Why Less Toys Equals More Fun

Nicole Sanchez on

My kids don’t have very many toys, but they have lots of fun! When we moved to Mexico, we could only bring with us what we could fit in our vehicles. That meant that we had to make lots of hard choices, and in the end, we could only bring the basics along with us. It was hard for me to see so many things left behind, but now, five years later, I think it was for the best. Since downsizing on our toy boxes, I’ve noticed several positive changes in my kids. Based on my experiences, I truly believe that my kids are having more fun now that they have less toys.

Having less toys….
1. Inspires Creativity: When kids don’t have so many toys, they are forced to use their creative side to have fun. To encourage their creativity, I gave them a craft box full of different kinds of paper, pipe cleaners, Styrofoam balls, scissors, glue, etc. We also collect things like boxes, toilet paper tubes, cans, jars, etc.

2. Keeps Rooms Cleaner: When we live in the US, I remember always being on my kids case about keeping their room clean. The reality is that if they have less toys, they can’t make as big of a mess. Yes, making crafts can make messes too, but we limit it to the kitchen table and they’ve learned how to put all the extra things back in the craft box and sweep the rest into the garbage can when they’re done.

3. Teaches Responsibility: Often times, when kids have lots of toys they start to take them for granted. With fewer toys, kids learn to appreciate them more and take better care of them. They know that if they break, there isn’t a similar replacement waiting for them in the toy box.

4. Boosts Problem-Solving Skills: Kids with fewer toys are forced to solve more problems. For example, the other day my kids were playing “doctor” but they didn’t have one of those plastic doctor kits they sell for kids. So what did they do? They looked around the house and made their own kit all on their own.

5. Fosters Collaboration: Having less toys means that kids have to learn to either take turns, or to work together. In my experience, having less toys has taught my kids to put their resources together and work in collaboration. Not only is this good for them now, but it’s a skill that will help them in any workplace in the future.

6. Encourages Outside Time: With fewer toys, kids are more apt to go outside to play. We’re fortunate to have a hobby farm for our kids to play at. In the beginning I used to tell my kids to pack a bag with a few toys to make sure they wouldn’t get bored. To my surprise, more times than not that bag got left in the car while they ran around playing with rocks, coconuts, and other little things they found around the farm.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against toys. My kids both have several toys including dolls, blocks, action figures etc. I just don’t think it’s necessary or beneficial to have tons of toys. Even though I hardly ever buy my kids toys, they still get plenty of toys from relatives at the holidays. So one thing we do to keep our toy situation under control is we pick a few toys to give away to low-income families each holiday season. This not only helps keep their toy population in check, but it also teaches them the joy of giving to others.

Happy Teaching,
Nicole Sanchez