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How Many Toys Do Kids Really Need?

Fewer toys will develop your children's creativity

Dozens of rubber duck toys
With the abundance and easy access to countless toys, parents often ask
themselves, how many toys do kids really need?

Most children have too many toys nowadays. The offer is ever-growing, just like the wishes of children. The holiday season is coming and older kids are already making their wish list for Santa, parents, grandparents, and relatives. Usually, at this time of the year, parents ask themselves: How many toys do kids really need?

Children need to play

This is not something new. Playing is essential for their development. Through play, they learn more than we can ever imagine. But, sometimes, we tend to overestimate the importance of toys. As a matter of fact, play is often confused with toys. While the former is necessary and natural, the latter is imposed by society. Of course, we are not trying to say that children do not need toys, but most kids have way too many of them nowadays.

Kids will always find something to play with. It is in their nature. Put them in a room full of toys, they will play. Put them in a room with a few random objects and they will figure out the ways to entertain themselves. Those objects do not necessarily have to be toys.

Fewer toys, more joy!

Some research shows that the more toys children have, the less satisfied they are. In rich societies where almost anything is available, people tend to spoil their kids with presents thinking that it's the best way to express their love. They are often not aware of the mistake they make. Such parents aren't doing their kids any favors since they're not teaching them the right values.

Having too many toys at an early age can become a problem later in life

Kids who have too many toys can even have a problem with addiction when they grow up. Everything is accessible to them at an early age, so they do not have contact with reality. Plus, they learn that their wants have to be satisfied right away, which can be a huge problem when they grow up. Such kids usually don't see the difference between their wants and their actual needs. And, the parents are the ones to be blamed for that.

A child holding a box in a toy shop, a parent standing next to him probably wondering –
Children do not know the difference between their wants and needs,
which is where you as a parent step in to decide properly.

How many toys do kids really need?

Kids who have fewer toys usually turn out to be the most creative ones. Too many toys mean that everything is served to you, and all you have to do is consume. Fewer options mean that you have to be creative and find ways to entertain yourself.

There are ways to teach your children that they do not need to have so many toys

If your kids are already used to having more than what they actually need, this might be a difficult battle. But, you shouldn't give up without a fight.

Teach your children the importance of sharing

Families with more than one child often face the issue of their kids not wanting to share their toys. Try to make them understand that instead of everybody having their own toys it is better to share. Their games will become more interesting and they will learn some precious skills by interacting with each other. Through sharing their toys, children learn to be selfless.

Give them alternatives

Children do not play outside the way they used to. Sometimes, parents even have to come up with ways to get them outside. Nature is important for the physical and emotional health of your child. It is not always easy to find time to go out and play with your child, but you should do that whenever you can. Such quality time spent with them is worth more than any toy money can buy.

A girl and a boy holding hands, running outside, with a plush toy
How many toys do kids really need? – None, if they like to play outside.

Introduce the joy of donating

Children are often unaware of how much they are blessed for having families that love them and are able to provide for everything that they would like to have. Talk to your children and let them know about their less fortunate peers. Teach them empathy and compassion. There is no better way to do so than through your own example. Decide what you are ready to donate and tell your child to do the same. Let them know that by doing that they will make another child happier. Make this activity your family tradition, kids like such things.

Declutter your child's playroom on a regular basis

Organizing your kid's toys might be a daunting task, but a really necessary one. Whenever you clean or declutter your child's room, insist on them helping you. That's how they will realize just how many toys they have and that maintaining them takes some serious time. Here are some decluttering tips to follow:

• Throw away everything that is broken or damaged;

Donate the toys that your child is not playing with anymore; whenever in doubt, ask yourself - How many toys do kids really need? and remember those who cannot afford a part of what your child has.

Find some safe space for items you don't need in your house at the moment; for instance, if your older child has outgrown some toys that your younger one is still too young to inherit, store them properly and don't worry.

Make smarter choices when buying toys

With holidays just around the corner, you need to make smarter choices and resist the urge to buy all the latest models of popular toys. Manufacturers want us to think that their toys will make our children smarter and help them develop certain skills, but this is often far from the truth. They insist on showing you numerous features that their toys have. Instead of being impressed by what the toy can do, you should focus on what your child can do with it! Open-ended toys such as blocks will foster their imagination and entertain them longer than any robot with multiple functions.

A girl playing with blocks
When your child has fewer toys, or uses open-ended toys, it's great for
developing their creativity and smart. This gives them real joy.

Conclusion - how many toys do kids really need?

So, whenever you ask yourself 'how many toys do kids really need?', think about what you are trying to achieve with your children. Do you want them to become simple consumers? Then the answer is - as many as possible. Or, would you like them to be creative members of our society? If so, invest in time with your child rather than in toys.

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