Why fewer, better toys encourage more creative kids!

Posted on by Helena Eddings

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It can be easy to buy into the marketing hype that our children need more stuff to stay busy during playtime. But when it comes to toys, scientific research is finding that less is so much more.

As a result, mamas are turning to products made with high-quality craftsmanship that allow them to last, and that are designed in a way that fosters creativity. Rather than stifling ideas with clutter—fewer, better, more beautiful toys can bring a child’s imagination to life.

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Here are four reasons why minimalism encourages more creative play:

1. It encourages story-making over storytelling.

For so long, parents provide the primary narrative in their children’s lives. Many parents begin reading to their babies from day one (or even sooner), and this storytelling provides an invaluable service in developing their child’s budding vocabulary. And today, technology often plays a prevalent role in the stories children are told.

But as children grow into toddlers and beyond, their playtime should also inspire them to tell their own stories. Parents can help by providing toys that foster open-ended play. For example, an electronic car will always be a car, but a beautifully made toy can star in any number of stories your little one invents.

2. It eliminates stress in the household over clutter.

If the site of a messy living room sends you into an anxiety tailspin, you’re not alone. Research has confirmed that prolonged clutter triggers a release of cortisol in our brains, resulting in stressed out mamas everywhere. And all that stress has a tangential effect on our children.

But by decluttering our homes from excessive toys and replacing them with fewer, better-made options, we encourage more peaceful play (and bedtimes…and meal times…and all times) all around.

3. It fosters better focus.

It may seem counterintuitive, but toddlers are actually more likely to play for longer and more happily when they have fewer toys to choose from. Think about it this way: If you were trying to read a book but your phone kept buzzing with new text messages, how likely are you to get through that chapter with a deep understanding of what you read? It’s the same for toddlers.

With fewer options, they are inspired to be more creative with their prolonged play. And with less to clean up, you are free to be more present in the time you spend playing together.

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4. It inspires innovation.

By providing your child with toys that aren’t necessarily limited to a single age group or style of play, you create an environment where creativity can flourish. The result? Quality toys that last and will be played with in ways you might never have imagined.

This sets the stage for a lifelong creative thinker who has learned to view problems and experiences from different perspectives to find better solutions. (AKA, a child who will conquer whatever roadblocks that land in front of her.)

When you show a preference for toys that are designed to last and quality over quantity, your children are more likely to adopt the same habits when they start making purchasing decisions. Just one more reason to embrace a fewer, better approach at home.

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West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.