Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Resources
Basic Information
Development During Early Childhood, Toddler, and Preschool Stages Parenting Your Todder, Preschooler, and Young ChildToilet TrainingDisciplining Your Toddler, Preschooler, and Young ChildNurturing Your Toddler, Preschooler, and Young Child
Latest News
Many Parents in the Dark on When Kids Should First See a DentistPreemies Get a Slow Start on FriendshipsNutrients in Child's First 1,000 Days Key for NeurodevelopmentHealth Tip: Succeed in Toilet TrainingFewer of America's Poor Kids Are Becoming ObeseHealth Tip: Health Tip: Prepare Your Child for the DentistHealth Tip: Protect Children from Playground HazardsThe Sooner Kids Learn to Eat Healthy, the BetterAsthma Worse for Overweight Preschoolers: StudyHealth Tip: Kids and Window BlindsHow to Avoid 'Toy Overload' This Holiday SeasonObesity Tied to Greater Asthma Impairment in PreschoolersChoosing Safe Toys for the HolidaysPut Safety on Your Toy Shopping ListThink Little Kids Are Safe From Food Ads? Think AgainWindow Blinds: A Silent Killer in Your HomeHealth Tip: Starting a Tooth Brushing Routine EarlyRisk of Persistent Opioid Use a Concern for Youth After SurgeryHealth Tip: Childproof Your HomeHealth Tip: Ease Your Child's Worry During VaccinationsMost U.S. Parents Can't Find Good Childcare: SurveyVaccination Coverage High for Children Aged 19 to 35 MonthsHealth Tip: Fluoride Recommended For Young ChildrenHealth Tip: Sled SaferKids, Don't Touch the Toys at the Doctor's OfficeMore Young Kids Spending Lots of Time on Phones, TabletsFarsighted Kids Have Trouble Paying AttentionWhen Should You Rush Your Toddler to the ER?Sesame Street's Muppets to Help Kids Cope With TraumaHealth Tip: Keep Kids Safe From Fire and Heat'Green Schoolyards' May Bring Better Health to KidsAAP: Sliding on Lap Linked to Leg Fracture for Young ChildrenJoining Your Kid on That Playground Slide? Think AgainParents Getting Better at Using Car Seats SafelyUSPSTF Recommends Amblyopia Screening for 3- to 5-Year-OldsCalming Those Back-to-School JittersHow Preschoolers Begin Learning the Rules of Reading, SpellingHealth Tip: Supervise Kids Near CarsAlarms Could Save Children From Being Left in Hot CarsHealth Tip: Help Kids Sleep BetterHealth Tip: Encouraging Your Kids to BrushMaking the Most of Childhood Wellness VisitsHealth Tip: Getting Toddlers to Try New FoodsHealth Tip: Are My Toddler's Eating Habits Normal?Health Tip: When Children Grind Their TeethCould You Raise a 'No-Diaper' Baby?Health Tip: Children and ThumbsuckingWhen Parents Focus on Smartphones, Kids' Misbehaving Can RiseHealth Tip: Inspect Your Child's PlaygroundToddlers Who Drink Cow's Milk Alternatives May Be Shorter
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

How to Avoid 'Toy Overload' This Holiday Season

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Dec 22nd 2017

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Santa's sleigh may be brimming with toys, but some experts say an excess of dolls, trucks and other playthings can overwhelm a child.

Instead of giving more toys this holiday season, think about giving children memory-creating experiences such as lessons or family outings, the experts suggest.

"Toy overload is real, and something we see every holiday season," said Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Just make sure you choose an experience that is truly for the child, rather than something for yourself that you think the child will enjoy, Klapow said in a university news release.

However, many kids have a hard time with the abstract nature of a destination gift, he noted.

"They can't see it, touch it, understand it. If you can include pictures, videos or some approximation of what they are going to experience, it will help drive the meaningfulness home," Klapow said.

For example, if you give a child a zoo membership, it could be accompanied by a plush toy of the child's favorite zoo animal.

"The effect, a feeling or the energy created during an experience, is often what stays with us over many years. For this reason, and many more, we are strongly encouraging families and friends to give an experience for the holidays, instead of an object or a toy," said Amy Miller, director of engagement at the university's performing arts centers.

Her advice? Base the gift on a child's interests. For example, an aspiring dancer may enjoy a community dance class while an avid reader may enjoy a creative writing class.

"You never know how one artistic moment may inspire someone, especially a child," Miller said. "Plus, a new creative outlet is beneficial to their general health and development."

Ideally, Klapow said, a mix of gifts might be best.

"A few smaller gifts (immediate reinforcement) and maybe one or two destination gifts that occur later will allow children to satisfy their developmentally appropriate desire for immediate gratification while still preventing toy overload," he said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers holiday health and safety tips.