Learning toy company Click-A-Brick Founder and CEO Georg de Gorostiza says he is pleased with the results of a recent study that suggests fewer toys are actually better for children than having a multitude of toys.
Published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development, the study, led by researchers from the University of Toledo, observed 36 children between the ages of 18 and 30 months during two different play sessions. In one play session, the kids were each given 16 toys to play with and in the other session they were each given just four toys to play with.
The researchers observed that when the children had fewer toys, they not only played longer with each toy, but they also had what the researchers described as “higher quality” play, which they defined as interacting with toys in a bigger variety of ways. As time went on during the play sessions with fewer toys, the researchers observed the children’s interactions with the toys became more sophisticated, moving from exploratory play like poking, turning and pushing, to pretending with the toys and engaging in construction play.
“This suggests that when provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively,” the researchers wrote in their study. “This can be offered as a recommendation in many natural environments to support children’s development and promote healthy play.”
De Gorostiza says he agrees with the findings that kids would likely be better off playing with fewer toys because it would stimulate their imaginations more and help develop their attention spans. The CEO also suggests that building blocks make an ideal toy if parents want to try and keep their children’s toys down to a reasonable number because they offer a plethora of ways to play with them.
“This whole movement of keeping playrooms uncluttered and just having a few, select toys that really let kids use their imaginations is fabulous,” de Gorostiza said. “That’s what makes a learning toy like building blocks so great for people who are looking to do this. They are such a versatile toy -- perhaps the most versatile -- that a parent can give to a child. Building blocks have an infinite number of ways that a child can play with them, so it is like giving a child multiple toys in one and for parents who want to live with fewer toys, that’s a big advantage.”