Does my child have too many toys?
From birthdays to Christmas and treats in between it’s so easy to go from minimalism to our lounges looking like a toy shop. As well as the environmental impact, did you know there has been research that looks at the negative effect having too many toys can have on children? Too many toys have been shown to overwhelm children which means that they face difficulty with decision-making. So what sort of toys should you buy for your children? How do you manage gifts from friends and families? And, what do you do if you find you have too many toys? We have got you covered in this blog and are going to answer all those questions!
What sort of toys are best for children?
The toys that are both best for child development and the environment are toys that are open-ended. What I mean by that, is toys that you can do more than one thing with. If we want our children's toys to last, it’s important that we make conscious decisions when we buy the toys and consider the quality as we want them built to last, as we know when it comes to our children’s toys it’s about quality rather than quantity. Take our Nesting Babies as an example- they can be used in small world or also known as pretend play, they can be used in the bath, you can put pasta inside to make instruments, used for pain printing… the list is endless. These ideas work for children of all ages, so if you get these for your children when they are a baby, they are going to be playing with them for years to come. This is great for the environment, and your pocket, and this will teach children to think creatively and take care of their things so that they last for years to come.
How do I stop friends and family from buying my children more things?
This is one of the trickiest parts of parenting to navigate. Everyone who loves your child wants to show that they care by buying lovely things for them, which is so generous, and lovely! But, realistically you can’t store everything and children won’t play with all these things either. I suggest keeping a list of present ideas throughout the year, so when it comes to Christmas and birthdays, you have some ideas ready for when people ask you. If you’re putting an item on your child’s list, look at whether it is open-ended, such as our new Sensory Board, and therefore has lots of years of play value. Another idea is that you ask for experiences rather than things as gifts, for example, a voucher for a soft play centre, a day trip to a local farm or even theatre vouchers so you can go to a children’s show. Experiences offer so much for the whole family, and you can make some beautiful memories, you could even invite the recipient along so they can take part and see how much joy your child gets from the activity.
What do I do if my child has too many toys?
Depending on their age (and their willingness to give things up), you can get your child involved with selling or donating some of their toys. If your child is not very willing or too young to be involved in this, then think about what they don’t really play with anymore, or what you don’t feel is very open-ended, and consider donating these to goodwill in order to declutter. The other tip I have for decluttering is using a toy categorisation and rotation system. Organise your toys into categories, and then put them into boxes. Every few weeks rotate the boxes (you can keep the ones you are not using in a shed or a loft) so that your child has a smaller selection to play with. This is great for seeing what your child actually plays with, what they are asking for and what they don’t miss! For more tips on organising your children’s toys, check out my reel for a brilliant space-saving hack!
This blog has been written by our Resident Play Expert here at Rosa & Bo, Sarah Doman. Sarah is a Hypnobirth and Early Years Expert. She helps families from pregnancy to children of school age to give birth and parent with confidence.
You can find her on social media @_sarahldoman_ or check out her website here