Originally Posted by sagemomma
wow mamas i am loving all of your replies. and dogretro thank you so much, i was expecting to get a response form someone similar to pulling off a bandaid, quicker the better. but i could never do that to my boys, my interest here is to foster thier already amazing respect for nature(and i mean amazing respect), thier imagination, a safe play environment and on top of everything a happy fun filled childhood. taking things and causing trauma do not fit into my idea of a happy home and a succesful transition into a better way of life.
The mamas on this thread are pretty good at working within the world we live in! That's why they're so cool! I'm doing the same thing you are. The transition has been gradual, and the things he doesn't play with or has outgrown I've been putting in bins to donate/sell. Over the months more things go into those bins. I've even left them in his room. He completely ignores the toys in the bins! So I think as long as I keep my hands off his Little People stuff, he's more than happy with his new toys! I figure the Little People can live in his room with some of his other favorites (I can't put ALL the cool toys in the play-room--besides, we need something to play with upstairs in addition to books!).
Our transition has been very gradual. A year ago we were still buying blinking flashing toys that overstimulated our baby. He still plays with some of those things at daycare, but not as bad as our previous daycare. The current one has lots of plastic, but it's more open-ended: dolls, blocks, toy kitchen and play-food. So my DS will never be completely sheltered from main-stream toys. But at home he can have a calmer environment to play in. The whole process has been very gradual with lots of baby-steps.
1. A couple of open-ended toys: some wood acorns, a set of toy pots and pans, a wood train set from Ikea (I learned to make toys myself once I saw how well he played with these first couple)
2. Replace the bins with shelves. One or two toys per shelf.
3. Baskets for storage and to play with
4. Start seriously culling the toys (those donation drives that come around to the house really helped me get started with that!)
5. Educate our relatives -- they didn't all really get it but respected our wishes mostly and got him books or wood toys (or nothing--my parents gave him a t-shirt to open and check to help us get a big-boy bed! Perfect!!)
6. Watch for deals and start replacing plastic toys with higher quality toys that will last forever (no more age-specific toys---these will last him as long as he plays with toys!)
7. Limiting tv
8. Tax refund has helped us with a few bigger purchases to outfit a natural play-room.
This list is progress since last July! No band-aid ripping at my house. Just a natural transition. Part because we couldn't afford all new stuff. Part because it's a learning process. And part because I didn't want to suddenly remove everything familiar overnight.
Good luck! Sounds like you're off to an awesome start!!