It’s part of the natural maternal instinct, for sure! But there also usually comes a time in every mom’s life when we realize: this child has TOO MANY TOYS! Whether a family member has gone overboard or whether we’ve found one too many great deals we can’t pass up, there comes a time in every mom’s life when she realizes her kid owns more toys at two years old than she ever owned in her life—and that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
Well, I’ve got good news for you, Mamas. Science agrees with you that your kids has too many toys. And not only that, but a study done on Infant Behavior and Development proves they are also HAPPIER with fewer toys!
For real! Moms, you can totally save your hard-earned money for more practical needs! In a study of toddlers ages 18-30 months, scientists found that those placed in a room with just four toys played longer and more happily during a 30-minute time period than those placed in a room with sixteen toys. The study showed that the kiddos in the room with only four toys used their creativity to play with the same toy in multiple ways, which is great for brain development!
Researchers also said that the toddlers with fewer toys to choose from showed more genuine interest in each toy they played with. “This suggests that the other toys present may have created a source of external distraction, provoking the participants to abandon play with a toy at hand to explore another,” the study says. In other words: too many toys make a toddler’s short attention span even shorter! So giving your child fewer toy choices will also increase their aptitude for paying attention. Now that sounds like a win to me!
I don’t know about you, but I feel like this is a great reason to return to a simpler way of play for our kids, saving up money for educational outings like a trip to the zoo or to the children’s museum, rather than on gobs of toys. Of course a few great toys are important for a child’s development, though. I love “pretend” toys that relate to real life such as play kitchens, food sets, and tools to really get a toddler’s imagination growing.
No matter HOW many toys your kiddo has, remember that just having three or four to choose from at a time is a better way to play. Give it a try and see if it makes a difference in your baby’s playtime!