If a child seems to be jumping from one toy to the next, they're not trying to find something that holds their attention, they're trying to find something that holds MY attention.
Cleaning up and sorting too many toys can be overwhelming to a child.
Having too many interesting toys means a child never gets bored and comes to learn from me.
My three little ones are too little to be expected to play well together without me within arms reach.
I have struggled to find the balance between having interesting things for the girls to play with and being able to manage the chaos. Just in the last month, I have struck the perfect balance of just enough toys to stimulate their little minds and yet keep my sanity.
One of the toys that is within reach is a small box of cars and tracks. There are more tracks but, I put them away because this small little loop is about the length of my arm. That's the distance I can defend from the destructive toddlers.
That is it for the toys that they have regular access to. When Amanda helps me clean up, there are only three easy types of toys to put away: cars and tracks, baby toys and books. They also have access to the plasticware cupboard and their drawer with cups, lids, and plastic bowls.
We have some special toys that are stored in our room under the nightstand that they can play with on occasion. Usually the door is closed so they can't get them, don't see them, and don't ask for them. I will bring them out when they seem to need something new. That rarely happens. They really seem to keep busy. They used to have access to all of these boxes but the contents would get dumped and then the would climb all over the boxes or ride in them like boats or ride on them like horseys. It was crazy and dangerous and to difficult to "police." Each of these toys are things I like and can be creative with. They are also have multiple pieces that take up a relatively small area for storage. This means they can be divided among lots of kids and tucked neatly away.
This little people house is such a favorite but the pieces are too small for Tali. The girls just couldn't be trusted to keep them away from her so I finally put it up high in Christiana's closet. The only time it comes out is when Tristen is here to play because he always asks for it. Amanda and Tristen play with it when the little girls are in bed.
There are all kinds of little people, tables, chairs, and vehicles in this set. The box also contains small animals, bugs and snakes.