We have all hear this story or something similar to it. A pair of excited and well meaning parents buy some rather big or pricey gifts. The child in turn unwraps it and promptly spend hours playing with the box or the wrapping. They may have a moment or two of excitement over the gift itself. It doesn’t matter if they asked for the toy itself. In the end parents either become frustrated over how much money they have just invested in a box or try to laugh and shrug it off as one of those childhood things. Kids just can’t resist the wrap and box.
Most parents are mystified by this phenomenon, myself included. My best guess is that the toy doesn’t meet imagination expectations. It looks fun. It may be based on a favorite book or television character. It may be a much wanted vehicle. It seems perfect but limits the amount of imagination that can be invested in it. A box of plastic jewelry may be fit for a pretend queen or be a lost treasure, but because they are a set thing, it limits the rolls they can take in pretend and play. Rocks on the other hand can be much more. They can be a buried treasure, jewels (depending on color), or fossils. They could also be used to build, stack, and as a craft material.
Ads, Commercials, and Peer Pressure
Our kids think they want the high cost/ low imagination toys because they are told they want them. They are told by television commercials, ads, and by other children who watch the same ads. In small doses television can spark the imagination. Depending on the show it can encourage them to build new things or to find themes for their imagination time. Avoiding ads in television has never been easier. There are websites that don’t use ads or an ad blocker added to your computer.
Sock Up On Crafting Supplies
Save shipping and diaper boxes. Save egg cartons, oatmeal canisters, and milk cartons. I’m not saying that all your child’s toys need to be crafting or craft items, but reduce the amount of the commercial products your children use. This will not just save you money; it will also encourage your little ones to use their minds and be creative.
Spread The Word!
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