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Experts Say Too Many Toys Hamper Children’s Development

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It’s less than a month from Christmas and you know what that means … toys toys toys!

And more toys!

And even more toys!

And even more toys than that!

So many toys you’re drowning in them!

According to clinical psychologist Christopher Willard, the United States has three percent of the world’s children, but it has 40% of the world’s toys. And kids in the US receive 70 new toys per year on average. We’re no math experts, but we did some calculations and ... that’s crazy!

With so many new fads coming out each year and a huge marketing push behind all of them, parents can feel pressure to get their kids the newest thing, even if that newest thing likely won’t entertain a child for long. (Has any child even touched their Hatchimal after last New Year’s? … Probably not.)

While it may sound counterintuitive to parents, Dr. Willard says children like to read the same books, play the same games and sing the same songs over and over. It’s natural for kids to like repetition and overwhelming them with too many toys isn’t a good thing.

Childhood development expert Claire Lerner studied children and toys and came to the conclusion that children become overstimulated with too many toys and cannot concentrate on a single toy long enough to learn from it when they have too many toys.

When kids have fewer toys, their:

In addition to all that, when kids have fewer toys, they tend to get outside more, take more of an interest in music and art and parents experience less clutter.

The experts all point out that children tend to reinvent toys and other objects for their own uses (like turning a box into a garage) and all say the best toys are ones that have multiple uses and stimulate the use of imagination, like dress-up clothes, balls, bowls, boxes, animals and … wait for it … building blocks!

Cut down on the clutter and stick to toys that stimulate imagination, promote learning and are guaranteed to be used again and again and again.