Before having a kid you probably imagined that your little one would have an abundance of toys in their room and that there’s nothing wrong with that. The more the merrier, right? It turns out you were wrong.
After consulting with a couple of child development experts on the matter, we can confirm that having fewer toys actually increases the chances of developing an interests in certain toys, among other things.
So rather than having a bunch of more or less the same toys, it’s actually recommended that you get them only a couple, all of which should be unique and different one from another.
Here’s why and how to do it according to child development experts.
If you’re new to parenting you’ll soon get the urge to heed to their cry almost instantaneously and satisfy their every need. Which is only reasonable. But that doesn’t mean that you should fill their room with toys and hope they’ll have a quality playtime by themselves.
The key to good parenting is to show them how to have a good time and let them grow their own interest for different types of toys. As child development expert Deborah MacNamara states: “good development requires patience and faith”. This implies that the right approach is actually to work with as little toys as possible. So how many toys should a child have?
Having only a couple of toys for your little one will do just fine, so don’t stress about it. In fact, it’s scientifically confirmed that they’ll have more quality play sessions with only a couple of toys. Wondering why? It is because this technique allows them to grow and progress by finding new ways to interact with their favorite toys. This way they’ll remember that particular toy and show affection towards it every time you present it. Quality over quantity, right?
So not only that you’ll avoid overcrowding their personal space, but your little one will also progress much faster and before you know it they’ll have at least a couple of toys that are their all-time favorites. Babies already have much to explore, and as they start to see shapes and colors clearly they’ll interact with objects in their surrounding anyway. Having a bunch of toys around your baby at that period won’t really help them but do the opposite. It might even shorten their attention span, but that’s yet to be confirmed, although it’s only logical.
The important thing to remember is to have faith in your techniques and to be persistent. After a couple of tries you hard work and dedication will pay off. That is a fact. However, you have to pick the right time for your play sessions. So make sure that the baby is fed, had enough sleep and is in mood for recreation or playtime.
Another reason for keeping toy numbers to a minimum is that everything is new to them. So when the baby is young, she won’t really know the difference between a mundane object like a vase on your desk or any other decorational item and a toy.
Once you start showing them different-sized objects in your living room, or any other room for that matter, their interest for exploring the environment will grow. Being that they are depending on their parents to expand the exploration area, they will be quite happy with the idea of sightseeing different areas inside your home. For them it’s a whole new world as each section brings more interesting shapes, colors and sizes to focus on an possibly interact with. Be sure to talk them through this “sightseeing tour” throughout your home.
Even if your interior design gravitates toward minimalism, keep in mind that their imagination is far greater than that of an adult. So basically the entire interior of your home is their playground. This should resolve your questions and give you some comfort if you’re overthinking about how many toys should a kid have and what’s number of toys is considered as normal.
Another crucial thing to focus on is finding what their interest are, or to which type of toy they lean to. On the topic of how many toys do kids need, it’s important to mention that no matter how much you try to limit the number of toys you have for your child, you’ll always get new ones. Whether via gifts from friends or family or by your actions.
So it’s perfectly normal to change the toys that you have to keep the number to a minimum. For example, if you notice that the rattle-turtle toy isn’t particularly interesting to your toddler despite your efforts of reintroducing the same toy with a variety of approaches, it’s time to replace it with a different one. You never know what type of toy will catch their attention. So make sure to pay attention to these things. In time you’ll actually know which toys your little one might like instantaneously and which they’ll discard and label as boring. As you get to know your child better and as your bond strengthens these things will come in naturally. Great thing about is you’ll also save a lot of time and money while in shopping as you’ll know exactly where to look for their favorite toy.
Being a good parent is something that you build spontaneously, over time, by making mistakes and learning from them. You will have to try a variety of different approaches to entertain your child as some will prove more efficient than others.
It’s on you to decide which techniques to keep and which to discard. In any case, what’s important to remember is that all of the above mentioned tips will definitely help in parenting and understanding your child’s needs. So keep your focus on the right things, have faith in your techniques and be sure to have patience.