Why less is more when it comes to toys


Have you ever looked at your kids’ playroom or play area and wished you could toss out half of the toys and thought they probably wouldn’t even notice? Many parents have felt overwhelmed by the number of toys in their house. Did you know that it happens to kids too?

Yes, kids can be overwhelmed by toys if they have too many. Kids do better with fewer toys. They’re more likely to find something to play with if the options are limited. It goes against what many of us feel that we want to do for our children, but if you reduce the options, you’ll likely find them happier.

Kids can feel stressed by the presence of too many toys or too many options. Rather than having everything out at once, consider cycling toys at your house.

Pack up half of what’s in the playroom or their bedrooms now and put them away in a box in the basement, garage, etc., and leave them alone for whatever period you choose. When it’s time to change out the toys, don’t just bring everything back out; pack up the toys that you’ve had out and put the toys that were away back out in their place.

Are there some toys that you should always leave out?

Honestly, that’s going to be up to you and your kids. If your kids are super into arts and crafts, you probably don’t want to pack up all of their art supplies or craft kits, but maybe you want to reduce the number of them you leave out.

How do you get started?

One of the best ways to start is by looking for toys that don’t get played with much. Those toys you don’t have to worry about picking up and putting away each evening because no one has gotten them out for a while. It might be time to say good-bye to some of the toys.

It’s easy to pack up toys your children have outgrown.

Should you pack away favorites?

Don’t pack away favorites. There will be some toys your kids play with more than others, keep the ones they love, and cycle through something else. If they consistently pull out blocks and train sets, then the last thing you want to do is pack them away for a few months. Look for the ones they don’t play with as often or even toys that are better suited for different weather.

Can you get rid of toys instead of cycling them away for a bit?

Absolutely! This is a great activity to kick-start a toy purge too. Sort through the toys and make a box of ones that are potential garage sales or donation items. If you pack them away for 30-60 days and the kids don’t notice or ask about them, then it’s probably safe to donate or sell. If they miss them, you’ll know they are still there and can come back out.

Reduce the total number of toys in your playroom or play area and see if the kids start playing better. Set up work stations for them where they can access toys without help. Make it easy for them to find the toys they want to play with. For more ideas on playroom, organization check out this post. 

Is it time to kick-start your spring cleaning with a toy clean-out?

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