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Children with lots of toys are less creative and more easily distracted
Sometimes less is simply more! This also applies to children's toys. Many parents have probably already intuitively anticipated the results of a current study: If children have too many toys, the quality of the game suffers, those affected are more easily distracted and less creative.
In their research, the University of Toledo researchers in Ohio found that children who owned too many toys were more easily distracted and suffered from creativity and quality of play. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Infant Behavior and Development".
Children are more creative when they have fewer toys
The researchers recruited a total of 36 toddlers for their study. These played for half an hour either in a room with four toys or in a room with 16 toys. The experts found that the children were much more creative when they had fewer toys. These children also played with the toys twice as long. They came up with several uses for each toy, which extended and expanded their game.
Experts are investigating whether the number of toys affects game quality
The current study tried to find out whether the number of toys in the vicinity of small children influences the quality of their play, according to study author Dr. Carly Dauch. The study scientists concluded from the observed results that parents, schools and kindergartens should pack most of their toys away. Only a small number of toys should be used regularly in order to encourage children to be more creative and to improve their attention span, the experts advise.
Too many toys affect game duration and depth
The increased number of game processes with 16 different toys seemed to affect the duration and depth of play, the researchers say. Other existing toys may have caused an external distraction.
An abundance of toys creates a very strong distraction
Our offspring is constantly evolving during infancy. Despite this development, children initially have little control over their attention at a higher level. The scientists suspect that the existing attention and also their playing behavior can be disturbed by factors in their environment that cause distraction. The current study suggests that a high abundance of toys can cause such a distraction.
A typical child has 238 toys
If toddlers have fewer toys in the area, they can play with a single toy for longer periods of time. This enables them to better explore and play their creativity. In the UK alone, people spend over £ 3 billion on toys every year. Surveys have also shown that a typical child has a total of 238 toys. Parents usually assume that children only play with their 12 favorite toys.
How does it affect if children have fewer toys in kindergarten?
There have been several research results in investigations, which indicated that too many toys can distract children. The German researchers Elke Schubert and Rainer Strick already carried out experiments in the 1990s in which toys were removed from a kindergarten for three months. After just a few weeks, the children had adapted to their situation and, so to speak, had been hired. As a result, their game became much more creative and social interaction improved.
Less is more
Fewer toys are better for children, promote creativity, improve attention spans and young people learn to manage their possessions better. A child will hardly learn to appreciate a toy if there are countless other options for playing on the shelf next to it, the experts say. If children generally have too many toys, they will care less about them, scientists continue. Affected children cannot learn to properly appreciate their toys if a replacement is constantly on hand. In other words, fewer toys make children more creative because they solve problems with existing materials and create new opportunities for play. The resulting ingenuity is a gift with unlimited possibilities, the researchers add. (as)