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anyone wanna join my toy-free tribe? - Page 4

post #61 of 196
Yeah, I think you have to make some concessions for a few plastic things, especially when water is involved, lol, natural fibers just don't work as well.
post #62 of 196
Thread Starter 
What a wonderful, supportive tribe I started.

I wanted to get y'all's opinions on whether or not you think it would be presumptuous of me to bring this up with Terran's KD (known sperm donor; the literal kind, not the "deadbeat dad" kind) before his upcoming visit. Under the circumstances, I think I'd be inclined to put away any hastily purchased Power Rangers Action Figure and save it in the back of the closet just because of who bought it for him, but I don't want KD to feel obligated to bring the kind of gift that I think would be most appropriate: a handwritten letter or a recording of his own voice for Terran to listen to when he's older.

My sometimes lucid but sometimes pre-alzheimer's father gave me a wonderful "in" to bring up the subject by mentioning all the wonders of the iPhone in his last email and saying "The ads for them are fantastic and no doubt both dd and
ds1 are slavering for them. Who doesn't want the currently most
expensive toy."

to which I replied quite honestly, "dd and ds1. And myself." and used Tithonia's three aspects in her "philosophical musings" post as a guide to explain why.

ds1 is WAY too materialistic, but he genuinely has no desire whatsoever for an iPhone. I can't believe such a perfect opportunity presented itself.

ds2 is still toy free and after I take this package of my favourite outgrowns to the post office to send off to a friend's baby, his "big(ger) boy" wardrobe will be neatly organized in his drawer and he will have enough credit at the consignment store to cover any "growth spurt emergencies" that my sewing machine and I can't handle.
post #63 of 196
I'm in, too.

I enjoy living simply. I want to live even more simply. I do believe that craving for things and all that we do to acquire them is the part of the ruination of America. To wit: credit crisis, extreme disparities in income in the USA, poverty in the USA...

I put in a moderate effort into limiting toys, as much as a mom to two young kids can. I constantly give away/pitch toys. We rarely buy toys. We get many toys from recycling via friends or thrift stores.

A few well-timed gifts I feel are OK. We do give gifts at christmas, tho most were thrift-store/hand me down. We give presents at birthdays and some holidays for fun (like valentine's). I think gift giving and receiving is one of the most wonderful things between family and friends. I just don't believe the stuff should be expensive or numerous.

Our home mainly has a whole lot of books, paints, and some well-loved stuff animals. We've got board games, a few dress up clothes, and building sets (like wood blocks, tinker toys) that all get used day after day.

I see my daughter improvising little dolls out of paintbrushes and markers. This makes me happy.

Likewise, I live simply. This winter i wore basically two pairs of pants and about the same number of shirts (well, probably closer to four shirts). Perhaps i would like more, just out of the convenience of always having something clean to wear. But do I really, really need it? No.

I come from a wealthy background (as a child). I saw that there was no happiness from in material possessions. My real joy in childhood was playing in the woods with my dog and my friends. And reading. My one (brief) expensive hobby was horseback riding. I liked to dress up and pretend too.

I guess I feel like if we amass a lot of stuff, it comes at the expense of other people and the welfare of the planet.

But i do think some gifts and games and toys are fun for the kids and we put some effort into those at birthdays and holidays. Mainly the effort is collecting stuff over the months beforehand from the thrift store.

I too avoid plastic and china-made where ever possible. But plastic can be cheap and durable. Plus, if you are into recycling/thrifting ... that is often what you find.

OK, look forward to keeping open the dialogue here.

btw, our families basically understand our philosopy, and while there has been some friction here and there, for the most part we all make it work.

I think "no plastic toys" "no chinese-made toys" is the least of the weird things we do ... the extended co-sleeping and the extended breastfeeding really weirded people out ! So preferring a few wooden toys was nothing in comparison.

Liz
post #64 of 196
I realized why we still have the amount of toys we have:

(1) For guests. It's just easier to have them on hand for some of our friends than not . . . though at our last party, we barely had any toys taken out as the kids were too busy making up their own fun.

