DO TOYS DISTRACT FOCUS?

Children become distracted when they are surrounded by toys Too many toys are bad for children as a study suggests that the children become distracted when they are surrounded by too many toys. This is what the parents have suspected all along. Children who have too many toys are more also easily distracted so do not enjoy that quality playtime with other children as the new study suggest. Researchers at University of Toledo in Ohio, US, recruited some 36 toddlers and invited them to play in a room for half an hour, with either four toys, or 16 toys. They found youngsters were far more creative when they had fewer toys to play with. And they played with each for twice as long, thinking up more uses for each toy and lengthening and expanding their games. The authors conclude parents, schools and nurseries should pack away most of their toys and just rotate a small number regularly, to help encourage the children to become more creative to improve the attention spans of the children. This study sought to determine if the number of toys in a toddlers’ environments influences their quality of play,” said the lead author Dr Carly Dauch in journalInfant Behaviour and Development.“The higher number of incidences of play in 16 toy condition did interfere with duration and depth of play. Other toys present created their external distractions. “During toddler years, children develop but not master, higher levels of control over attention. And their attention plus their play was disrupted by factors in an environment present with distractions. The results of the present study suggest an abundance of toys create distractions. But provided with fewer toys in their environments the toddlers engaged in longer periods of play with single toy allowing better focus to explore, play more creatively.”Getting rid of toys encourages children to read more or paint, say researchers Getting rid of toys encourages children to read more or paint, says researchers. Britons spend more than £3 billion each year on toys and surveys shows that a typical child owns 238 toys in total but parents think they play with just the 12 ‘favourites’ on a daily basis making up just five per cent of their toys. It is not the first time research suggested that too many toys distract children. In the 1990s the German researchers, Elke Schubert and Rainer Strick conducted experiment where the toys were taken away from Munich nursery for three months. After a few weeks, the children re-adjusted and their play became far more creative and social. The published research of their findings in their book, called, The Toy-free Nursery. In another book, ClutterFree with Kids the author, Joshua Becker also argued fewer toys are better for children because a sparse playroom encourages creativity to help children develop attention span and to teach youngsters about taking care of their possessions. “A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there countless options are still remaining on the shelf behind them,” he said. “When children have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. And they will not learn to value them if there is their replacement ready at hand. “Fewer toys causes these children to become more resourceful by solving problems with only materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited practical uses in their futures.

The research is published in the journal Infant Behaviour and Development. The conflict of interest of the toy companies advertising children playing with many latest toys makes parents feel obliged to buy them for the children not to feel left out. Children display their toys online on social media to compare with each other including the addictive games that stop children learning, doing homework assignments later in college, university or focus at work. Lack attention span or focus from childhood affects the adults today unable concentrate for few hours to complete tasks at hand. Christmas is around and parents must not let a child manipulate them emotionally to buy a toy without teaching them first value of essential basic reading at level. Children can get a few educational toy to reward them to do exceptionally well in a field of academic achievement at school. The development steared towards a specific direction of any future career requires relevant toys to influence natural gifts, talents and abilities. Otherwise parents unintentionally make children victim of success by their ability to buy too many toys they can afford. Just because it is possible to buy things seen on the TV in adverts does not mean it enhances their specific development. Parent knows the children best, whether they are trained experts or not must help child learn not to depend only on school to learn. Early learning through practical play is now rapidly eroded by virtual reality keep children cocooned online. So important to carefully reflect before Christmas on piling up toys to “prove” your “love” of your children to the world overloading them with too many toys. Experience shows most children are just so happy playing with the box, not expensive toys boosting their parents ego. Millennium children are suffering from the lack of a social understanding or interaction due to isolated attachment to toys valued as more precious than engaging with each other. Time consumed worrying about their toy possessions makes them miss out on appreciating fellow human being as adults due to learned behaviour. The competition among children, teenagers over toys leads further to threats of the perceived anger of friends loving them only for their material possessions. The toys must not take over to babysit their children without adult supervision and input. One of the best ways to bond with children is play with them sometimes to help them value the adults in their lives.

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