If you’re ready to clear out your kid’s toy chest Marie Kondo-style and banish all the blocks and stray Lego pieces that don’t spark joy to you, we feel your pain. Toy clutter is a constant battle for most parents, but a recent study may give us the push we need to downsize our kids’ toy collections.
According to the study, when children are in an environment with fewer toys, they actually have a happier, healthier playtime. Researchers tested toddlers for half an hour, one group with four toys and the other with 16, and found that the tots with fewer toys stayed actively engaged for a longer period of time. With fewer to choose from, they found new ways to use the same toy, which further develops their cognitive skills.
So basically, the more toys kids have, the less focused they will be. And when kids are young in those early developmental years, their attention spans are short enough already, we don’t need to make it worse by overloading them with dozens of things to play with.
But don’t feel bad if your kids room is packed with toys. Caregivers of these study participants said they had an average of at least 90 toys at home for their toddlers. At least now we can start pairing down without feeling guilty, we want our kids to be happier, after all.