There’s nothing quite as satisfying to a parent as a “toy purge,” that glorious experience where you gather up and donate ALL the toys your kids don’t play with anymore and get them the crap out of your house. Am I right?? Oooooh that feels GOOD! Well now, science says, a nice toy cleansing doesn’t just make you feel good, it’s also good for your kids to actually have less toys!!!

Holla if ya HEARD ME! Your kids are actually happier with a smaller number of toys! This is the best news ever! 

A recent study in Infant Behavior and Development says what you’ve always known as a mom all along:  your kids don’t NEED that much crap. The study shows that kids who are surrounded by fewer toys have happier, healthier playtimes. Boom! Specifically, the study tested 36 toddlers between the ages of 18-30 months. They put half the group in a room with four toys for 30 minutes and the other half in a playroom with sixteen toys for 30 minutes.

The toddlers who had four toys? HAPPIER! Yessss! Researchers found that the kiddos with fewer toys also had a more actively engaged play time. Having less toys to choose from also allowed them to be more creative in their play as well, using one toy in multiple ways, rather than just hopping over to the next available toy.

Researchers said, “This suggests that the other toys present may have created a source of external distraction, provoking the participants to abandon play with a toy at hand to explore another.”

Bottom line? Time to throw out about half your kids’ toys if you want to help their attention span and creativity. ANNND the available floor space in your house! Tell Grandma not to go overboard for baby’s birthday this year, too! How about paying for a day at the zoo or the children’s museum instead of a bazillion new toys? 

I’m 100% on board with this study and I think we need to spread the word. Who else is getting ready to purge the playroom? Let’s do this! 

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Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.