(2) Lack of time to declutter. This is seriously a big issue for me. My youngest is with me about 23 hours a day, so taking into account everything else + my other 2 DD, this makes anything beyond keeping the house neat a real challenge.
post #65 of 196
subbing. I'm in!
post #66 of 196
well, a very cool development.

my mother and MIL just got the news about the issue of various toys, clothes, etc coming from china and having problems. they also got the news about non-organic mattresses and it's affect on babies.

so, now they're 100% behind our choices. and, because these things are more expensive, they asserted that they will be "inclined to spend less" and therefore we won't get as much!

i love how it all comes around.
post #67 of 196
This is definitely something that we struggle with. When we first started getting toys for our daughter (just turned 2 in March) I really wanted the no battery, no plastic, open-ended toys, and lots of good books. We talked to my MIL about it, and she was really receptive. Well... she does buy plastic stuff, but I must say, it is stuff that DD absolutely loves and plays with quite a bit. Little People, for instance. She found a nice little house at a thrift store, cleaned it up, and then bought some LP dolls online to go with it. DD plays with this every single day.

I know how important play is for a child. I know how much they learn through it. How they sort through emotions and struggles with play. I am not sure what roll I am to have in all of that, though. How involved should I be in her play? I find that when I play with her, I tend to be guiding her more than I think I should be. Thats why I often like to pull out her wooden blocks and just sit back and watch.

We have a Mom2Mom sale coming up in 2 weeks, and I will be getting rid of lots of stuff she doesn't play with. With her being an only child, me not having a car during the week, and needing to get this house packed up for a big move, I do need her to occupy herself. When she is bored, she wants me to "lie down. na-na's". All freakin' day.

So, this is what I want to keep around because she does love.

Puzzles
LP dolls and doll house
blocks
wooden animals (we have a variety of shapes and sizes)
Some dolls (not sure which ones to keep, which ones to get rid of, though. She has a laundry basket full)
Stuffed animals (once again, not sure which are worth keeping. She absolutely loves animals. Its an obsession with her. But she certainly doesnt need as many as we have.)
Cars and busses. She has a few, and is very creative with them.

We are a musical family, and she has a lot of real instruments. DH just bought her a Ukulele.

This is another one of those things that will definitely be a journey for us, but I know its right for us, so we should continue to pursuit it.
post #68 of 196
Oh man.. I hope I didnt kill this thread. Its a great one.
post #69 of 196
One thing I hate about my kids getting a new fav toy - is displacing an old longtime fav. Whether it be a doll, animal, train truck ect.

When they keep getting more...nothing is 'really special'
post #70 of 196
just got rid of 226 toys today that were plastic we are well on our way to becoming toy free. we still have some cars and a few musical intstruments but that is pretty much it. we have wooden blocks too but the boys build things with them. hope it still counts
post #71 of 196
Can someone help me "word" on ds's birthday invitations that we don't want any new toys, but would love books, or $ for a zoo membership I am having a really hard time with it.. I am having a very small family party so it will just be grandparents and uncles and aunts.. Thanks!
post #72 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5gifts View Post
One thing I hate about my kids getting a new fav toy - is displacing an old longtime fav. Whether it be a doll, animal, train truck ect.

When they keep getting more...nothing is 'really special'
Do I ever remember than from my own comfortable middle class childhood! I'd read books about the fun a child would have with one special log awaited and long loved toy (Like Laura Ingalls Wilder's Charlotte) and then look at the bed that my parents loved to describe as "so full of stuffed animals that there isn't any room for her to sleep!" as if it was just the cutest, cleverest thing a child could do, and feel so lonely and empty and hollow.

Before I even imagined tentatively making a post on "Finding Your Tribe" to see if such a radical idea was even possible, I had a blast doing imaginary hoildiay shopping. Would the single toy be a birthday or Christmas present? Would it be a playsilk or a wooden spoon?

