His grandparents think he shouldn't read a book suitable for a three year old or play with cuddly soft toys (even though those are only associated with his love of Pokémon). His grandparent also don't like anything even slightly related to Pokémon. My son doesn't play enough as it is—too obsessed with computer games, videos, making stuff or writing (not that he writes sentences).

For me I am happy if he reads anything or plays with any toys, especially if he has fun. Is there any research to say you should get rid of younger child toys?

  • 5
    Seems like his grandparents are overreaching. There are perfectly functioning adults who still have soft toys on display, in the car or in bed. It is important to note that they are the grandparents, not the parents. Don't let them lay down the rules if they conflict with yours.
    – Mast
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 5:08
  • 1
    Writing and making stuff can be forms of play.
    – barbecue
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 19:51
  • Generally speaking, it's not that toys for smaller children are harmful, but it can be part of a situation where the child ends up avoiding experiences and challenges that are appropriate for their age, which in turn can have effects. So, to clarify: is there an element here of your child not partaking in activities, challenges, or playing with toys that are appropriate for their age? Or is this nothing more than a child that on occasion (not consistently) doesn't mind playing with a toy that's not within their age range?
    – Flater
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 12:37

2 Answers 2


Cuddly soft toys are most certainly age appropriate, and in fact most of the Pokémon plush toys are at least age 4+ if not higher. They're great for creative play, and are especially useful if there's nobody else to play with (as the plush can take the role of the other person - think Calvin and Hobbes). This kind of play is extremely valuable at this age (and continues to be valuable as they get older) as it lets them explore different things from their life and grow emotionally in a safe setting. It also helps develop empathy and social skills.

Books that are aimed at a younger child will not challenge him, but it's reasonable to separate "reading for fun" from "reading challenging books". My children, who are now pre-teens, still read picture books from time to time; they're both extremely high achieving readers (3+ grade levels ahead), so it hasn't stunted them meaningfully. Instead, it's a fun thing for them to do. They also read more challenging books, but that's separate from reading fun things that are nostalgic or just fun. They also may pick up more complicated concepts than they did as younger children - think about how rereading a book as an adult works; this won't apply to every picture book, but some are quite complex and have value for both younger and older children.

  • 12
    Ahem. Insert obligatory comment about adults and "graphic novels" 😁. Or adults that are still avid plush collectors.
    – Matthew
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 19:02
  • 3
    It's not only about more complicated concepts in the story itself. Any book can be examined at a meta-level to contemplate choices made by the author or illustrator, perception by the intended audience, layout and printing, etc.
    – nanoman
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 23:08

I mean I'm 24 and I still play with LEGOs, model trains, action figures, basketballs, water guns, water balloons and such, I could go on. Ridiculous? Maybe, but it's also what helps me kick back after long hours of working, studying what have you. Oh and I've still held on to a number of my old plushes as well (ok granted they're more room decor now) because they still have deep sentimental meanings. Your son is 7, not 37, he should absolutely partake in anything that's constructive for him and tell his grandparents to take a hike if they have such a problem with it. At least he isn't out skipping school or bullying other kids.

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