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I Threw Away (Almost) All of My Kid’s Toys

rohansroom

I threw away almost all of my children’s toys…

….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)

open space




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

nikki shrugging

What I hid in the garage for later:

  • legos
  • knex
  • “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.

playroom2

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.”




What Happened:

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?

Me: ….yes.

Rohan: On a secret mission?!

Me: Yes!

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::

playroom1

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.)

Overall:

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?

Apropos of nothing: CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE OKDANI READER SURVEY!! Thanks!

threw out kids toys pin

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How to Get Your Kids to Play With Their Toys | Mandarin Mama

Saturday 18th of May 2019

[…] Way back in the end of February, my friend, Danielle Faust at OkDani and FitNoire wrote a post about how she threw away all (or almost all) her kids’ toys. […]

Kalinda

Saturday 20th of April 2019

What might be beneficial, is to let them help you get rid of things that are broken or missing parts, first. Ease them into having less. Next, have a private talk with grandparents and friends, etcetera, and tell them your game plan, and let them know what your child needs, whether it’s art supplies, or a ball for outdoors, or tickets to a movie. Give out suggestions. Thirdly, ask your kids what they’d like to donate to children who don’t have toys like they do. Help guide them with this by saying, you don’t play with this anymore, right?... Lastly, let them outgrow, break, get tired of, what they have, before buying new toys and buy minimally from then on out so it becomes a new way of life. I watched videos of a minimalist who gave her littles only three things for their birthday. One was a book,, one was a cute well made stuffed animal, and one was something they wanted, albeit small. In this case it was a remote control car. I wish I had done this with my kids who are now grown. They were overwhelmed with stuff and they had no idea where to start cleaning their rooms.

Dani

Monday 20th of May 2019

Great tips! Similar to what's in this post: http://www.okdani.com/gift-guide-for-minimalist-children/

Kelly

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

We flooded during hurricane Irma, I have always been super tidy everything in its place and that helped the kids minimalize their losses during the flood (2feet) During the year since and while rebuilding our home, my kids have willingly donated half of everything that survived! My husband who keeps many just in case items (ahhhhh just toss it man Hahahaha) has joined in, trust me in the bigger picture your kids won’t care what toys they have when they are grown they will be grateful for a home filled with love and support. I lost everything as a child in a house fire and left home with a bag of things, items don’t make happiness let the naysayers have the clutter and enjoy your idea of perfection! Bonus ...so much less to clean!!! Also my kids have learned they don’t have to keep items out of guilt! If it doesn’t serve you let it go someone else may need it. Great job momma, they will remember the times you spend with them not the toys anyway

Dani

Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

Sorry for the loss during Irma and during your childhood. When Rohan was not even 1, the house connected to ours back up north caught on fire. I grabbed the baby, John, and my laptop (which was our main source of income) and we rolled out. It was eye opening how little mattered to me. All I needed was John and Ro... the laptop was just extra lol I agree with you: Items DONT make happiness.

Astra Viil

Monday 17th of September 2018

I strongly recommend that you please all be so kind and let the children keep things that they really have been dealing with all the time and love them so much so far!!!If you see that children love these things very much and want to give up beloved things, then under no circumstances should you remove these things, and then not if they are already grownups and want to keep those things in mind in memory of childhood!!!If there really is no room, then just buy the storage boxes and the problem is solved!!! I also have many things at home, but I've been able to keep everything in good condition thanks to these storage boxes and I do not see any problem!!!If you can see that the kids are really good at keeping things up very well after dealing and the rooms are absolutely perfectly clean every day, please let them keep things until they really want it !!! If they can not clean it, then teach them and if they are cleaning everything, then keeping things is not a problem if there are big storage boxes.If children want to keep their things up,then let them do it !!! Children still want to make their own collections, videos and in the future they would definitely want to give their old things to their children !!!If there is no room at all, then take some things, but not all things, if they like their things very much !!! I consider collectibles of children's things to be very valuable, because for some time they become rare and there is no way to get them again! I have a very big Disney collection in my home and there are other things too. I do not give anything away because these are my things!!! If I have decided to keep my childhood things, then I'll keep them forever!!!I'm very experienced in childhood things and I know that things in childhood needs to be kept so that you can remember the old good times and in the future give them to your children!!! Reminder and teachings for parents and children!!!

Dani

Monday 17th of September 2018

I'm glad you found what works for you! I don't want a home or garage full of storage boxes but I understand that the cozy minimalist life isn't for everyone. I am grateful for digital keepsakes so I don't have to have a house of clutter to pass down memories to my kids.

Fuck you you heartless bitch

Saturday 4th of August 2018

You've probably fucked up your kids for life, but if it means your house is slightly cleaner and more pinterest ready then I guess it's all worth it. Heartless crone.

Dani

Monday 17th of September 2018

Thank you for the pageviews and for using the word crone. That made my day!

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