With the holidays in full swing, the pressure to buy more toys is full throttle for some families.
But researchers are now saying, when it comes to kids and playtime, parents should pay less attention to quantity of toys and more attention to quality of toys. Too many toys could be more hurtful than helpful - especially when looking at toddlers and their developmental skills.
A recent study out of “Infant Behavior and Development” found that the more toys your kids have, the more you’re actually reducing the quality of their playtime, interaction with others and overall focus on the toys themselves.
The University of Toledo came to this conclusion after observing a total of 36 toddlers split into two separate groups - one with a total of four toys during playtime, the other 16.
In the end, they determined the group with lesser toys demonstrated an overall sense of more creativity, connectivity and focus.
Tera McElligott, co-owner of Clayton’s Toy Store, said she agrees.
"Less in many ways can be more. When it comes to what’s actually beneficial for kids, especially given how high-tech some toys are today.”
“Kids are naturally creative and intuitive. Overwhelming them with too much at one time, in my opinion, compromises their natural abilities to explore and be curious,” McElligott expressed.
What if your kids already have a lot of toys to begin with, what then?
Experts encourage parents to try rotating toys at playtime, keep the experience fresh and stress-free for your kids.
Three to four toys at a time is all a child really needs at one time - plenty of learning can be hard.
And when it comes to choosing which toys to buy, McElligott says, “stick to the basics and the toys that have stood the test of time.”
Building toys, art supplies, books, anything that encourages your child to utilize their own capacities.
Another suggestion for the holidays, why not balance out new toys with new affordable experiences?