These days, most kids have a lot of toys. Too many toys. Why? Children and parents are constantly bombarded by clever advertisements and in addition, manufacturers promise educational benefits on nearly every toy in the market place. Well intentioned parents can easily succumb to these enticements and as a result, they continually add toys to the playroom shelves.
The number one problem we see in most playrooms is that there are too many toys. We see this all the time in the playrooms we design and organize. Some kids have piles and boxes of toys, many they never play with or only play with long enough to scatter across the playroom.
Parents buy their kids so many toys because they think it will make their children smarter, but often it causes more harm than good. Here’s why it’s important to have fewer toys in the playroom.
Fewer toys make kids more creative
Children are more creative when they can return to the same toys (no batteries) to make up scenarios. This is what we, as educators, call “pretend play”. In order for a child to “pretend play”, add a small bin of people, animals, and building materials to the playroom shelves and watch them create imaginative stories. A child’s ability to pretend play is sometimes a better indicator of academic success than an IQ test.
Fewer toys improve attention spans
When there are fewer toys in the playroom to play with, your child will focus more on the toys that are there and won’t be as easily distracted. If careful thought has been given to the amount and selection of toys, your child will spend a longer time playing with fewer toys. For example, add a play kitchen set, some pretend food and a small table to one area of the playroom. A creative child would be able to easily play in this area for a lengthy amount of time recreating their world or events that may have happened (playing family for example) or using the toys to create imaginative scenarios (like playing princesses or Star Wars).
Fewer toys teach children to take care of their possessions
When a child has too many toys, he doesn’t value them or the playroom much. Why should he care if one is damaged when there are so many to choose from and it will probably be replaced? By limiting the number of toys in the playroom, your child learns to value each one of them highly and respect it. Not only will be protect it, but he’ll put it away nicely and be more inclined to help maintain a peaceful and uncluttered play area.
Fewer toys help kids experience more outdoor play
Fewer toys in the playroom can also mean kids look to the outdoors for entertainment when the weather is nice. The playground offers as many educational opportunities as the classroom. Not only do they experience and explore nature, but they get plenty of sensory stimulation and physical activity. This is important in our day of instant media entertainment and easy access to TV and video games.
Fewer toys make organization simple
Moms and dads (and sitters and grandparents) love playrooms with fewer toys. Not only is there less mess to clean up, but it’s easier to find and locate toys. All toys should be placed in labeled bins or baskets in the playroom to help keep the materials organized. Cleaning up is also simple and children will help when they know where the toys belong.
Guest Blog by Karri Bowen-Poole, Founder of Smart Playrooms
Smart Playrooms designs, builds and organizes play areas for children. They combine sound educational philosophy with unique beautiful design. Smart Playrooms will bring the most effective classroom organization techniques and learning strategies into your home or business.
Stressing that less is more, they help moms focus on the toys that will add to the experience. Karri and Chris really like the idea of using their educational backgrounds and expertise to create custom designed playrooms. Plus, this gives them a niche in the market. Former teachers designing and organizing your playroom – what could be better!
For more information, please visit smartplayrooms.com.
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