How to Choose How Many Toys Your Child Needs


We had one bin of toys to play with when my son was 18 months old. We would open the bin and take out a few of the toys, then he would happily drag one or a couple toys around the home for an entire day.

The number of toys began to increase as he got older and became more interested in imaginative play.

He accumulated dress-ups, different building sets and thousands of tiny pieces, making it difficult to parent a second child. I developed ninja-like skills which allowed me to spot a piece from 100 feet away.

You may not know how many toys your child needs. It’s important to provide enough toys to promote learning and enjoyment, but not too many that it becomes overwhelming.

One friend is a minimalist, and only has five carefully selected toys. One friend’s playroom is so stuffed with the newest and best toys that it looks like a store of toys. Both of the friends are very happy with how they live.

How do you determine how many toys your children need? Here are five questions that will help you decide how many toys to buy for your children.

How many toys is enough for my child? How many toys should my child have?

1. There are broken toys?

Broken toys are the easiest to get rid of. The toys could disappear in the middle night, and no one will notice or remember that they were ever there.

The toys they get from birthday parties, school and church are always cheap. I hate the idea of throwing away something that was only used for a few seconds. To save broken toys from landfill, I keep them in my house.

Find those broken toys that you can’t repair. They should be thrown out. They are a waste of space and can be a safety risk.

2. What if a toy is missing pieces?

It’s okay, I admit it: We have a beloved Candyland boardgame with a few missing cards. We are more likely to lose pieces of something we love the more we play with it.

There’s a big difference between a playable toy with a few pieces missing (or the pieces of the toy have been replaced by random household items, like the erasers that we use to mark board games) and one that’s missing so many that you can’t play with it anymore or that’s no fun.

It’s time for you to toss out a toy that your children no longer play with because it doesn’t have the necessary pieces.

You might buy a new one if your children love it. BUT! Let some time pass and then get rid of it. It’s possible that your children won’t even miss it.

3. What about toys that are not being used?

Toys that aren’t played with are simply clutter. These toys are an eye sore and take up space that could be used to encourage creative play.

Ask yourself “How long ago has my child last played with this toy?” You can choose a period of time that suits you: a month or three months.

You may be okay with donating an item that hasn’t been touched in the past month. You can use the theory “Out of sight, Out of Mind”. Toys that are familiar to children tend to be the ones they choose. “If they haven’t used it in the past month, they are unlikely to play with it the next time.”

You could also wait until the next cycle of seasons. You might think: “The children aren’t outdoors much in the winter so they may love this toy when warmer weather arrives.”

It doesn’t matter if you decide how many toys to buy for your children on a monthly or annual basis.

Pick a schedule that is best for you and your family. Decluttering and organizing toys should be done on a regular, scheduled basis.

4. What is the most common duplicate of your child’s favorite toys?

You may have noticed that your children enjoy certain toys. They have too many toys to play with.

It could be anything from a bin of trucks to a cabinet of Barbies. It doesn’t matter if your child enjoys a toy or not.

More is not always better. More often than not, it is more that prevents kids from finding and playing their favorite toys.

5. Are Your Children Able to Clean Up After Theirselves

This question is important to ask, even if the answer depends on your child’s age.

Even very young children can assist in picking up some toys and putting them into a trash bin. Young toddlers cannot sort thousands of pieces into different categories.

You have way too many toys if it’s difficult for your kid to clean them up. You have too many toy pieces if you spend an hour sorting them out after your children go to sleep.

The number of toys that your children need depends on how independent they are in cleaning up.

Give yourself Grace…and Time

It is possible to clear out your toys over a weekend or week, but this will increase the likelihood that your children will resist.

If you toss out half of your children’s toys while they are at school, then they will freak. This is something I’ve experienced.

You will probably avoid 99% tantrums if you start by decluttering the toys you never use.

Let’s get started!

When deciding how many toys your kids need, it’s important to ask the right questions.

Now that you have the right questions, this will be a breeze. Stop what you are doing right now and schedule a date to go headfirst into these toys.

In the comments section below, tell me when you set a date and time.

You can see a calm, organized and peaceful playroom right before your eyes. It’s all there, you just need to find it.

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