Children Thrive With Fewer Toys

in Eco-minimalism - 3 min read

Children with brimming toy rooms and hard-to-shut toy closets may feel like they are loved generously by their (grand)parents, family and friends, but are they just being bought off? Take it on a case-by-case basis, as you keep in mind that an abundance of choices can be overwhelming, even for a grown adult to take in, let alone for a young mind to fully comprehend.

Take a moment and imagine yourself in a small pair of children’s shoes – do you have the creativity required to envision this great responsibility? If it is difficult, perhaps you should consider becoming a minimalist to increase your imagination skills, after all, it is said that boredom enhances creative problem solving by allowing your mind to daydream and wander…

In the far past, kids had few toys to play with, yet they cherished, even shared, the ones they owned. I’ve seen both ends of the toy quantity spectrum and what may be right for one family is a hardship for the other. Those living in poverty may choose second-hand or cheap plastic toys, out of necessity, that fall apart so quickly that they are hard to love. Wealthy parents may go overboard and invest in the best, only to see the toy never used or played with only once.

There is no easy answer “to how many toys are enough?”, between the gathering of toys from holidays and birthdays, all the way to hand-me-downs. One thing is for sure, children will thrive with fewer toys, especially in their formative years.

Help children thrive with fewer toys

Limiting the number of toys your child has, also known as toy minimalism, may make you feel like the bad parent, but don’t listen to that. Remember that you are the mindful, mature adult who is in charge. You may need to see it to believe it, so put a ban on gifts entering the house and get started with a brilliant and creative plan, for it is proven that fewer toys do in fact benefit young children in the long-term.

  • Develop longer attention spans – technology has become a new play toy for children of all ages, without it there is greater focus and direction in life – digital detoxes are beneficial for young and old alike.
  • Children become more resourceful – when toys become versatile, imagination is sparked. A rock can become a hamburger or a turtle, depending on the game at hand.
  • Experience more time in nature – with fewer distractions inside the home, children can get outside, get dirty and fall in love with nature. Do it with them and increase the time you spend together.
  • Less clutter – we all know that an uncluttered space promotes efficient work, an uncluttered playspace promotes freedom of movement for dance and spontaneous play.
  • Argue less, share more – with fewer toys to go around, sharing is inevitable. This promotes working together for a common goal. Parents could learn something from this too!
  • Kids learn to take better care of their things – when you really love something, or someone, you tend to take wonderful care of it, toys are no exception.
  • Children demonstrate increased social awareness – verbal and physical interaction is part of the connection process. Children with fewer toys will reach out to other kids and adults, asking them to join in the fun, building meaningful relationships through play.
  • Flowing creativity – without objects handed directly to children, they are encouraged to use their imagination, to invent games and songs based on items and inspiration around them.

Limiting the number of toys in your home and in the hands of your child, also encourages them to seek out other forms of entertainment such as reading, painting and music. All which benefit resilience and spiritual growth.

Encourage deep play as you decrease the quantity of your child’s toys. Their adult self will thank you for the well-being you instilled in their childhood.

Cheryl Magyar

Cheryl is a freelance writer and content creator on all things related to simple living, ecological minimalism, organic gardening and foraging. She is the co-creator of the Earth Gratitude Journal, a monthly downloadable journal that focuses on having greater appreciation for living on this incredible planet.

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