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Too Many Toys are Just Not Good for Toddlers

Updated: Jan 5, 2019

I remember when I was a kid, there was a year I received a dozen (or more) Christmas presents . On boxing day I excitedly open my first present, "checked" it out for five minutes, then I went and open the next one.

The curiosity of the other wrapped presents are much bigger than the usual play. By the end of the day I end up opening eight presents.

It was like a mission - I must play with all the presents I opened. I rush through and play each of them until the final one. Even though this event happened twenty odd years ago (or thirty), I still remember vividly because it was such a tiring day!

There were definitely fun and excitement unwrapping (tearing the gift papers), and so happy to receive so many toys all at once, but at the end of the day (or next day) you feel this big hallow. Maybe it is just me.

In the journal, The influence of the number of toys in the environment on toddlers’ play, lead author Dr Carly Dauch and team did a study where toddlers engaged in supervised, individual free play sessions under two conditions: Four Toys and Sixteen Toys.

With fewer toys, toddlers had fewer incidences of toy play, longer durations of toy play, and played with toys in a greater variety of ways. This suggests that when provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively.

So what can we do as parents? We should pack away most of the toys and just rotate a small number regularly to encourage our toddlers to become more creative.


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