Managing Toddler 'Toy Overload' - The 20 Toy Rule - Munchy Play

Managing Toddler 'Toy Overload' - The 20 Toy Rule

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 of too many toys.

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 – popular in our Munchy Play range, 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.

The 20 toy rule

This is a really straightforward way to curb 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.

the 20 toy rule

Simply ask your child to choose 20 toys to play with over the next week, or a set period. This will really make them appreciate their chosen toys more, and helps to reduce clutter too. It might even help spark creativity. But just remember to allow your child to always choose them.

Create and 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? Controversial as it may appear, 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.

Creating an Amazon Wish List is simple and free to do too!

Going out toys

If you have a ‘going out’ bag that you take to restaurants, or playdates with you, perhaps this is a good place to store a few toys to prevent toy fatigue. It’s always good to mix toys up and keep children’s imaginations inspired. 


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 of clutter, and it may help teach your child the value of giving to those less privileged, by donating it to a charity shop – perhaps of their choice. Remember that it’s better to repurpose a toy than recycle if you can.

the 20 toy rule

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 Munchy Play kids' plates are 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.

Reserve for Later

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, try and hold a few back for them and reintroduce them a few days or weeks later. This keeps toys fresh and may stop them from toy overload!

So there you have it, ome great ways to manage toy overload. Up next, find out how to deal with a fussy eater toddler.