.

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One thought on “How Many Toys Are Too Many?

  1. I have recently begun purging many of our possessions – including but not limited to the kids’ books, toys, and gear. I have two kiddos, 1 and 3, and it’s amazing how fast things accumulate (especially with gifts from the grandparents). It never ceases to amaze me how kids can amuse and entertain themselves with the simplest things, and I say the fewer the better – get ’em outside instead! Fewer things to fight over, fewer things to trip over, fewer things to clean up and put away. Sometimes I put toys in the basement (when I bring them out later they’re “new” all over again) or swap with friends to try different things. Whenever we get rid of things, I make a point of telling my kids that we are blessed with many toys (etc.), and that we need to help out those that can’t afford them.

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