Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Toys?
Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock
Today’s kids have more toys than any generation before them. While yesterday’s children could be entertained by something as simple as a bag of marbles, many kids today have closets overflowing with forgotten board games and neglected action figures and yet continue to ask for more. If you’re tired of the clutter, the arguments and the constant declarations of, “I’m bored!” then you might want to think about minimizing your family’s toy collection. Here are some benefits that come with paring down your playthings and some tips to get started.
Alexey Losevich / Shutterstock
The most obvious advantage to cutting back on toys is a tidier house. Just imagine — no more tripping on Tonka trucks or stepping on those nasty little Legos hidden in the carpet. Try keeping the toys you do have in a designated spot like a basket or a shelf and encourage your children to put them back when they’re finished. Getting your kids to clean up after themselves is generally a battle but at least having fewer toys to tidy will make the job a little easier.
Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock
It’s been shown that kids with fewer toys are more inclined to turn to creative pastimes like drawing, music, reading or pretending. Replacing some of your child’s Barbies with books or their cars with cardboard boxes will encourage them to use their imagination rather than just passively play. Start viewing toys not just as entertainment but as tools that will help develop their minds and skillsets — something a Buzz Lightyear action figure probably can’t do quite as well.
Photohota / Shutterstock
Longer Attention Spans
When children have too many options, they often get overwhelmed and will flit from one activity to another. So it’s not surprising when they demand more toys because their old ones are “boring.” A child with fewer options to choose from will learn to appreciate the things they have rather than just thinking about what they want next. Of course, kids are always going to want more toys so a good solution is to hide away some of their current toys and rotate them once a month or so. Babies love being presented with “new” toys and older kids will enjoy getting reacquainted with their old familiar favorites.
bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock
Tired of breaking up fights between siblings or friends that started over a toy? You’d think that having more to go around would result in fewer arguments, but children, particularly siblings, are territorial and every new toy is an opportunity to establish what’s “theirs.” Cutting back on toys can help teach your child about sharing and socializing and encourage them to collaborate with their friends and siblings. Take it one step further and ask your child to pick out some toys they’d like to donate to less fortunate children for a valuable lesson about compassion and charity.