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Less Really is More By Kitty Robertson Morse , Heirloom Wooden Toys

January 13, 2011
KidKraft Carousel Sandbox available at Heirloom Wooden Toys

Give your kids the gift of time and space to explore.

Now that the holiday orgy of toys is over, maybe it’s time to step back and evaluate what the heck just happened.  For those of you with young children, the holiday season may carry with it a slight dread that I remember all too well knowing that my children would get presents from a multitude of relatives and friends.  It’s not that it wasn’t appreciated or fun to watch them open. I just recall looking at their rooms trying to imagine how I could fit even one more toy.  Inevitably, it would lead to the question ‘do they really need all these toys?’

Everybody knows Christmas is for kids and some of us can’t wait to run out to the toy store, but when I realized every Fall I cleaned out bags of toys to make room for the new ones it made it much harder to justify purchasing something that was going to be cycled out a year (or a month) later.   One word kept coming to mind, ‘excess’.  What was I teaching my kids?  How well do they take care of, or appreciate, toys when they know next birthday or Christmas they are going to get an entirely new batch?  I wanted my children to have the experience of pulling out a toy received years ago and still enjoy, perhaps even pass it along as an heirloom to their kids.

Excessive amounts of toys do little to foster the development of a kid’s imagination in much the same way too many activities leave little time for unstructured play.  Fewer toys allow a child to explore all a toy’s endless possibilities. The goal is to have quality open-ended toys which are only limited by a child’s imagination.  Toys with staying power aren’t necessarily the flashiest or newest, often they are the classics we enjoyed as kids, made from natural materials that become more beautiful over time.  Wooden blocks, cars and tea sets that have durability and value beyond a few months. Outlets for creativity such as multi-purpose art stands and easels that grow with your child, from the first finger-paintings to school-age drawings.  Classic dolls whose conversations are provided by your child’s own imaginings rather than a voice box. 

Maybe our parents had it right all along, quality versus quantity ultimately results in a more enriching environment for children.  It can be rewarding for parents too.  After all, you might be able to see the floor again and close the lid on the beautiful wooden toy chest you bought because, finally, all the toys fit!

If you are looking to buy a gift or toy for your child or grandchild, think of Heirloom Wooden Toys where we provide sustainable, safe wooden toys, games and furniture that will last for generations to come.  You can shop by Age, Price, Brand, or just browse hundreds of products for all kinds of kids.  Many of our products are Made in the USA so you can support businesses that are keeping jobs at home.  Looking for custom products?  We have a large selection of items that can be personalized or engraved with your name or message.  Free Shipping on orders over $99!  Contact Kitty Robertson Morse at kitty@heirloomwoodentoys.com or (866) 202-8073.

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