Study: Having Too Many Toys Stifles Creativity in Kids

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Time to downsize? A new study suggests giving children fewer toys allows them to focus better and become more creative.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Toledo, involved a total of 36 toddlers who were invited to play in a room for 30 minutes with either four or 16 toys.

After analyzing their subjects' behaviors, officials discovered that toddlers were much more creative when given fewer toys as opposed to several.

"When provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively," researchers said in a statement.

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Though officials ultimately concluded that fewer toys "promotes development and healthy play," they aren't suggesting parents and caregivers throw Tickle Me Elmo and their collection of Fisher Price gadgets in the trash.

"One recommendation may be to opt for having fewer toys available in a play environment for any one play session," the study says. "When there is an abundance of toys, small collections can be rotated into play while the majority is stored away, providing opportunities for novelty without creating the distraction posed by having too many toys available."

This isn't the first time the suggestion has been made. In fact, Joshua Becker, author of "ClutterFree with Kids," also pointed out that children thrive more when given fewer toys, the Telegraph reported.

"A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there are countless options still remaining on the shelf behind them," Becker wrote. "Fewer toys causes children to become resourceful by solving problems with only the materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited potential."

Researchers published their findings in the Infant Behavior and Development journal.

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