Saturday, April 2, 2011

Toys, toys, and more toys!

I must mention one of the things that we have done ever since Andrew was a baby. When our children receive a toy they have to give one away to a friend, a local shelter, goodwill, or a church clothing closet. Wow, that's harsh, right? Wrong, it has been a perfect opportunity for us to teach our children to be giving and to be thankful for what they have. Now, obviously they don't have just one toy! On the contrary, oftentimes I am overwhelmed at how many we have. Part of this stemmed from a time when we were just married and we babysat 3 kids over for an afternoon while their parents went out. I had a toybox of really cool toys and they played with them for not even 5 minutes and whined and complained that they wanted different toys and were bored. I was so upset, until I went to their home the next week and saw their toys. They were everywhere!!!!! I am not kidding. I couldn't believe how they were oozing out of every nook and cranny. I observed then how they played: they would take a toy down and, seemingly looked at it and throw it on the ground, then got a different toy down. There was no imagination at all. My mind couldn't imagine not playing with that toy with all these vivid details and exciting possibilities.It was then that I decided we as parents could help our little ones avoid this trauma. 

Dollar tree toys don't last long in our home. Most of the toys that remain in our home are the high dollar items like pet shop, polly pocket, Lincoln logs, Matchbox,  fisher price Little Family, and best of all, Legos! Granted, most of these were given to us or found at my local retailer--Garage sales or Goodwill!

We also have a rule that our kids are only allowed to play with one item and put away before getting another out. That doesn't mean they can only play with one car, but if they want to play with the cars that is fine, but they cannot bring lincoln logs out too. I sound like Hitler, ordering my kids how to play, but I am their mommy and I know that they play better and longer if they do not have a mess of different toys everywhere. AND the cleanup is much easier and feasible to a little one. 

So, if you have little ones, I would challenge you to put some plan into action in eliminating the stress of too many toys, lack of imagination, and your wanting to pull your own hair out.

Thomas the Train (3 sets, 8 trains, and 3 vehicles). Paid $6.99 for all at Goodwill right before Christmas last year!
Enjoy playing with those toys with your little ones today!!!