December 20, 2019
I’m sharing this post because this is something near and dear to my heart. With the holiday season upon us, I’ve noticed a trend over the years of parents deciding not to get their Kiddos toys at Christmas. I wholeheartedly agree with not going overboard at Christmas. As a mom to 2 teenage boys the Christmas pile has shrunk as they've gotten older and their wishes have become more expensive. But when they were little ones, boy did my husband and I have fun shopping for new toys for them to open and play with on Christmas Day. I get our children do not need anything. But for the little kiddos out there, play is a really important part of their learning. I get I own a toy store and this might come across as self promoting. But over the past 8 years I have seen an incredible shift in toy buying. Play is becoming a thing of the past, at home and in schools. I truly believe iPhones, iPads, and electronics have played a pivotal role in the decline of real play. And I know these gadgets have become a big replacement for toys as gifts under the tree. There are tons of studies I could site and articles to post, but you all get it. So, while I am not suggesting you run out to buy a ton of toys. Please remember how important play is. And not the cheap toys they play with for 5 minutes, then ignore the rest of the year. Thoughtful, meaningful toys can be great gifts. Things like games that promote turn taking, losing, communications skills, collaboration and family togetherness. Puzzles that promote perception based learning and problem solving. Doll houses and farms and other figure based toys that can help with pretend play, social emotional growth, language skills. Even things like ninja lines, Ziplines, scooters and outdoor toys are really important. These help with resiliency, agility, leadership skills, group play and confidence. Kids have to try over and over again to master some of these outdoor toys so they can do it, not give up and even better, be outside! Less is more for sure, but toys have a place in learning and development at any age. I wish you all a happy holiday season and hope part of it includes play.