No. No no no. No, they are not.
I have learned from living with my children and watching other peoples' children (and I would lay money that scientific research backs this up); lots of toys overwhelm children both in play time and clean up time. They don't use the plethora of toys to play in new and exciting ways every day. Instead, they grow jaded and beg for new toys, which obliging, doting adults give them.
All we have to do is pack most of the toys away, unseen, and then rotate the toy selection every so often (every month? every week? whatever you have energy for). I have one shelf in the basement and one shelf in an upstairs closet dedicated to this.
|She's saying "burrrr" (bear)|
This post is coming from a recent toy upheaval at our house. Phoebe is developing rapidly (talking! crawling!) and her baby toys were too babyish. So I found little-kid toys in storage and started sorting them with her in mind, but my big kids fell on the toys with literal cries of joy.
I was astounded because I had put the stringing beads and Fisher Price toys away because they outgrew them. But no - just having the toys out of sight for a few years made the little-kid toys interesting, fresh, and absorbing for my big kids.
We do not have a kids' play room at our house - we have little stashes of baby toys in most rooms and that's it. The big kids have some toys in their bedroom and some in the playhouse outside. That's it. The rest are in storage and I have renewed determination to rotate toys to keep the fun fresh. Because I do not want to drown in toys because they're usually ugly, plastic, and a sign of over-consumption.
And besides toys, we also have lots of books and the raw materials like tape, paper, cardboard, stuff in the recycling bin, and let us not forget the entertainment of cooking up an edible mess in the kitchen or the almost-helpful mess of cleaning the front porch with the mop and hose or going to the park or playing with the bunny. You see what I mean? I have little tolerance for plastic objects made just for children's entertainment. I want to keep that stuff to a minimum. Your thoughts?