We are all guilty when it comes to buying our kids everything they need, including lots and lots of toys. Stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars, you name it. It all ends up in your shopping cart at one point and our heart melts every time we see those cute faces light up when you bring home a new toy. But do our little ones actually need that many toys?
According to the results of a recent study that was published in Infant Behavior and Development, the answer to that last question is “no they don’t” and we are going a little (or a lot) overboard with buying stuff for our kids. The average American family has about 250 different toys in their household. But results show that young kids are actually happier when they don’t have a whole toy store to choose from.
For the study, researchers observed two groups of children between the ages of 18 and 30 months. They provided one group with four toys and the other group received sixteen items. It turned out that the children who only received four toys were much more engaged for a longer period of time and even found multiple purposes to use their items.
The researchers think this is actually a great thing, because according to them “Deeper exploration may lead to increased imaginative play,” which is good for the development of your kid’s fine motor coördination and cognitive skills.
Now, we do not suggest that you throw all your kid’s toys out of the window until there are only four left. We suggest you find a place to store them and give your child only four items to play with at once. By rotating the toys, your child won’t get bored with them after just a few uses. Plus, your bank account won’t be emptied out by all the visits to the toy store. But hey… we also understand the urge to spoil your little nugget all too well!
How many toys do your kids have?