how many toys does a toddler need? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-24-2009, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel like I'm constantly tripping over toys and am wondering how many I actually need to keep for my 15 month old. I actually have them divided into three baskets and only have 1 out at a time, so that I can rotate them for him and keep them "new" for him, but I still always feel like there are too many. Whenever I attempt to weed some out I decide that I was over-reacting and should keep the ones I have so that he doesn't get bored with too few.

I have 3 baskets full of misc smaller toys (2 ft high mesh baskets from IKEA) as well as 4 puzzles, about 10 books, a set of blocks in a wagon, a shape sorter, a ring stacker, and bigger toys that are worth keeping because they get a lot of use. He also loves to play with a lot of our kitchen items, which I wish I thought of BEFORE I bought him toys! :P

Anyone have an experience with minimalizing the toys they have & if their kids are just as happy with a few as a lot?
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#2 of 5 Old 04-24-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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Maybe it depends on the child's personality. My 15 month old has toys in the house because I have a 3.5 year old with toys, but she doesn't play with them. She has 3 things that she plays with, a small toy phone, a bounce and spin zebra, and a baby doll. So I would say that she doesn't need any toys besides those 3. I actually packed up all the toys she got for Christmas and her 1st birthday and put them in the attic because she didn't use them enough to justify keeping them around. If it wasn't for my 3 year old, who has the blocks, the Lincoln Logs, the Legos, the kitchen stuff, etc., etc., I really would probably just keep it down to those 3 things I mentioned above.

When my 3.5 year old was 15 months he had a pretty good amount of toys, but in hindsight he didn't really need them. I think I was caught up in him being my firstborn and all that jazz. He would have been fine with a few small cars, a play tool set, and a ball.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-24-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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What are all the smaller misc toys in the three baskets? Those sound like large baskets, and to have 3 full of small toys.. maybe you could pare those down. The other items: puzzles, shape sorter, rings, blocks sound good. Just remember that they're all composed of smaller pieces, so that, combined with three large baskets of small pieces can make for a perceived bigger mess when scattered about. The nice thing about the blocks and puzzles and stuff is that the small pieces can be easily contained, and within a specific location, if that makes sense.
For my ds, all his small toys are part of sets, so they are stored separately in small containers that he can manage.. I use little sand-pails.. one keeps foam letters, one keeps lil cars, one keeps wooden shapes. They hang on pegs at eye level and he can easily grab a container and play with it, and it's easier than one big bin because he can easily find what he's looking for. Larger toys like puzzles sit open on a bookshelf, one in his room and one in the living room. I guess I really don't keep small misc. toys.. we're into sets.. ds likes to pile and line up like things.
I'm also working on teaching ds to clean up.. sometimes he does it, sometimes not, but he's catching on that if too many toys are laying out, it's hard to play, and he'll pack up a sand-pail and hang it up before dragging out more.

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#4 of 5 Old 04-24-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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15 months was a tough age for me and I found that I needed a lot of different toys to keep DS busy while I tried to get stuff done so I had a system similar to what you describe. Now that my son is 28 months I've been able to pare it down substanially. He's getting really good at entertaining himself.

Right now 90% of his indoor play is cars, blocks, and animal figures. My biggest regret is spending money on "ages and stages" type toys instead of basics that will work at a variety of ages (ex. rainbow nesting stacker, nice wooden cars, etc.).

If I were you I would just weed things out as he loses interest and don't bring a lot of new stuff in until you figure out what he really needs.
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#5 of 5 Old 04-24-2009, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just gave away a shopping bag full of toys, which helps more than it would seem. I also sorted through his toys, putting his bath toys in the bathroom, the outdoor toys outside, and putting away anything that he abscombed (?) that wasnt really a toy. I realized some of the toys were for an older child so put them away for later, and some were baby so I put them in a box for when my next one is old enough. Sets are together now and out of his reach so that we can play them together and they won't get scattered around the room. Now that things are organized I can pay attention and see what he really plays with and what I can keep weeding out. Thanks for the comments, it's good to hear from other moms!
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