One day you’ll look around, and you’ll wonder where in the world all those toys came from! When you have babies and toddlers, the toys just seem to multiply. Especially if you have older kids, those hand-me-downs are no joke! But while we may want to get our toddlers every new toy that comes on the market, there’s something to be said for less is more. In fact, too many toys can actually affect your child’s development. A child development study explains why too many toys could be hindering your toddler.
Kids who have fewer toys tend to have a better quality of playtime, according to researchers at the University of Toledo.
For the study, researchers gave toddlers under 3 years old either four toys to play with, or 16 toys. They then recorded their playing habits. The kids who had access to fewer toys played with a single toy for longer. This allowed them to be more focused and they played more creatively.
Researchers concluded fewer toys actually promote development and healthy play behaviors. Which is why too many toys could be hindering your toddler.
But that doesn’t mean you have to go with a full-on toy ban! There’s nothing wrong with owning a lot of toys. After all, toddlers have the attention span of a gnat, and will tire of one toy after a while. But it’s a good idea to keep extra toys in storage or out of their line of sight. Then, you can regularly swap out the toys that they play with. It’ll be like Christmas all the time, with new toys a couple of times a month! Researchers say, “When there is an abundance of toys, small collections can be rotated into play while the majority is stored away, providing opportunities for novelty without creating the distraction posed by having too many toys available.”
It’s also a good idea to buy smart when it comes to toys. Refrain from buying every new little toy that comes out, Instead, opt for toys that will last well into the toddler years, and ones that promote creativity, development, and imagination.
(Image: iStock / santypan)