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We Don’t Need Any More Toys!

November 23, 2009
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Seriously – any time anyone asks me what toys they can buy for my kids, I tell them not to bother. The things that get the most love and play-time around here are usually not toys at all. The little one wants only to chew on things that shouldn’t be in his mouth.

My big girl? Well, she’s a little treasure hunter…pack rat…she squirrels little random things away and plays with them through the day. I decided today to write an ongoing list of the things she plays with in a day. So, just today, she played with:

-My sock

-A leaf

-Tap shoes

-My sneaker(just one – it was a school bus)

-A little flashlight keychain(her keys)

-a pretend cell phone/calculator from a Wendy’s kid’s meal (don’t judge – I’m the one who ate the kids meal!)

-scraps of fabric

-a carrot

-multiple plastic cups

-an empty container from her brother’s puffies

-a necklace

-a nickel

-a plastic ring

-a sick

-many acorns

-a matchbox car

-a bathing suit

-a LOT of blankets – a LOT!

It’s so true that kids need only a blanket and their imagination. I always feel guilty when we go to others’ homes for playdates, etc. and I see how many toys their kids have and how much space they have to play. Then we get home and I remember how happy my kids are. I remember how much they love their cozy little play spaces scattered around the rooms of our house. I remember how much I love that any play that they do is within a few feet of me and that I will one day ache to have that time back. I remember and reaffirm for myself the decision that we will not be unrealistic by any means, but we do want to minimize the “stuff” that they have that entertains them rather than them playing with a toy that encourages creativity and imagination.

{This post is part of Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Challenge.}

11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2009 12:27 am

    haha That age was awesome! Don’t feel guilty, enjoy it. It doesn’t last forever. Soon everything they want costs at least $30. :sigh:


  2. Kim permalink
    November 24, 2009 8:00 am

    That list is so cute!

  3. November 24, 2009 9:00 am

    So very true. My kiddos favorite plaything right now are the couch cushions. They take them all off the couch & jump on them.

  4. November 24, 2009 10:39 am

    We don’t keep many toys around either. It’s worked well for us. I loved your list of what your daughter played with- sounded very familiar:)

  5. Victoria permalink
    November 24, 2009 12:00 pm

    I agree, they are much more into the world around them rather than toys!
    Shoes are so versatile. πŸ™‚

  6. November 24, 2009 1:18 pm

    We did a massive chuck out a couple of years ago… one granny spends far too much on expensive, precious trinkets and the other buys heaps and heaps of junk (so as not too spend too much)… one year in the great present competition the kids had more than they could even open… completely against our ideals… needless to say out went everything… we have se7en types of toy, if it isn’t one of those don’t buy it… And we have weeks when our toys don’t even come out of the cupboard… less is definitely more!!! Less stuff means far more creative kids and far less stressed parents. Great post!!!

  7. November 24, 2009 3:45 pm

    Nice list! I love that — I remember when my oldest was little, all his toys fit in a very small bin.

    That has definitely changed in the last few years, now my boys are six and three. It seems to require ultra-vigilance to keep things down to a minimum!

    We try to limit what comes in — not only the amount but the type of toys, sticking to the basics, like building blocks, animals, marbles, etc. And we pare down on what we have (giving things away or putting things away to bring out again later).

    I love when kids get absorbed by the simplest things or in making their own creations.


    (found you via Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge)

  8. November 26, 2009 12:05 am

    So true! The simplest things are the best. We are really cutting back on the toys coming into the house these days, and we recently went through and got rid of a bunch. That’s not to say that we don’t still have too many, but it’s a start. πŸ™‚

  9. November 29, 2009 10:34 pm

    I am right there with you on the toy issue, but I appreciate your honesty about how hard it can be when you walk into someone else’s home. LOVE your list- it sounds like your daughter certainly knows how to make her own little world of fun!

  10. Abigail permalink
    December 14, 2010 10:17 pm

    Some of my favorite memories of playing involved taking blankets and making tents out of our bunk beds. We had one tent that spanned the whole room, between various hooks, dressers and, of course, the bed. We’d also take all the blankets and pillows in the house, put them in a pile, and jump into them (and cut my brother’s head open) or jump off a bed into the pile (and break my brother’s foot). (Yes, we were dangerous at times, but neither were permanently harmed.) We’d also go outside, find what we could in the garage and set up tents/campsites from that stuff. Then we’d play house with “food” from plants around the yard. I think the only memories I have of playing with toys is either legos (and making lego space ships with all my siblings) or dolls, and even then, it was certain dolls.

    I don’t have kids yet, nor will I probably for a while, but I’ll certainly have to take this into consideration.

  11. December 15, 2010 11:02 pm

    My children are grown and are raising their own now. Your story takes me back to when I was young and raising mine. In our basement we had a couple of old mattresses on the floor where all kinds imaginary play took place when my daughters were young. Barbie doll mansions, ships sailing across the ocean, magic carpet, story telling time, to a tumbling mat, where my oldest lost a permanent tooth which got caught on a mattress thread while she was performing her newly mastered forward flip. I remember it well, “mommy, watch I can do a flip with no hands”, and before I could yell, “ah… don’t do that you might get ……!!!” it was too late. The tooth came flying out of her mouth across the room, a bloody mess, trip to the dentist who was just leaving the office for the day, but gave up his afternoon plans to save a tooth. Yes, the tooth, which had at one time been a baby tooth which she lost, and then found hidden in my drawer, (I could never throw those baby teeth away, geez, they were one of the last precious things of their babyhood I had to hold onto.) Which now had grown in as a permanent tooth only to be lost again, but, ah yes, the tooth was found way on the other side of the room and was saved by our wonderful, kindhearted, selfless dentist. The stories are endless. That is what childhood is all about. Yes, I could look back and think about how things could have/should have been, but then we wouldn’t have the memories we have now. I love the way I raised my kids. Very little tv, no computers, (this was 38 years ago), no x-box/nintendo, etc.. and they are wonderful, happy, well adjusted, successful human beings. I would not change anything. We found our love for life and family in that basement on those old torn up mattresses.

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