In Praise of Puffy Stickers

I have a post up at the Huffington Post today, rather dramatically entitled, Raise the Price of Toys. My point, really, is that because toys have become so cheap, relatively speaking, we parents are inclined to buy more of them. This in turn, makes us value them less, but it also makes children value their toys less. The average American child gets 70 new toys a year. We are teaching our children to churn through their playthings, toss them aside, stomp on them… In short, not only are we teaching them that their toys and possessions are not something to be valued, we’re also inadvertently stunting their creativity. Think about it: If a child gets only 10 new toys a year, he or she will find lots of new ways to play with them. Especially if they are good, open-ended toys that allow for creative, imaginative play. Thus: the fewer toys, the more resourcefulness. And the fewer wasted resources.

Oh, and also: Remember puffy stickers? They tie into all this.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of Puffy Stickers

  1. Meagan Francis

    I think this is a fantastic idea. In general, Americans are too used to getting “stuff” for too little, which just makes everything seem disposable. My first son was born when I was 20, and though my husband and I were poor, poor, poor, we somehow had enough to buy him oodles of junk that later took up an entire room in our basement collecting junk. It’s our demand for the artificially low price of toys (and other stuff) that I think can be attributed to lead and other toxic crap making its way in. Stuff isn’t MEANT to be disposable, and when we make it that way we send our kids a very damaging message.

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  2. A M

    Cynically, people also buy toys because it replaces the need for parent involvement and parent imagination. Blocks are one of the smallest sellers – electronics that occupy kids attention are the biggest. Toys can also be expression of love – nothing like the look on a child’s face when you give them a toy. There is also pressure on kids and parents to keep up with the Jones children. Expectations that kids will have certain toys from ipods. DS and electronic video games to playgrounds in their backyard. Well, Walmart at one point started selling toys cheaper than Toys R Us (they used to be a warehouse toy store) so Toys R Us decided to go more upscale. So capitalism, in its forms speaks — and people buy lots of toys, even if they cannot really afford them.

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