Managing Toddler 'Toy Overload' - The 20 Toy Rule
If you’ve ever uttered the immortal words ‘there’s too many toys in this house’, you will be all-too familiar with the disadvantages. Here's seven tips for tired parents!
While play is central to children’s development and entertainment, there can be a point where side-stepping the Lego on your floor no longer becomes fun. We’ve all been there!
But toddler toys in all their bright fun colours are not to blame. In fact, studies show that educational toys can in fact help children develop problem solving skills, how to share, as well as teach them about resolving conflict. While other toys, such as trains and cars can really help children with fine and gross motor skills, as well as nurture imagination and creative thinking.
So what’s the answer then? Well, rather than think about how to get rid of too many toys, instead take the approach of limiting toys, or rotating them. If you’re not already familiar with the 20 toy rule, then you’re about to be enlightened about this parent hack bang on trend in 2023.
1.The 20 Toy Rule
The 20 Toy Rule is one of the best ways to manage toy overload, as well as a straightforward way to curb too many toys in your house. While there are no rules as to how many toys should a child have, the 20-toy rule has proven very useful for parents.
Simply ask your child to choose 20 toys to play with over the next week, or a set period, and pack the other ones away. This will help them to appreciate their chosen toys more, and may help with sensory overload, as well as reduce clutter too. But just remember to allow your child to always choose the given toys.
2.Create an Amazon Wishlist
Let’s be honest, how many toys does your child receive for birthdays or Christmas that they didn’t really want or need? One way to overcome unwanted toy is using a gift lift scheme.
The Amazon wish list scheme is a great way to curb unnecessary gifts, and ensure your child is getting only what the want and need. This can be especially handy for children’s birthday parties, when doubling up on gifts is all-too common, or when grandparents or family members ask what your child wants for their birthday. Best of all, it allows you to add prefered items to your Wish List as and when you get inspired, meaning that you should only receive gifts that will be used. The other benefit in doing this is that Creating an Amazon Wish List is simple and free to do.
3. Separate Going Out Toys
A smart way to combat toy fatigue, is to allocate a certain amount of toys for going out. Be it play dates, going to restaurants for a meal, taking to Grandma's, Centre Parks, camping or holiday. By having a couple of toy trains, dolls, cars and easy small toys set aside, this will keep the excitement for your child when out and about. It’s always good to mix toys up and keep children’s imaginations inspired, and if you have a Munchy Play plate, it's a great tool for taking to restaurants with you too.
4. When to Recycle
Set a rule, that if your child hasn’t played with a toy in say 6-12 months, that it goes to a better home. There’s no value in a house full of clutter, and it may help teach your child the value in the kindness of recycling and sharing. Show your child that the toys will be shared with another family by donating them to a charity shop – perhaps of their choice. Remember that it’s better to repurpose a toy than recycle if you can, that means handing the toy on to another to use.
5. The 'One for One' Rule
If your child is lucky to have more cool toys than they could need, the one-in-one-out method, encourages children to give some thought to their value. Ask your child to offer up a toy to donate to charity whenever they receive a new one. It’s a good way of decluttering to make room for a new toy too.
Of course, it’s easier said than done, but when achieved it’s a rewarding way to feel less guilty about the consumer culture we live in. You can also find dual uses for toys, like your favourite Hot Wheels Plate, for instance is quite handy for keeping toy cars in for instance. There are far more positive than negative effects of toys, but learning to get the best out of them is important.
6. Reserve for Later
This is a popular technique used by parents is to hold back some toys to prevent overload. At times like Christmas and birthdays, if your child receives a ton of presents, you may wish to try and hold a few back so they aren't overloaded and appreciate each gift one by one. The suggestion is to reintroduce gifts later in the day or later in the week, so it's not a case of toy overload.
7. The Marie Kondo Tidying Approach!
And finally, parents took a collective sigh recently, when Queen of tidying - Marie Kondo quits trying to keep her house perfect. Known for being a tidy expert, Marie Kondo, 3 kids said that: “My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life."
I think we can all agree, this is one thing we share with Marie!
So there you have it, ome great ways to manage toy overload. Up next, find out how to deal with a fussy eater toddler.