How Many is Too Many? The Best Number of Toys for Your Toddler

In the fast-paced world of parenting, it's easy to feel inundated with choices when choosing toys for your toddler. However, the age-old question remains: how many are too many, and when does an abundance of toys become overwhelming?

In this blog, we delve into the delicate balance of providing stimulating playthings while avoiding toy overload, offering expert tips for parents on managing your child's toys and how to avoid buying too many.

Read on for strategies to help you discover the perfect number of toys for your little one, creating an environment that sparks creativity and endless smiles!

What we cover:

Can Your Toddler Ever Have Too Many Toys?

Should You Buy More or Less Toys As Your Child Gets Older?

How to Manage Your Child's Toys

How to Avoid Buying Too Many Toys

Can Your Toddler Ever Have Too Many Toys?

As parents, it's natural to want to provide our toddlers with lots of toys to keep them entertained. However, the question often arises: can your toddler ever have too many toys?

While it may seem counterintuitive, research does suggest that an excess of toys can actually do more harm than good.

Why Too Many Toys Can Negatively Impact Playtime

Having too many toys can encourage children to rely on the toys themselves for entertainment, hindering the development of important skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and self-regulation.

Research shows that having fewer toys at a time leads to better quality playtime for toddlers. This approach allows them to focus on one toy at a time, build concentration skills, and engage in more creative play.

In essence, fewer toys equates to better quality play.

Too Much Choice Can Be Overwhelming

Just like adults, too much choice can overwhelm toddlers, leading to decision paralysis. When confronted with an excess of options, children may struggle to choose a toy, resulting in frustration.

In several studies, Dr. Maimaran showed how when kids pick from a large set of options, they spend less time engaged with their choice than when they pick from a small set.

It's quite logical when you think about it: fewer toys mean less time spent deciding and more time spent playing.

Should You Buy More or Less Toys As Your Child Gets Older?

As children mature, they naturally develop more specialised interests and hobbies, which may reduce the need for a large collection of toys.

The key is to provide them with a well-considered mix of toys that not only offer enriching play opportunities to stimulate curiosity, problem-solving, and imagination but also support their developmental stages and build on their interests.

How to Manage Your Child's Toys

There are lots of strategies you can use to manage your child's toys from keeping toy clutter at bay to avoiding overbuying and managing the generosity of family, especially during Christmas.

In essence, it's all about prioritising quality over quantity. As the famous saying goes, "Too much of something is never a good thing," and this certainly applies to toys too!

Decluttering at Every Milestone

Stay ahead of the clutter, particularly before birthdays and Christmas. With more toys about to enter your home, it's the perfect time to declutter and make space for new additions.

Start by sorting all the toys into categories, creating distinct groups on the floor.

Next, weed out any items that are broken, no longer work, or don't fit into a specific category. If you have duplicates or similar items, select one and remove the others.

Pay Attention to What They Play With

In the lead-up to these occasions, pay close attention to what toys are being played with, making it easier to identify those that aren't. These might include baby toys that your toddler has outgrown or impulse purchases that were quickly discarded.

For toys that are still in good condition but no longer hold your child's interest, consider selling them on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or donating them to local charities.

Lastly, store the remaining toys in labelled boxes or tubs to speed up tidying up after playtime.

How to Avoid Buying Too Many Toys for Your Child

To halt the steady flow of toys entering your home, it's essential to set clear boundaries with your children about when they can expect to receive a new toy.

Talk with them openly, explaining that toys will be reserved for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, or as rewards for a job well done.

Additionally, involve grandparents and other family members in these discussions. By establishing these expectations collectively, children will develop a greater appreciation for and anticipation of new toys.

This collaborative approach not only reinforces consistency but also fosters a sense of shared responsibility in ensuring that your toddler is not overwhelmed by an excessive number of toys.

Follow Your Child's Lead

Following your child's lead is a great way to prevent overbuying toys. By closely observing your child at playtime, you can gain valuable insights into the types of toys, materials and activities that captivate their attention.

Take note of the activities they spend a lot of time engaged in, the tasks they willingly choose to undertake, and the endeavours they show dedication towards.

By tuning into your child's cues and preferences, you're better equipped to make informed decisions when it comes to toy purchases.

Instead of randomly selecting toys based on trends or marketing hype, you can choose toys that align with your child's interests and are more likely to be played with.

Take Inventory

Taking inventory of your toddler's toys is a practical step towards maintaining a clutter-free play space and preventing the accumulation of duplicates or excessive similar toys.

By conducting a thorough inventory, you can get a clearer picture of the types of toys your child already owns, allowing you to identify any duplicates or unnecessary items.

This process not only helps in decluttering but also saves you from spending money on toys that your child already has.

Be Purposeful With Your Toy Purchases

Being purposeful with your toy purchases is essential to avoid clutter and ensure that your child's playthings are both engaging and beneficial.

It's tempting to make impulse purchases in gift shops or when browsing online, but try to resist the urge and only buy toys that you know your child will genuinely enjoy and benefit from.

Before making a purchase, consider factors such as your child's interests, developmental stage, and current toy inventory.

By staying mindful and intentional with your toy buying decisions, you can ensure that each toy serves a purpose and contributes to your child's growth and enjoyment.

Nurture Their Natural Child-Like Imagination

Not every exciting day requires a new toy, the truth is that simple activities that spark imagination can be just as thrilling and fun for children.

Encourage your child to explore the endless possibilities of everyday objects, such as cardboard boxes, blankets, and household items, by using them to create imaginative play spaces like dens or forts!

By encouraging your child to use their imagination and make the most of what they have, you empower them to find joy and excitement in the simple pleasures of life.

Plus, these activities are often more sustainable and environmentally friendly than constantly buying new toys.

Summary: The Perfect Number of Toys for Your Toddler

We hope this blog has inspired you to choose quality over quantity when selecting toys for your toddler. With fewer toys cluttering the house, the whole family, not just your toddler, may be happier and more creative too.


Can Too Many Toys Be Bad for Toddlers?

Having too many toys can overwhelm your toddler and lead to frustration.

How Many Toys Does a Child Really Need?

The number of toys a child needs varies based on their age, interests, and developmental stage. Generally, it's less about quantity and more about providing a good mix of toys that stimulate imagination, creativity, and learning.

Should I Leave All My Kid's Toys Out at Once?

Introducing a toy rotation system is a great way to keep your child's play environment fresh and exciting while also preventing toy overload.

Are Kids Happier With Fewer Toys?

Research suggests that children may indeed be happier with fewer toys. Having fewer options can lead to better quality playtime, increased focus, and reduced frustration.

Kelly-Ann Victor

Kelly-Ann Victor

Hi, I'm Kelly-Anne, proud mum to Henry and Carmen. I lead all things marketing at Farm Toys Online. Alongside Julia, I'm on a mission to rescue kids from screens, focusing on helping parents choose the perfect farm toys that spark imaginative play. My favourite tractor brand is Massey Ferguson, and when it comes to horses, I adore a Welsh Pony!

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