There comes a point for almost every parent when we look around our child’s messy playroom and think — how and why are there so many toys?
Of course, we know how. Birthdays, festivals, surprises we thought our little ones would enjoy, toys they convinced us to get for them, and the endless gifts from friends and family. But do our children even play with all these toys? And how many do they actually need?
Fewer is better
We are a toy company and we still believe this!
Think about it, does your toddler play with a new toy each day or do they have one or two favorites that change every few months? Most children have a few toys they like and keep playing with. Many others simply prefer to play with things they find around the house!
Studies and child experts say that having lesser toys is better for children. When children have too many toys, it can be overwhelming or distracting for them. Ultimately, they expect to be amused by toys and stop engaging their own imagination and creativity to make playtime interesting.
In contrast, when the child has a few select open-ended toys, they are likely to come up with newer ways to play with the same toys every time. This helps them focus, actively participate in their play, and encourages creative and original thought.
It may be hard to narrow down a ‘perfect number’ of toys to have but there’s another way to approach buying toys. You can decide how often your child needs a new toy and look for toys accordingly. In this way, you will always have just the right amount of toys. But first, let’s look at what children actually need in toys and how it changes over time.
What do children need in toys?
Play is fun! But to our little ones, it is so much more. Play is the building block of a child’s growth and development. Children need toys to explore and understand the world around them, challenge themselves, and sharpen their rapidly developing skills.
For example, play is the only way to communicate with an infant. Whether you want to teach them to identify sounds, move their face and arms, or help them understand who mama and dada are, it has to be conveyed through a simple game and toys become essential aids or props here.
A one-year-old may be able to crawl, stand, and even take a few wobbly steps. The right toys will motivate them to find balance, walk better, and get more comfortable with movement and coordination. At this stage, they may also know a few words and be able to identify their main caregivers. The right toys will help them learn more words, form simple sentences, and express themselves better.
Toys need to complement the developmental needs of the child and help them grow through play. Keeping this in mind, it makes sense to buy new toys when your child hits new developmental milestones.
Subscribe to age-appropriate boxes of play
So should you be observing every single milestone and making note of when your child may need a new toy? That is as stressful as it sounds!
Thankfully, buying new toys does not have to be so complicated. Children do grow fast, but it takes about three months for them to hit enough milestones to warrant new toys. So you can return to your favourite toy store every three months and buy what will best suits your child at the time or you could simply subscribe to curated boxes of play.
We at shumee understand early childhood development and want to make this journey of choosing the right toys at the right time easy for you. With our Boxes of Play, all you need to do is select a plan, order once, and relax. A new box will arrive at your doorstep just as your little one is ready for it.
Every box comes with toys that are perfect for the age and stage of development your child is at. For example, in our first Ele box for newborns, you will get two colorful and textured rattles to help stimulate your baby’s sensory skills, a warm cap for your little one, and a set of milestone cards to mark all their firsts! Our first Mello box for toddlers comes with a set of wooden alphabet blocks to help your child learn letters through play, number flashcards to help them get familiar with counting, and gorgeously illustrated phonic sheets to strengthen their rapidly increasing vocabulary.
From our Ele boxes for infants and young toddlers to our Mello boxes for older toddlers to our Bozo boxes for preschoolers, every box has handpicked toys and activities that will be just right for your child. All our toys are open-ended for free play, which means that your child will engage with the toy for long enough to imbibe key age-appropriate skills.
Each box also comes with a parenting playbook packed with ideas on how to introduce the toys to your child, the specific skills they will help build, and tips on parenting based on the development stage of your child. These boxes also make the perfect gift for new parents!
If you have the right toys, you won’t need too many and won’t have to buy toys too often. A few toys that capture your child’s attention, get them curious, and light up their imagination are more than enough for them to thoroughly enjoy their playtime and grow as they play!
Subscribe to our Boxes of Play to get a thoughtfully curated box at your doorstep every three months. All toys are eco-friendly, handcrafted, and made in India.