Fewer Toys = Happier Kids this Christmas

Blog inspired by “It’s true! Giving your kids fewer toys at Christmas makes them happier” by Anne-Marie Gambelin

With the festive season upon us, I have heard many parents in the Thrive studios talking about Holiday gifts for their little ones. The trends, fads, must-haves and “hot” toys change every year but the pressure on parents remains the same.

After all, we just want our children to be happy and to see those eyes lights up with delight on a Hanukkah evening or on Christmas day.

You will be relieved to know that buying your child more STUFF might not be the answer to a happier household.

In Anne-Marie Gambelin’s blog post on Motherly she dives deep into the scientific research that supports the fact that fewer toys means happier kids.

The most revealing evidence I found from the studies highlighted:

“An abundance of toys reduced the quality of toddlers’ play, and that fewer toys will actually benefit children in the long-term.” - Research by the University of Toledo, Ohio.

At Thrive, we actively encourage early childhood development through quality play as we believe that play-based learning prepares children for academic success once they start school. As a parent and educator it is refreshing to know that the solution is not more stuff to encourage learning, but fewer distractions and greater engagement through experiences.

It is also helpful to note that, “children who expect many and expensive gifts can suffer negative social and emotional ramifications that extend well beyond their childhood. As adults these children are more prone to credit-card debt, gambling and compulsive shopping, feeding an insatiable hunger for more, predisposing them to addictive behaviors.” - A study from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

So, what if your child was given the freedom to play through their day without tons of toys?

I think you would find that their creativity and social play would soar and their concentration would even improve.

I find it both fascinating and reassuring that children with fewer toys have greater attention spans, take greater care of their possessions and spend more of their time creating.

As a parent, your fully devoted time, attention, and engagement with your children will far surpass any toy or screen time in terms of nurturing their social and emotional development.

So, instead of buying lots of toys this Christmas, what could you do instead?

“Happiness is derived from experiences, not things.”

Psychology Professor Thomas Gilovich

How about gifting your children with experiences rather than stuff? After all memories last a lifetime and also don’t clutter your home with toys which may be ignored by the New Year.

I would love to know what experiences you will be gifting to your children and loved ones this holiday season. Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Stuck for gift ideas? Why not purchase a Thrive Arts Gift Certificate. You can immerse your little one or special friend in the world of the arts in 2019 as they can explore Kindermusik, Dance classes, Music lessons and Art Classes. Click below to purchase a gift certificate:

“The thrill of a new toy doesn’t last, but the joy of experiences can last a lifetime. Fewer, better gifts is better giving - but time is the best gift of all, and best given to those who mean the most to us.” - Anne-Marie Gambelin