CHILDISH TENDENCIES: How old is too old to play with toys?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression that “you’re never too old to play with toys” might be a sentiment that some would argue.

Of course that phrase is viewed as quite ubiquitous in nature, and often refers more to adults who play with “toys” such as cars, boats, jet skis or anything else that gives the older demographic pleasure in lieu of working, paying bills or any other adult oriented practices.

But this question pertains more to children, specifically, as far as when it’s suitable to say long to Barbie Dolls, G.I. Joe, Batman and any other cartoon character or action figure laying around your kids’ bedroom.

This hotly contested and easily debatable topic is one that really comes with a myriad of answers, none better than the other. Polling a random sampling of parents, and you’ll probably come up with a decent age range,, usually somewhere between 13-15, where moms and dads starting noticing their kids moving away from toys in the traditional sense and find other sources of age appropriate activity.

Those activities typically find kids on the cusp of junior high or high school and usually involve after school endeavors such as sports, cheer leading, band, dance or gymnastics.

It’s around that time when Superman no longer is idolized and it’s about time to say goodbye to Hello Kitty. There’s no hard and fast rule, however, that says kids can’t continue collecting and playing with toys of that nature well into high school, but those cases are few and far between.

If “Toy Story 3” taught us anything it’s that you’ll always love your toys, but that’s not exactly something you want in your college dorm room (of course, sentimental sons and daughters might snag that one toy, just for the sake of not feeling a little home sick).

We all have our own “Woody” or “Buzz Light year” we simply can never part with, no matter how old we get.

And that sentimentality is certainly acceptable, as long as those same “Toy Story” bed sheets, pillow cases and drapes aren’t staples at your university or college of choice or find their way into your adult bedroom.

Video games are the one toy that blurs the lines in this discussion, since they’re not really something you play with as much as they are a form of entertainment, like television or movies. Arguing that video games need to be put away well into your teens, 20s, 30s or even 40s is a tough debate to conquer, given that this brand of “toy” knows no boundaries as far as age.

The genius marketing behind video games is its presentation doesn’t discriminate based on how old you are, and the subsequent technology is so incredible and practical that even a 40 year old person can suggest that their Playstation 4 purchase was solely for the interactive capabilities in conjunction with their television.

Whether that declaration is rooted in fact or fiction is up for discussion, but the idea of toying around with action figures and dolls at an advanced age deserves some sort of a ceiling on it. How high or low those boundaries are depends a lot on how quickly your kids mature, and whether cognizant parents put playing with toys in a permanent “time out” at the appropriate point.


  • February 18, 2014
  • Blog

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