Does your playroom look like a tornado has hit? Do you find toys everywhere in your home? Are you constantly stepping on Legos or picking up puzzle pieces? I can relate. Having had three children in a ten year span, I know what having too many toys looks like. When my youngest was a toddler and the oldest was in junior high school, there were tons of toys for all age groups all over the floor of my house. I also had a girl and two boys which meant having additional toys to please each gender. I fell prey to the marketing of the era. To please your child meant buying them more stuff and I was not alone.
The toy industry worldwide sells $80 billion in toys each year. One-fourth of these are bought by people in North America. The United States ranks second only to the U.K. in toy purchases per child. They buy $438 in toys per child per year and the U.S. spends $371 (https://www.statista.com/) . Children in the U.S. own 40% of the toys consumed, yet only account for 3% of the world’s children. They have twice as many toys now as children did 50 years ago. (https://www.worldatlas.com/)
How do you know when you have too many toys? Often, with more toys comes confusion and boredom. The choices are so overwhelming that the children can’t decide what to do and often do nothing. We have all seen the child who unwraps a gift and ends up playing with the box and not the toy. Children can also become passively entertained with toys that do everything for them. Simpler can indeed be better. If children need to figure something out or create their own scenarios, they tend to learn and develop.
Kids with too many toys can be easily distracted and do not enjoy their play time as much. Toy overload can even cause negative effects on their developing psyches. Montessori school experts say that children have a natural sense of order that starts at birth and lasts until age 5 or 6. Without this order, children can seem lost and lacking in focus. To restore this order and produce independence and happiness, you need to remove some of the toys.
What can you do and how should you start? The holidays are coming, so now is a great time to take stock of what you already have and what you could part with. You will notice that kids seem to gravitate to certain favorite toys while others sit idly by just taking up space. There are many great ideas about what to do. The professional organizers at The Move Makers are specially-trained to give you insights and ideas. They have many resources at their disposal for advising and setting up systems. By simplifying and organizing the play area, the toys that you do keep will become more visible and used more often.
With toys, as with many things in life, less is more. By enlisting the aid of our experts, you will find that your children will have more fun and better quality playtime and you will have less clutter, hassles and headaches with toy storage and clean-up.