Monday, May 10, 2010

Mission: Simplifying Toys

If you had asked me what I thought about toys before my quest to learn more about the "whys" behind them, I would have said that the more the better. But that is natural right?
Kids = Piles 'o Toys.

But now after really thinking about the toys that I own and the toys that benefit my kids. I understand that Kids - Piles 'o Toys= Freedom. Sounds so cliche, I know. But it's true. I found that my toy piles had been skipped over in simplifying my home, but why? The book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne answers the questions that I think everyone needs to hear. Here are a few points paraphrased that he makes in the chapter on a child's 'environment'.

  • Toys are marketed now adays so that if the child doesn't have them, their imagination is gone. The toy is responsible for play, not the child.

  • Kids feel entitled with more. They are not able to take care of what they have, because they know there will always be something else.

  • Having lots of toys mean that none of them will truly have the child's full attention. The full potential of that toy won't be reached, because they're already on to the next thing.

  • Boredom is a gift. Children don't need piles or a certain educational toy to develop who they are. They need unstructured time for play.

  • Most children have 150 toys. If your child can't pick them up in 5 minutes they probably have too many.

  • Books also are included in the simplifying. Too many books do not equal a well educated child. When not regulated they can become a form of clutter & excess. With too many to choose from they become disposable, commercialized, and overexposed just like toys.

He also says that many parents feel surprised by this assessment of their children's things. "It's as though parents realize they're on a runaway train, but they can't believe they never noticed it speeding up. Even in the span of one or two generation, there has been a sea change, a flood of items marketed to parents for their children."

My hopes for my kids future things are this....

Play Wooden food.

A miniature tea set.

A how-to book about simple wood projects for kids.

Different size play silks.

    Nature. Rocks. Big. Little. Huge.


Hula hoops.

Set of small real tools hammer, saw, etc.

Small rolling pin.

Little wheelbarrow.


I don't want to take away the joy of them experiencing life. I want to take away the outside pressure of more, and give them the joy of living with less & finding contentment with the things they do have.

"When you act to limit what you don't want for your family, you clarify what you really do need, what is important to you. Your values clarify. Simplification is a path of self-definition for the family."- Dr. Kim Payne

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