….and I may toss more.
If that has ever been an idea for you…I say go for it! LOL #teamtossitout
Why I did it:
I didn’t ever want a messy, toy-filled playroom. The energy was bad for me. I hated cleaning it up every night, and being naggymommy making the kids clean up with me (Even though we made it as fun as we could). It was always messy. I tried the parenting book tactics of “play with one toy at a time, put it away before moving to the next one” bla bla bla but the rule didn’t stick because we move from room to room to outside so much. And if they were in their own 15 minutes of “quiet time” (aka Mommy’s late afternoon sanity break) they would “read” for 2 seconds and then just pull out everything at once and just swim in it until quiet time was up.
Bigger than that, I didn’t like how the children were interacting with their toys, valuing them, or treating them. And the energy of the messy playroom throughout the day added to their already high energy, but in a weird manic let’s-throw-this-and-this-and-this-while-shrieking.. kind of way. I’m a big believer in energy, and removing stuff so fresh energy can flow through clear open areas. (This is part of the reason why we have a big empty space in the middle of our house)
What I tossed/donated:
- All the broken, bent, parts missing, random plastic odds and ends
- The stuffed animals that never got played with
- The “baby” toys
- The figurines they never used
- Small plastic pieces of bigger toy sets
- too-small dress up clothes, and dress up clothes that they fight over
- All “fighter” or “superhero” action figures
- Everything old, cheaply made, with bendy plastic or any sharp pieces
What I hid in the garage for later:
- “big kid” puzzles and games
- books I hate reading 🙂
What I kept:
- Stuffed animals that get daily play
- These Blocks and some puzzles
- Rohan’s Cars/Trucks/trains
- The Kitchen set (but I tossed the fake plastic food/utensils)
- Kaya’s Teapot
- The tool sets and instruments
- Books and art supplies
- Kai’s 2 dolls
- 2 dress up capes
- Outside toys: ride ons etc.
My thinking behind it was:
I wanted to only keep the items the kids LOVE and play with independently DAILY (Ro: his vehicles, Kai: her stuffies and teapot) and then the “general” toys. I don’t know the right word for it….but the “themed” toys, for imagination/creative play. So the art stuff, tools and instruments and of course the blocks had to stay. I notice that they spend the longest time with those types of toys. The blinking beeping interactive toys don’t keep them entertained as long….and I noticed Ro already finds them limiting it seems. (The only exception is the ipad. We use ABC Mouse on that thing…and there is SOOOO much to do with it. Totally worth the money if you are looking into it….but I digress….)
I wanted to have the playroom feel good again. Get the chi right, know what I mean? And by having only the things that the kids seem to cherish would be a step toward that. Also, when the random toys are strewn around the house, it’s still something that is loved and often played with, so it doesn’t stay stranded on my bedroom floor, or on the couch for very long.
And as for the kids’ attitudes, I wanted them to be just as happy with less “stuff.”
The kids didn’t care at all. Seriously… they didn’t give a damn. We barely had a conversation about it.
Here goes Ro:
Rohan: Mommy you took all my toys out!
Me: I did. I took you and Kaya’s toys out.
Rohan: When? (note: I swear he was going to ask me why….but…)
Me: Yesterday when you were at Auntie Pam’s.
Rohan: Like a secret agent?
Rohan: On a secret mission?!
Rohan: You kept my vehicles!
Me: Of course.
Rohan: Good idea.
That’s it. No further conversation. No asking for toys that disappeared. Kaya only plays mostly with her bunny, teapot and doc mcstuffins so she didn’t care at all.
The kids play longer with the toys they have left. They stay playing in the playroom for longer stretches. It’s impossible for the floor to get covered in toys now (unless they rip all the books out of the book chest) so they lay around playing and building together for extra time.
The kids play with each other and nothing else more often. I caught them a few moments ago just talking laughing spinning around and rolling on the floor like two happy drunks. They spend more time on the “tag” type games or just laying on top of each other laughing and talking.
They ask for their outside toys more. I didn’t expect that. They have fewer inside toys to run through each day I guess so they ask to go out on the playground or the patio, or ride their bikes/trikes more often. And over the last week when I’ve offered crayons (which usually is met with squeals and shrieks of joy) they’re countering with asking to go on the patio and use the sidewalk chalk instead. ::shrug::
What I thought would happen, but didn’t: (lol)
I thought the kids would take better care of their remaining toys. NOT! They still throw them around and leave them in random places like the little honey badgers that they are.
I thought they’d fight a little less. False. They still “mine! mine! mine!” until I want to punt them through the window…. Just not over toys as much. .. It’s over… every. single. other. thing. in. the. world. (They fought over a piece of fuzz from a slipper earlier today.)
Best decision ever. For the sanity saving extra minutes of quiet play, and the lack of mess. I think as they get older it’ll be even more of a benefit. We plan to swap out toys as they grow. Kai’s birthday is coming up and I’m going to request that any items she’s gifted fall into the “kept” category above.
Have you ever considered tossing your kids toys out?
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