Have you ever had so much to do that you were overwhelmed? I can certainly relate to that. If there is too large a task in front of me, I find it hard to focus and seem to get discouraged before I even start. The same can happen with your children.
When our children were babies, we would limit the toys they had access to. When they were able to sit upright but couldn’t crawl much, we had a basket with 3 toys in it and we would place 1 or 2 toys in front of them. The children were able to focus and would happily sit and play with those toys. We would regularly change those toys every few days or weekly and put those 3 toys away and bring out another 3 toys. Whenever we happened to put out too many toys at the one time, the children wouldn’t focus on any one toy but would soon become distracted and unhappy and want attention.
When they became toddlers, the basket of toys had 4 or 5 toys in it. We would regularly rotate the toys but the children would only have a limited amount to choose from. We found that this helped them keep focused and helped them really maximise the benefit from each toy.
As the children have grown older I still see a similar pattern. When they have too much on their ‘plate’ or have too much homework or are stressed about a lot of things coming up, they tend to dither and waste time stressing about it and then tend to not achieve any of the activities or homework. A similar pattern still seems to exist with their toys. If there are too many choices, they don’t tend to really play with any one item but tend to float from one item to another without really maximising the benefit of any one toy, game, book etc.
I can certainly relate as an adult. When I have too much to do, if I don’t first sit down and write out a list, even if it is a massive clean of the house, I then waste time and don’t get anything achieved. If I have a list, I love doing the activities so that I can cross items off my list.
Do your children have too many toys, balls, games etc available at the moment and would it be easier for them to focus if a few were ‘put away’ for awhile?