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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Too many toys spoil the toddler

Image result for toddler surrounded by toys

Toddlers play more creatively if they’re given a few toys, according to a new study in Infant Behaviour and Development. Too many toys at one time are distracting, writes Emma Young in Research Digest.

The researchers drew from a pool of 32 toys of four types: educational toys (that teach colours, for example), “pretend” toys (that suggested themed scenarios – perhaps playing a being a doctor, for instance), action toys (that required an action such as stacking or building from the toddler, for example) and vehicles. . . . when they presented the toddlers with 16 toys, the toddlers played on average with half of them during the assessment. In contrast, when they presented them with just four toys, the kids played on average with three.

With fewer toys, the children played longer with each toy and came up with more ways to use it. They practiced paying attention.

Some parents rotate through the toys, so kids aren’t overwhelmed with too many choices at one time. Also, adults suffer fewer stepping-on-plastic injuries.

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