Commercializing Toys and Play

Hands-on play is essential to children's health and wellbeing. Play is the foundation of learning and creativity. It promotes critical thinking, self-regulation, and constructive problem solving by providing children with opportunities to explore, experiment, and to initiate rather than merely react. Children play to express their fantasies and feelings, to gain a sense of competence, and to make meaning of their experience.

Play comes naturally to children yet, as a society, we actually prevent them from playing. Children's play is undermined by media-saturated commercialized culture. The best-selling toys are often antithetical to creative play.

Did you know?

  • Children spend less time than ever in creative play.
  • Children play less creatively with toys based on media characters.
  • Toys like Lego and Play-Doh that once inspired creative play are now marketed primarily in kits, many designed in partnership with companies interested in selling other products.

Get more facts.