“Mummy, where is my red tractor?” asked my 2 year old. I went dutifully to the toys room to fetch the toy that my little prince wished to play with. “No..not this one” said his highness after rejecting the tractor that I gave. Silly me.. He must be wanting the latest tractor that we bought recently. But only after multiple failed attempts I could pick the right one from under the huge pile of vehicles collection in the toys room, which left me pondering about the vast accumulation of toys in our household and how much is really too much.
Anybody with kids at home will be able to relate immediately to what I am talking about. Every time we step outside for a fun family outing, we bring a new toy back home which the kid will play / shower / sleep with for the next couple of days. There are many instances, when we have lost the current favourite toy leaving the baby teary eyed and completely lost without his companion. The whole day I would have to listen to “Mummy, find my toy” in a voice that will melt your heart. With luck, I might find those lost tiny toys in completely unexpected places like the fridge, shoe rack, Pooja room cupboards, my handbag, back yard, parking lot etc. But for the other unfortunate times, when I am not able to trace the missing toy, I have started keeping some back up replicas. May be I am just a paranoid mom pampering the child, but which mother wouldn’t at least till the kid starts going to school?
The mothers don’t want to deprive the child anything which makes him happy. What we have to accept here is that a child will take instant liking to only a few toys with which he will develop lifelong bond. These special toys are their comfort buddies which need to be taken care of with utmost care by the parents. The rest of the toys just come and go as the “Flavour of the season”. The technique that I have started using now is to keep the older toys inside the cupboard and bring them out after a few months to spark the novelty effect which seems to be working effectively. The delightful expression on the kid’s face makes me believe that he is indeed happy to see his long last buddy.
To conclude, I have realised that to keep a child content, we don’t need many toys. Only a few toys are needed to ignite his imagination, provide reassurance and comfort him at the hour of need. I have already started giving away toys for charity organisations and refrain from buying new toys for a while. Yes, now I have learnt that when it comes to children’s toys, the only mantra which will benefit them undeniably in the long run is “Less is More!!”
(Photo Courtesy – Internet)