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Keep Kids Creative with Non-Toy Gifts

The holidays are here! That means it’s also time to make your gift list (and check it twice!). The holiday season can also mean dealing with toy overload. A study by the University of California found that U.S. children make up 3.1% of the world’s child population, but American kids actually receive and play with 40% of the toys produced throughout the world. That means the average American child has an overflowing toy box! This year, why not surprise kids with items that make lasting memories for the whole family—but won’t add more clutter to the playroom. Plus, we’ve found that having fewer toys has its benefits!

Research shows that kids with fewer toys are more likely to exercise their imagination. According to Psychology Today, a study on young children shared that “an abundance of toys may create such a distraction. With fewer toys present, [kids] engaged in longer epochs of play.” The study also found that longer playtime with a single toy can improve self-expression, fine motor coordination, and problem-solving. 

“Our studies show that giving children too many toys, or toys of the wrong types, can actually be doing them harm,” Claire Lerner, a childhood development researcher, told Motherly.com. “They get overwhelmed and cannot concentrate on any one thing long enough to learn from it.” 

Kids with fewer toys are also more likely to take better care of the toys they already own, said author Joshua Becker in his book Clutterfree with Kids. “A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there are countless options still remaining on the shelf behind them,” he wrote in his book.

So, what are the best types of gifts for kids? According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, forget flashy or fad toys. Instead, give them items that encourage new skillsets or spark more social interaction between children and their caregivers. It just so happens that Bravery does both! 

With each Bravery issue, kids and adults alike discover the stories of incredible women who changed the world. We created Bravery as a resource for our kids to learn by example in order to dream, do, and become their own kind of brave. Each beautifully designed, illustrated issue teaches individuality, inventiveness, kindness, and much, much more through STEAM-centered creative activities and DIYs

Exploring Bravery issues together with your kids can also create some fun quality time! After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Image by Amy Hashimoto