Think Outside the Toy Box

It’s Christmas day or maybe your child’s birthday or some other random holiday that grandparent’s use as an excuse to get your child a present. Regardless of how many times you asked them not to buy those toxic plastic toys made in China that play irritating “music” and quirky animal noises until you want to Van Gogh your ears, they still do and you have resigned yourself to it. Or perhaps, instead, you take out the batteries or maybe you take photos with your child holding them then hide the toy until grandma’s next visit or maybe you’ve got the chutzpah to write “Return to Sender” on the package, whatever. I digress. The toy is excitedly unwrapped by your child and when opened — it is a box! So, now your offspring, who has no concept of patience, claws and cries while you have to take the time to get the scissors to cut the tape to open the box to pull off the plastic covering to then, worst of all, untwist each of those annoying twist ties used to secure the toy to the box that you don’t need in the first place. Why, oh why, do we give children the toy in the box? Why not remove it from the box and give it to them fully assembled and ready to go instead of presenting them with just a picture of the toy they could be playing with if it were not inside a box? I know the answer, of course– so that you know it is new. First of all, I don’t care if it’s new. Second, my kid definitely doesn’t care if it’s new. This is some strange symptom of our consumer culture that makes adults feel like they need to impress each other with material goods. But at the child’s expense? I am suggesting we start a revolution. Let’s take the toys out of the boxes. Better yet, let’s leave the boxes at the store. Maybe if the toy stores have to deal with all that trash, they will complain to the toy companies to decrease it. Anyone else on board?

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