Day 29: Too Much Of A Good Thing – Can Too Many Toys Hurt Your Kids?

2,900 things gone, only 7,100 things to go

It’s worse than I thought.

I was just downstairs removing toys from the playroom again and I’m confounded by the number of  toys we’ve accumulated.

I guess when friends and family said things like:

“I’ve never seen so many toys.”

“Your playroom overwhelms me.”

“Wow, your boys have a lot of toys.”

I should have picked up on the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) messages.

I like to think I don’t have many blind spots but this is a big one.  My boys had so many toys they couldn’t play with them all and that, according to this article in the UK Guardian, can harm children.

“Claire Lerner, a child-development worker, carried out a US government-funded study into the effect of inundating children with toys. She found that too many playthings can restrict development and may harm children.

“They get overwhelmed and over-stimulated and cannot concentrate on any one thing long enough to learn from it so they just shut down. Too many toys means they are not learning to play imaginatively either,” she says.”

But I know this.  I read Trees Make The Best Mobiles – and hung on every word! But then another birthday or Christmas came along and I shut my brain off.

The article in The Guardian suggests chucking the lot.  I am – except for the two things my kids actually play with: Playmobil and Lego.

It’s been a lot work staying motivated since my best friend and her son came to stay with us. The long chats over coffee, the visitors, the girl’s nights, the recycling box full of empty wine bottles (that unfortunately don’t count because I would have recycled them anyway)…

However, I think I’ve finally figured out a system that works:

I’m having another cup of coffee right now.

What I tossed today: 100 more (and counting) children’s toys!?!?


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