Too many toys: Is that good?
Are you also occasionally faced with a dilemma in a toy shop or at a souvenir stand – whether to buy or not to buy? I think that all parents are familiar with this. Those shining eyes that long for a new toy are difficult to compete with. It is true that occasionally you need to give in and it is also true that you will make your child happy with a new toy for their birthday or Christmas, but it is true that too many toys is a bad rather than a good thing.
Psychologist Kamila Trávníčková, who tested our house, states that both extremes – whether too little or too many stimuli – may have a negative impact.
In this day and age, when it is easy to have access to a large selection of toys, parents can succumb to temptation and buy their child more toys than is appropriate. However, research has shown that children suddenly exposed to a greater number of toys play with them for a shorter time than children that have only a few toys to play with. Being swamped with toys can lead to worse concentration, less engagement in creativity and agitation. On the other hand, it is thought that a child with fewer stimuli around it can learn to filter those fewer important stimuli.
In children of pre-school age it seems more appropriate to me to give children fewer toys at once and leave the child to make the most of the toy. It also helps that the toys are clearly arranged and each toy has its own place,” describes the psychologist. She adds that clearly arranged toy elements in a toy can help the child (besides better concentration) to have the feeling of greater control over a game and have a greater desire to play with the toy.
INTERESTING FACT: A 2018 study published in the journal ‘Infant Behaviour and Development’ found that if children have access to fewer toys, they can concentrate on deeper and more creative play. The study found that children with 4 toys played for longer and showed greater creativity than children with 16 toys.
For us quality is more important than quantity. We support the approach that it is better to invest in one proper toy than to buy dozens of cheap toys which after a few days will end up under a bed or in some corner. This approach is environmental as well as educational – the child learns that it must not destroy the toy and naturally develops the feeling of valuing its things. Moreover, we come up with toys that are multifunctional, in other words even if it is still the same toy (such as a wooden house), it has sufficient stimuli which the child will acquire and gradually manage individual activities.