I recently came across an article entitled "Why I took all my kid's toys away (and why I wont give them back)" and it really resonated with me.
While we don't have nearly the amount of toys as other families, we still have far more than we need. My kids (Ryan in particular) are overwhelmed by it all and actually don't PLAY with any of it. The things we do have are organized into baskets or tubs and they just dump it all out, throw things at each other and then cry when they step on something hard. After that fun is done they whine at my feet that they are bored.
Ryan has even told me before that he is done with toys, they are for babies and Weston can just have them! I can't remember the last time he actually played with or did anything with the toys in our house.
He spends his day at my side, doing what I do. He helps me cook, do dishes, grocery shop, plays on the computer, or watches a movie. He loves "activity" type things like games, puzzles, crafts, play dough.. those are my saving grace!
I was at my wits end for sure. I was sick of the messes, the complaining, and wasting money trying to buy things I think they would like. I told friends and family not to get toys for any holidays! For Easter he got glow sticks, a book, and bubbles and it was perfect. For birthdays I am requesting books and craft supplies.
Anyway, back to the TOY issue. In a fit of rage (okay just a really frustrating day) I got a huge tub and packed away 80% of the toys and donated a ton of barely used toys and old books to our church nursery. I kept out a few "sets" of things, including the only thing that kind of gets played with- a small tub of kids meal toy type things.
So far they havent complained once, the house stays cleaner and when they open the toy cabinets they are not overwhelmed. I slowly started getting out one thing at a time from the packed away stash. Yesterday it was the kitchen and play food. Today it was the trains. You guys, they actually PLAYED with them, and for a while too! It was nuts. I was happily surprised by it. And the second they get bored and move on we clean it up together. I also noticed that Ryan can clean up MUCH easier. Even with it being organized before he had an impossible time cleaning up simply because it was just too much for him to take in. When nothing else is out, it was easy for him AND Weston to put all the trains in this one tub right here. And they did it happily.
I am happy with the choice we made to simplify our life a bit. Society makes it seem like we have to buy our kid's love, we have to have the latest toy revolving around whatever favorite tv show of the moment (we did it with power rangers, no judgement here) I also know that I get excited over new toys and want to buy it all for my kids. News flash- THEY DON'T NEED IT. Raise your hands if your kids play longer with an empty cardboard box than anything else! Yeah, us too. Just say it with me "no more toys."
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