Monday, September 15, 2008

Minimizing Monday: Life without toys?

Thanks Kendra for the timely reminder today. I’ve been reminded so many times recently that the toys need another going through. I just purged our toys at the end of July — getting rid of a full half of them. But the room still looks like this:
The Toy Room

Clearly, too much.

I’ve been toying with the idea lately of living for a time without toys (or with very few toys). In reality, my kids don’t play with toys all that much. They play outside, do art stuff, read books, etc. But the toys are played with maybe an hour a day (and most of that is dress-up stuff).
About a month ago, my sister-in-law decided to try a week without toys. She boxed up every toy she could find, and put them under the stairs for a whole week. In the end, each of her five kids (at least the ones old enough to talk) admitted that they didn’t really miss the toys. Instead they played outside more, spend less time picking up and had less to fight over. She ended up giving about half of the toys back to them, but since then, we’ve both been really thinking that less is better. I don’t think I’m ready to box up all the toys just yet — we just built those shelves. But I’m definately giving these things more thought.
What’s your experience? How do you deal with hyper-toy-itis, and how do you kids respond to the purging? I’m so impressed with Kendra’s kids letting her get rid of stuffed animals! Our kids would mourn those for days.


  1. mom_of2boys:

    The shelves are great! I wish we had the extra storage. I went through the kids toys earlier in the year. I found that I missed the toys more than them. I think it’s that I knew how much some of the toys were and I hated that they only played with them a few times before getting rid of them. The other thing was the thought of them outgrowing the toys - kids grow up so fast. As far as stuffed animals, I don’t like them. It try to limit the number of them that come into the house and try not to let them stay around too long.

  2. Amy H:

    I love the decapitated Cabbage Patch. :-)

    DH is pretty adamant about keeping toys down to a minimum, which helps me stay motivated. We only keep out what seem to be the “favorites” for the time being (which for right now is mainly doll/baby paraphernalia), and put the rest in storage for when they get bored with the favorites. I’ve used Montessori ideas in setting up our toy room - maybe I’ll take pictures sometime and post them on my blog.

    We also keep craft supplies such as colors, paper, glue, etc. close at hand, though not in the play area since that has destructive results.

    Purging is hard - usually I try to do it when they’re not looking, especially the younger one, who’s very much in the “mine” stage right now.

    The older one is getting better at being okay about it - she’ll even help me pick out what she wants to send to Goodwill for other kids to play with.

  3. Welcome to blogspot. :-)

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