Most children tend to have more than enough toys that can last till they outgrow them. Yet, every year, parents end up getting the new must-have toy for their little ones during Christmas or birthdays, inevitably adding to their child’s vast collection. While toys may often be seen as mere playthings, they do play an intentional role in shaping a child’s identity.
A child’s playtime is an important part of their emotional, social and intellectual development. Though having lots of playtime is good, having a roomful of toys is the exact opposite. It is imperative for parents to note the excessive amount of toys that your child may have and make the change early to assist your child in developing certain core values that will be beneficial for them in the long run. Here are six valuable benefits that your child could gain when you reduce their toy clutter.
#1 Creativity and Resourcefulness
Though a child’s imagination is known to be incredibly colourful, they are often limited when multiple choices of entertainment are already provided for them. So when your child has fewer toys to play with, they are exposed to lesser distractions and are compelled to tap into their creativity to escape boredom. As they adapt to the loss of toy choices, they are made to invent fun, imaginative games using their surroundings that promote self-directed play.
#2 Longer attention span
When you introduce your child to too many toys, it is very likely for their attention span to suffer when faced with numerous distractions. The sheer number of toys decreases a child’s attentiveness as they get overwhelmed with decision-making, and may even lead them to act out when restricted by time or other unfavourable factors. Decreasing the number of toys will give your child quality, focused playtime where having longer interactions with each toy naturally increases their ability to spend more time to appreciate the toys they have. Additionally, children who learn to focus at a young age tend to develop emotional maturity earlier than others which will make their time in school a lot easier.
#3 Effective social skills
Your child develops their social skills every day whenever they interact with you and your family. Therefore, it is no surprise that social skills can also be developed through creative play with lesser toys. The reduction creates an opportunity for them to interact with other children via sharing of toys or compromising with one another on how the toy could be used. It also helps them learn to develop interpersonal relationships with other children and adults and even navigate social conflicts. Studies have shown that friendships forged in the childhood years are likely to lead to a greater chance of success academically and socially during adulthood!
#4 Values and Responsibility
When there are one too many toys in your child’s possession, it is common to see their disregard for a broken toy as they are able to see the other substitutes that are ripe for picking. With a lean toy collection, your child will be able to learn the value of their toys as there will not be another, or even the promise of another, as a replacement. Children will also develop the responsibility of putting their toys away neatly as they wouldn’t want to lose another toy.
#5 Perseverance and Self-Esteem
Especially in the case of educational toys, it is not unusual to find children chucking aside these toys when they’re too difficult to figure out, and picking a simpler option in their vast toy collection instead of persevering on. However, for a child who owns only a small number of toys, you will find that they are able to engage with one for longer periods of time; allowing them the freedom to explore and master it fully rather than giving up and moving on to the next best thing. This also helps to better develop the child’s self-esteem as the time and efforts spent on the toy become positive validations of their capabilities.
#6 Joy beyond toys
True joy and contentment can be found outside the confines of a toy store. When you establish an understanding with your child that they don’t need any more toys than the ones they already have, you are introducing your child to the concept of finding new ways to create happy memories without a toy. By affording them a lifestyle with lesser toys, they will get the encouragement they need to change their perceptions and live a counter-cultural life where they can find joy in things that truly last.