What Toys do Kids Really Need ?

There are so many toys available nowadays and each and every toy is said to help the child develop, gain new skills.

What toys do Kids really Need? Surprisingly while kids do need something to play with, those don’t necessarily have to be toys. Wooden spoons and vessels, towels, buckets, mugs, pebbles, marbles, sticks are all good toys for kids.

Let us take a look at some of the toys which can help kids without having to splurge on expensive ones.


For a Baby a toy is the hand and legs, observing objects and others. Yes, they like a rattle but it is not essential for their playtime.

  • Rattles
  • Board Books
  • Felt books with textures
  • Mat with textures – Nowadays playmats are specifically designed for babies with different textures and bold patterns which babies love


Toddlers love to explore objects and are constantly learning and creating. Here are some suggestions for Toddlers which can help make playtime fun.

Toddlers get easily distracted by too many things and overwhelmed. This can also be the reason why your child is having frequent breakdowns and tantrums.

By age 3 three the kids will start gravitating towards specific toys. Let them decide which ones they want to play with.

Toys which are unused can be stored away or donated.

  • Open-ended Toys are best as they foster imagination
  • Pots and Pans
  • Stacking Bowls
  • Building Blocks
  • Dolls
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Nesting Cups

Age 5

Kids are ready to start building at these ages. They love designing, painting, crafts. Again, each kid has different interests and this should be taken as a general guideline only. Here are some simple toys to engage your babies at age 5.

  • Building towers
  • Designing train tracks
  • Toys for serving food
  • Pretend Play with dolls and teddy bear
  • Blocks
  • Blank canvas

Instead of buying toys take them to a museum or science exhibition to allow personal interaction.

Too Many Toys can Be Bad

I got to this realization because I was having trouble with too many toys and clutter in the house. Feeling overwhelmed I read articles, watched videos and read books.

I learned how to get rid of Clutter and also was shocked to learn that too many toys can harm my baby. Here is some major finding which you might find helpful.

# Distracted

My child was always distracted, kind of jumpy, wouldn’t sit in one place and always needed something new or funner

This I realized was because there was just too much stuff and it w.as distracting him.. a lot. That was when we decided what to keep and undertook our journey towards Toy minimalism .

This has totally helped our family get back on track and be more respectful of what we have and be grateful.

# Quality Playtime

More toys means distractions, dissatisfaction and playtime suffers. There are too many choices, too many hurdles to play.

Fewer toys means each toy if well thought or and selected will enhance playtime as each toy is open-ended. Toys can be used in various ways if we select open-ended toys which make playtime lots of fun.

# Short Play

You might notice that your child is playing with a toy for very short spans. They take the toy and while it is in the hand they move on to the next.. This is a sign that something isn’t right. Go through the toys and discard toys which the child isnt interested in. Select some good open-ended toys and keep them.

You will notice that your child will spend more time playing with such toys ( longer stretches of time).

# Superficial Play

This is one I noticed in my child. He was playing with the toys but just superficially. There was no intense play time. This led me to understand that he wasn’t able to get creative and connect with the toys.

When I minimalized the toys, he spent hours on creative imaginative play. This play session lasted longer and was more intense and involved.

Benefits of Fewer Toys

Surprisingly fewer toys can have many benefits for your child. Here are some benefits which I have noticed in my child after I went through a major decluttering of toys and activities and books.

  • More creative – He thinks of different ways to play with the same toys. Blocks can build a fort be prison walls, be a toy car and more.
  • Social – Lesser toys means more interactions with his sister as they share ideas and play together.
  • Longer Playtime -He plays longer with the toys, giving me more time to spend on myself and my work.
  • Improved attention spans – I love this benefit. He has deeper, concentrated play sessions
  • Take Care – Kid takes better care of his items as they are fewer.
  • Grateful for what he has – This is what I absolutely love, gratitude.

How Many Toys Should a Kid Have?

it’s not the number of toys that is most important, but how engaging and stimulating the toys are for your child.”

The best toys available are those meant to encourage engagement, inquiry, experimentation, communication, joint attention, and social interaction,

Related Questions

What Can I give Instead of Toys?

I remember panicking when I realised if I got rid of toys, I must think of alternatives. So what are some good Non Toy gifts for kids?

Non toy gift ideas

  • Toy Subscription Boxes – These can be used and thrown away after the activity is done. Yes some are expensive but you get new sets of activities every month to try.
  • Visits to the zoo, park, movie, theatre, puppet shows, local readings at library
  • Movies – We try to watch all kids movies in the theatre together
  • Subscriptions to kids books, we loved Tinkle Subscriptions and if you subscribe you pay very less than if you pay for each single book
  • Music Classes, Craft Classes, Dance Classes, Cookery Classes, Magic Classes – Kids love these and they can learn new skills while having some fun
  • Sewing, Knitting, Crochet – My daughter wanted a sewing machine and crochet needles as a gift for her birthday. She spends hours creating new patterns and gifts her creations
  • Stamp kits, Make it yourself wooden kits ( ship, truck) – my son asked for such kits and we make them and paint them together.
  • Bicycle – We have one for each child and they enjoy riding these
  • Trips – We take many short trips together. Our favorite go to places are the ocean, mountains, library.

How to Get Rid of Too Many Toys ?

This might be painful initially but getting rid of toys is actually helping your child and your sanity.

I have a minimalist toy guide on what toys to keep if you want help deciding what to keep and what to let go.

I keep a box for toys to throw, one for toys to keep and one box for those I would like to donate. My son and me usually sit together and work on the toys together. Sometimes I do the purge myself, especially those days on which I am very tired and cannot handle another “can we keep this please.”

Having my son help me purge can be helpful at times, because he knows what he wants to play with and what he wants to give away.

I am surprised at how sometimes our ideas are polar opposite. This is one of the best times for us on the good days, where we bond, have fun and are proud we could make another child happy with our donations.

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