Sometimes we do things for our kids because it is good for them, but there are other times when we are actually helping them out and making life easier for them today. Toys is definitely an area where it is helpful to your kids to limit their choices. Today I wanted to share three areas that limiting our toys has helped my children.
1. Less Stress
Do you know that having too many toys is actually stressful to children? I am not talking about the clutter aspect, although that is certainly true as well, but more about the factor of the multitude of choices. Have you ever had to make a decision, however simple, that caused you to have a moment of anxiety? Sometimes I have those moments of anxiety or stress just over deciding what to choose on a restaurant menu. I am an adult, and I can reason through that, but a child can’t. The vast amounts of choices give a child that same overwhelming feeling. So many good options, they don’t know how to decide! It is stressful.
2. Play Better
I have seen this over and over with my kids. Many times my kids can get lost in their world of play without any help on my part. There are times, though, even though we limit our toys, that Stefan has a difficult time honing in on something he wants to play with. He picks up his blocks, then glances over at his cars and wants those, then sees his Legos and wants those, etc. He can’t decide. I know we have all experienced those times when our kids say they are bored or have nothing to do. This is not because they don’t have enough toys, or even because they don’t like the toys. Usually, this is just a matter of not being able to narrow down their choices and really start playing. Real play.
I have found that when my son gets like that, I can tell him to pick one box. I let him choose which one, but I tell him to only pick one and then go to another room where he won’t see the rest of the choices anymore. More times than not, he will get lost in his world of play. The problem was not the toys, the problem was the choosing of them.
3. Easier Cleanup
I want my kids to learn to pick up there own things right from the start. Having fewer toys helps them in this process. There have been times when we have been somewhere and I have asked Stefan to help clean up. Often I will go to help as well, and when I walk in and see the deluge of toys covering every square inch of the room, I am overwhelmed. No wonder my four-year-old is overwhelmed!
Having fewer toys with a very easy system to follow makes cleanup time easier for the kids and me. I showed you How I Organize My Kid’s Clothes and mentioned that the bottom containers are toys. A simple system means even my two-year-old knows exactly where things go.
Have you found that limiting your kids actually helps them? Tell us how in the comments!