My five-year-old has more toys than I had in my entire life but most of them sit in boxes untouched. The few that he does make time for–Lego and Star Wars–can keep him busy for hours if he’s trying to avoid bedtime, but to little to abate mid-day boredom.
The fact is, too many toys are taking away our children’s creativity. North American children account for roughly 5 percent of the world’s youth population, but purchase over 50 percent of the toys produced each year. Between Christmas, birthday parties, treats on other “special occasions,” the average North American child rakes in over 70 toys each year. Seventy!
The biggest problem with too many toys is that children become more focused on obtaining the latest possession than playing with what they have.
“Parents should try to keep it simple when it comes to toys,” says Nancy Carlsson-Paige, author of Taking Back Childhood. “Fewer toys is better; simpler is better.”
So what can parents do who already have more toys than their child can handle?
Photography Nicole Kirk