“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.” Ray L. Wilbur
Rainer Strick and Elke Schubert, public health officers in Germany, wanted to show that children can play happily and creatively when they are not being “suffocated” by their toys. The result – Boredom sets in during the initial stages of the experiment but the children soon began to use their basic surroundings to invent games and use imagination in their playing.
Too many toys overwhelm kids. There are too many choices to choose from. Sometimes there is no dedicated space for kids to stay put, focus, and play. So, jumping on the bed or climbing up the table seems a better alternative to them.
Solution 1: Rotate toys
When a child has too many choices, their little brains get overstimulated, and they end up not choosing anything at all. With fewer toys, they won’t be as stimulated. This leads to freeing up the mind to focus, explore, and use their imagination.
Toy rotation is not a novel concept. Thousands of moms around the world use this method to engage their kids for hours keeping their house clutter free. Just search for “How to rotate toys” on google and you will get 17 Lacs+ results.
Benefits of toy rotation:
Kids learn to take care of things: When kids have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. They will not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand.
Kids learn perseverance: Kids who have too many toys give up too quickly. If they have a toy that they can’t figure out, it will quickly be discarded for the sake of a different, easier one. Kids with fewer toys learn perseverance, patience, and determination.
Kids live in a cleaner, tidier home: If you have kids, you know that toy clutter can quickly take over an entire home. Fewer toys result in a less-cluttered, cleaner, healthier home.
Solution 2: Replace musical toys with open-ended toys
The most popular kid’s toys today are plastic toys that light up and make all sorts of noise. They are cheap to buy, but often require frequent replacement when they get broken. Before buying any of such toys you need to ask yourself this – Is this toy making my kid smarter or dumber. The answer is when a toy is doing all the work and a kid is just watching the show, there is no learning. And, who likes to listen to the same slice of a song or sentence repeated by a toy over and over!
Get toys that encourage open-ended play where your kid gets to decide what to do with them. Open-ended toys encourage kids to be creative, to use their imagination, and to decide how to use them. Wooden blocks, magnetic tiles, and Legos are perfect for open-ended play.
Solution 3: Always keep age-appropriate toys
All of us look at the recommended age of a toy before purchasing it. But, how many of us check for the age-appropriateness of existing toys regularly?
- Check for the broken toys regularly, at least once a month, and move them out of your kid’s reach
- If a toy has served its purpose and your kid has outgrown the toy, move it out
- When your kid gets interested in a particular topic – say sea animals – take out and play with toys that reinforce the concept or provide additional learning