There comes a point for almost every parent when we look around our child’s messy playroom and think -- how and why are there so many toys?
Of course, we know how. Birthdays, festivals, surprises we thought our little ones would enjoy, toys they convinced us to get for them, and the endless gifts from friends and family. But do our children even play with all these toys.
Think about it, does your toddler play with a new toy each day or do they have one or two favorites that change every few months? Most children have a few toys they like and keep playing with. Many others simply prefer to play with things they find around the house!
Studies and child experts say that having lesser toys is better for children. When children have too many toys, it can be overwhelming or distracting for them. Ultimately, they expect to be amused by toys and stop engaging their own imagination and creativity to make playtime interesting.
In contrast, when the child has a few select open-ended toys, they are likely to come up with newer ways to play with the same toys every time. This helps them focus, actively participate in their play, and encourages creative and original thought.
It may be hard to narrow down a ‘perfect number’ of toys to have but there’s another way to approach buying toys. You can decide how often your child needs a new toy and look for toys accordingly. In this way, you will always have just the right amount of toys. But first, let’s look at what children actually need in toys and how it changes over time.