My sister and her husband have a 1½-year-old toddler who seems healthy in all respects. During a recent stay at their place, however, I watched the boy playing with his toys and could not help but wonder if he is being overstimulated. FTR, my sister is affluent and she and her husband can afford to give my nephew anything he might possibly want or need. Consequently, they do. And so does his extended family. His room looks like a toy store, as does the family room.
When I gently suggested that too many toys might possibly = overstimulation which itself might possibly contribute to attention problems (i.e. ADD) down the road, she said no research exists to show that having too many toys is potentially damaging. To the contrary, she said that it sparks creativity and thinking. I responded that the last generation of kids should therefore be the most creative and deep thinking in history, yet I’ve seen no signs of this. I then observed–but wisely did not say–that her son never plays with a single toy more than a minute or two, before moving on to the next toy. (At least, that is his history around me.)
Is there any research that points to too many toys as a function of future attention or other developmental problems?