Contrary to popular belief, giving children an excessive amount of toys does not enhance their creativity. In fact, having too many toys can be a distraction and decrease their ability to focus for extended periods of time.
Beyond hindering concentration levels and creativity, playing with too many toys can also affect life skills, social interactions, imagination, and mental health. The question now becomes, “Should I continue giving my child toys? If so, how much or how little?” Keep reading to find the answer to these questions, and more.
What is considered “too many” toys?
Good question! In our fast-paced world today, children have way more than just a few toys. Having this over abundance usually causes children to want and demand more, leading to an overwhelming amount.
Researchers at the University of Toledo, Ohio reported that playing with too many toys actually curb the creativity in children. Reports like these led to policies such as the ‘no-toys policy’ for day centers (in 1992) to be implemented.
What are the setbacks to having too many children’s toys?
As mentioned before, too many toys can affect the development of a child whereas fewer toys can benefit them. Below are a few setbacks to having too many children’s toys:
- Having too many toys could lead to an unexplainable addiction.
- Having too many toys could lead to a depreciation of other things.
- Too many toys can lead to having a decrease in concentration levels.
- Playing with too many toys can also result in frequent boredom in children.
If having too many toys poses such a threat in children’s creativity… What are the positives to having fewer toys? Children with fewer toys tend to:
- Have better social capabilities as they grow up because they have more time to converse and communicate with friends and family.
- Take care of things better because they have less and so they realize the value of those toys.
have more interest in reading, writing, art and other constructive activities.
- Become more resourceful in doing things with whatever is at hand.
Alternatives to toys that can enhance children’s creativity.
Now that you know the drawbacks to a child having too many toys, let’s discuss some alternatives to toys that can actually enhance children’s creativity. Instead of creating a huge storage space in your child’s room and filling it with tons of toys, opt in for space management. Place a toy or two in one area and let that be enough.
Another idea is to give your child a commercial break. Typically when a child sees a toy advertised on TV, they want it. Behind that are also parents feeling obligated to get their child the latest, newest gadget. Instead of giving in to TV time, give your child more outside time and away from the television altogether.
When you do choose toys for your child, make sure they are developmentally appropriate and fueling some part of their growth. Toys like puzzles and blocks are a good example of toys that help the brain development in children.
Last but not least, break the trend and start a new one. Instead of giving in and buying all the toys the child asks for, replace it with more family time and activities. Get creative together. Incorporate activities like picnics, sports, theater, music, and art.
Limiting the amount of toys your child plays with will enhance their ability to be creative. They will have less distractions and work parts of their brain that is typically rewired due to being subconsciously taught to go-go-go. It may seem hard at first, but slowly begin to downsize the amount of toys and replace them with educational activities, toys, and books.