According to the article "Too Many Toys are Bad for Children," written in 2017 by Sarah Knapton, science editor of The Telegraph, the average child in Briton has 328 toys but only plays with 12 of them. This statistic reveals that kids use less than 4% of their toys and suggests that we are not wisely investing in our children.
Furthermore, research done at the University of Toledo confirms that too many toys for kids can damage their potential and lead to decreased focus and less imagination.
I have many remarkable young people in my life and have given cheap disposable gifts. It's hard not to because I love gifting, and we live far away, so spending time together (especially in a pandemic) is difficult. However, when I really think about my values, this is not aligned with building focus, encouraging imagination, nurturing inherent gifts, and fostering meaningful relationships.
There are many ways we can invest in children to encourage higher levels of development and foster our values. When I was a toddler, one of my relatives purchased stock in his company for me. Twenty years later, when I was ready to play on a high-quality violin, this investment had continuously grown in value over the years and was waiting for me to be used on something that has now been used and appreciated almost daily for over two decades. Had my relative used that money on a toy, I would have no recollection of the toy today, no resources to purchase a fine instrument and pursue my violin performance degrees, and nothing to pass along to the next generation in my family.
As I search for a way to close the gap between my values and actions with the gifts I give to the children in my life, I wanted to share these thoughts to confirm what many of you already know - fewer toys are better for children. I hope this spurs a conversation on using our resources to best support the amazing young people in our lives.
Below is a short list of ways to do this:
1- Tickets to live performances.
2- Pay for a month of their violin tuition, or sponsor a youth to attend a summer music institute.
3- Buy a new violin case (or music stand, shoulder rest, etc. There are some super creative rosins available for reasonable prices and will make great gifts).
4- Make a practicing counter (click HERE to learn more).
5- Purchase toys that can be used for generations (like wood blocks).
Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!