In my house, I have a special little tradition I like to practice from time to time. It’s a detox of sorts — a way of realigning the energy in my home and mind as a peaceful practice to evoke harmony and balance into our lives once again.
Just kidding, it’s really just me going on a rampage through my house tossing out all of my kids’ crap.
I have to admit that part of me has felt guilty in the past about getting rid of brand new toys that my kids have already forgotten/broke/left abandoned to impale me in the middle of the night, but I am vowing no more. Because now, even science is backing the time-honored mama tradition that says that fewer toys equals a happier family.
According to a February 2018 article in Infant Behavior and Development, researchers found that having too many toys actually reduces the quality of play in toddlers. The study explained that child development experts wanted to test the hypothesis that an environment with fewer toys would actually promote higher quality play for toddlers. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what they found.
Researchers found that with fewer toys in their environment, toddlers not only played with their toys for longer periods of a time, but they also were more creative in their play and engaged with their toys in more ways. At the end of the study, the author’s conclusion was that “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.”
BAM! There it is.
Finally, scientific proof that all these years spent secretly getting rid of my kids’ toys have not been in vain. In fact, they are just proof that I am, at my core, a loving and wonderful mother who is focused on creating the optimal loving, healthy, and creative environment for my kids. And if that means tossing their junk, so be it. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.