In almost all countries of the world, parents give toys to their children to play with. Some of these children have more toys and some have less. As the family shrinks, so too do parents want to engage their children with toys, mobiles or video games. Due to lack of time for children, parents keep adding to it even after having lots of feedings.
In the US, children between the ages of two and 12 receive more than $6,500 worth of toys. Here in Australia, the toy industry is worth over $3.7 billion annually. The lockdown has resulted in a 21.4% increase in online toy sales during 2021, with the online toy industry now growing faster than the overall online retail sector.
The number of toys in Australian homes is expected to increase during the Christmas gift exchange. In addition to environmental concerns, too many toys can have a negative impact on children as well as parents and caregivers. Here are some ideas for dealing with the influx of new toys alongside existing toys.
the problem of having too many toys
Spaces with lots of toys are highly stimulating and affect the ability of infants, toddlers and young children to learn and play creatively. Similar to a cluttered pantry or office space, which makes it hard for adults to focus, having too many toys throughout the house can make it difficult for children to focus, learn, and develop important skills while playing.
Research shows that children who play with fewer toys at a time spend better quality time playing, which gives them the opportunity to focus on one toy at a time, build concentration skills, and play more creatively. Having too many toys at once, we do not give much importance to them. By reducing the number of toys, a sense of gratitude can be developed in children by adults.
What if you have too many toys?
Organizing toys has many benefits for kids and adults alike. Fewer toys that are well organized create a calmer, less stressful environment, which also reduces over-stimulation in children and contributes to making them more tactful. Reducing the number of toys can also increase opportunities for building tolerance in children.
Focusing on one or two toys at a time can improve problem solving skills as well as develop independent play experience and creativity. Organizing toys can help parents and caregivers improve the general structure and routine in the home, which is great for everyone!
How to organize toys?
A good first step is to make a list of all the toys in your house. Toys can be “keep and play”, “keep and store” (toys that have an emotional connection, are part of a family heirloom or collection, can be stored) and “give to someone” or sell”.
Toys that fall under the category of “keep and play” should be arranged in such a way that children can clearly see and reach them easily. Set aside two-thirds of these toys. Every month, keep swapping available toys, making sure kids don’t get tired of available toys. By changing, the newness of toys will remain in the mind of children.
Is there such a thing as a ‘good’ toy?
With such a huge variety of toys available, it can be difficult to make a choice. But when you are thinking about buying toys, there are certain features that make some toys better than others. “Good” toys are those that are appropriate for a child’s age and developmental level. If you’re not sure whether a toy is appropriate in this regard, consult with specialist toy store staff or consult child development websites such as raisechildren.net.au and earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au.
Categorizing ‘good’ toys
Parents may find it useful to have an assortment of nice toys. This ensures that when you’re arranging the toys, kids have access to a variety of toys that are suitable for different types of learning and play development.
Lewis Grimmer, Senior Lecturer in Retail Marketing and Martin Grimmer, Professor of Marketing, University of Tasmania Hobart (Australia), 20 December (The Conversation)