less is more toys

Why Less is More When it Comes to Toys

Why Less is More When it Comes to Toys

As a child, I remember having a variety of toys, ranging from just about anything. However, only a few held my attention. This is true for so many children, thus the concept of “less is more” is  absolutely essential when considering what a child needs for play. ToyVentive is a great example of how toys can be incredibly simple and concise without overwhelming a child.  

As parents are raising their children, they often look at themselves and think how many toys are truly too many when it comes to their child. Today, the average American child has as many as 200 toys at any given time, an absurd number when looking at how many toys children are  actually capable of playing with on any given day. They have found that children actually only tend to play with 5% of those toys! A staggering comparison when viewing the amount of money and time that goes into purchasing these toys. Instead, a study evaluated how many toys is actually appropriate for a child to be fully amused and enjoyed, the researchers found that kids far more enjoyed just four toys. 

Four toys.  

200 versus four toys is a MASSIVE difference. Therefore, this scientific study is proof of how  children don’t need a million different toys in order to enjoy play time. Instead, just a few simple toys that children enjoy is enough for them to have well-rounded, enjoyed play.  

Why are less toys more? 

Overall, there are a variety of reasons why less toys are more. However, the most important reason is that less toys promotes creativity in your kiddo’s life. If your child has only a few toys versus a plethora, it helps them be far more creative with what they have. It’s the same way when adults have fewer options, it is easier to decide. 

The very same is true for our children. When kids have less choices in their toys, it helps them build a more creative reality around what they have. Further, less toys allows a child to have a better understanding of the world around  them and can also give them a much better sense of appreciation for what they do have. All in all, less toys absolutely benefits your child.  

negative effects of toys

Is it better to have less toys? 

Now, I’m sure many parents are asking is it really better to have less toys? Are you sure I shouldn’t get my child the latest and greatest toy? 

The short answer: no! 

Kids have been shown to thrive in an environment with less toys. As we talked about earlier, a scientific study literally proved that kids were just as content with having four toys. It teaches the child, again, about  creativity and helps them understand that less truly is more. 

In addition, it also teaches children how to focus on one thing for a long period of time. Instead of being constantly overwhelmed by the choices around them, they are able to focus on just their single toy and enjoy playtime with it. 

Are children happier with less toys? 

Kids may be happy when they get the new toy they love; however, the creativity they have to do in order to come up with a new way of playing when they only have a few toys  allows them to be even happier. Happiness is not necessarily, though, the reason for why less toys is a positive. Most children are happy regardless, even with a simple puzzle. 

A child is able to be amused by nearly anything if given the chance and room to enjoy it. Also, fewer toys have  proven to promote a less chaotic and calmer environment. This leads to happiness in both parents and children. Everyone is happy when their environment is pleasing, which is the result of not having a disorganized playroom filled with too many toys. This can be overwhelming and uncomfortable to anyone. Therefore, a better environment would include less toys which ultimately leads to much happier kids.  

Related: Declutter the Playroom with These Organizing Tips

Are too many toys bad and can it cause problems? 

“Too many toys syndrome” is a great term for looking at how too many toys can affect a child and their development. Too many toys can lead to children being overwhelmed and confused as to what they should play with. In addition, too many toys can also make our kids bored. They cannot focus on just one toy and, therefore, they really don’t focus on any toys. 

Several studies have found that when kids are presented with more toys they tend to not play as deeply with these toys and rarely interact with them in a creative, imaginative way. Ultimately, by giving your child too many toys it can lead to issues with a child’s play time as well as their creativity. By having multiple toys, children are having far less quality play time.  That means they are not as immersed in the experience as they should be. Playing is learning  for so many children and toys are their tools to do so. But it takes a specific set of tools for kids to truly thrive. Too many toys can prevent this! 

disadvantages of too many toys

Five Ways Less Toys Help Your Child 

1. Less Toys Build Creativity 

Less toys allows children to be far more creative with what they have. A dollhouse can become a hospital, a car can become a spaceship, and so much more. Children are incredibly adaptable and that is proven in how less toys can lead to far more. Imagination is able to run rampant when children have fewer options. By having less, kids are able to use a simple toy in hundreds of ways. Learn more about how to encourage pretend play or check out our guide to preschool creative play for more ideas! 

2. Less Toys Teach Them Manners 

By having less toys, children are able to have far greater manners and a greater appreciation for what they have. Even if their friends have all the newest and greatest toys, children can see that what they have is enough for them. 

Parents often feel the need to show their love and affection through gift-giving, but that simply isn’t needed! Just a few toys and quality time can make all the difference. This helps children understand that quality time and relationships are far greater than material things. This leads to greater manners in our children and a better understanding that being grateful, even if it is a toy as simple as a block cube, is a very positive thing.  

Related: How to Say “No” to Toy Gifts

3. Less Toys Prevent Overstimulation 

By only having a few toys, whether that’s one or five, it helps the child focus on one thing at a time. As we discussed earlier, overstimulation leads to a child playing with toys in a less quality way. Therefore, too many toys overwhelm children, and they simply can’t  make up their mind what they want to play with. This can lead to boredom and disinterest in what a child has. They are unable to engage with anything specific when they are surrounded  by options. Therefore, by having less toys it helps kids focus on a task at hand, such as their riveting puzzle or even building blocks they adore.

4. Less Toys Give Children What They Need NOT What They Want 

In the same way in which less toys helps a child understand gratitude and appreciation, it also contributes to helping children see what they need and not necessarily having what they want. It prevents children from having a bunch of toys they hardly use. By only having the essentials, kids are far more understanding that they don’t need a million different things. Instead, they just need a few to be truly happy. 

Ultimately, this teaches them a great life lesson of quality over quantity. Gifts always tend to be toys when it comes to children, but that’s why it is important to also encourage children to have experiences and not just toys. This is something that families can work on together in order to not create a chaotic environment that is filled with too many toys that do not get played with. Children need experience and creativity in order to thrive and too many toys can hinder this.  

5. Less Toys Leads to Different Play  

Finally, less toys also encourages children to participate in different play. For example, by not having so many toys, it could even encourage a child to participate in pretend play which provides a variety of benefits to a child. Kiddos are able to engage in a completely different way, allowing their creativity to flourish. Which, isn’t that the whole point of play? Kids are supposed to have fun and learn! 

Overall, less truly is more. ToyVentive’s toys focus on quality over quantity and that limiting toys helps kids feel less overwhelmed and far more creative! This in turn encourages more play which equates to more learning. Don’t get me wrong, toys are definitely fun for kids, however, it is important to remember what play is all about. Therefore, less truly is more when it comes to your child’s play.

how many toys does the average american child have

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