I love Terran's rattle, I really do, I just don't think he's old enough for it yet even if I was ready for him to have it, which I'm not. There are times when his hands feel a bit rough and his pounding on my chest with his little fist when he drops a boobie and I don't give it back to him fast enough feels like "punching", but those are MY issues with being an abuse survivor, not his with exploring his hands, and being whacked in the face with a piece of wood is going to freak me out even worse.
post #73 of 196
I used to be so opposed to the idea of no or little toys because I came from a very "spoiled" family. My husband brought up the idea of having only 3 toys per child, but at first I was just totally against that. Now I have been more and more open to it. I have been so stressed about the toy mess....the only problem is that I go through stages of having problems getting rid of them. Some are sentimental and some are broke so I would hate to give them away....but being an avid recycler has made it hard for me to just toss them in the trash....so with that being said...sometimes I have found myself between a rock and a hard spot so to speak. I have begged people not to buy my kids toys but instead get them more practical things such as clothes, money, or go in with us for a big nice outside toy......but most of the time, they still get all of the toys............ugg! And I kid you not, my kids are insainly blessed. Basically most of the family will not come to see them without giving them toys and that can really add up considering I see some of them weekly! I have finally gotten my mom (whom I see weekly) to focus on other things outside of toys.....so now she showers them with new shoes and clothes and treats ever time she sees them....but hey atleast it is not toys! However I still have not gotten her convenced of doing less on Christmas and birthdays. They basically require that they spend 100 dollars on each child for Christmas and 50ish for birthdays. They think it is horrible of us to not have toys around for our kids......but they are not the ones that has to deal with the mess and frustration of trying to get the kids to pick them up. I have gotten rid of over a crib full(actually over flowing) of toys in the past month......but you serious can not even tell that there was any taken away. They really do not do a whole lot of playing with them......and honestly I try to keep most of them locked away in the closet, so they have to ask to get them out ...but that has not worked that well.....even though a bunch of toys are up.....there are still tons out. There are toy boxes over flowing with toys all over the house..........and I have had my fill! I just really need to get out of this hard spot and stay consistent in getting rid of them. All of the families I know have just as many toys and are constantly having to purge and just like us in no time they are over flowing again. I am convenced the law of sowing and reaping works! If it just wouldn't work for toys...hehe.
post #74 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas View Post
Can someone help me "word" on ds's birthday invitations that we don't want any new toys, but would love books, or $ for a zoo membership I am having a really hard time with it.. I am having a very small family party so it will just be grandparents and uncles and aunts.. Thanks!
hmmmm yeah I have been there before...

you could say that we would appreciate that instead of buying him toys, that we would prefer books or money to go towards a zoo membership.
If you feel the need to buy a toy, then we ask that you donate it to a needy family instead of us. Thank you!




The only problem with that....is that every person thinks.....well I could just get him one or two small inexpensive toys..... but once everyone does that..you are now piled up with toys again!
I think a lot of it comes down to how they think he will feel towards them for not getting him a toy.

Last Christmas I threatened everyone that I was not allowing any unapproved toy into our house and for them just not to get anything that we had not suggested....................but of course they still got my kids a bunch of useless toys and inevidtiable they came into the house.........although I will say some left very quickly. And the majority of the others were so cheap that they broke almost instantly........but if you read my other post you would see that just left me with a different problem. bah!


My sis in law wanted to have a party without gifts for my brother....so she said on the invite that it was a "no-gift party". The party is later this week....I am interested in seeing how well that works!
post #75 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessedOne View Post
hmmmm yeah I have been there before...

you could say that we would appreciate that instead of buying him toys, that we would prefer books or money to go towards a zoo membership.
If you feel the need to buy a toy, then we ask that you donate it to a needy family instead of us. Thank you!




The only problem with that....is that every person thinks.....well I could just get him one or two small inexpensive toys..... but once everyone does that..you are now piled up with toys again!
I think a lot of it comes down to how they think he will feel towards them for not getting him a toy.

Last Christmas I threatened everyone that I was not allowing any unapproved toy into our house and for them just not to get anything that we had not suggested....................but of course they still got my kids a bunch of useless toys and inevidtiable they came into the house.........although I will say some left very quickly. And the majority of the others were so cheap that they broke almost instantly........but if you read my other post you would see that just left me with a different problem. bah!


My sis in law wanted to have a party without gifts for my brother....so she said on the invite that it was a "no-gift party". The party is later this week....I am interested in seeing how well that works!
Thanks for the advice! I am interested to know how your brother's no gift party went! Let us know!

I have completely gone through the playroom and limited everything! I bet there were hundreds of toys that went!! Now dd's room is next. she is fine with it though! I did tell her that I would buy her a Waldorf doll that she has been wanting to "replace" all the other "things" that went. I am ok with that though. I feel that it is a quality doll that she will LOVE! (she is 4)
post #76 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5gifts View Post
One thing I hate about my kids getting a new fav toy - is displacing an old longtime fav. Whether it be a doll, animal, train truck ect.

When they keep getting more...nothing is 'really special'
Yes, DD has two baby dolls and I find myself hoping that no one ever gives her another because she already has her precious baby!

I find it hard to get rid of stuffed animals - so and so brought this to the hospital when dd was born, and so forth. How do you handle that? Not to mention dh and I both have several boxes in the basement because our parents did that for us. old stuffed animals I can't part with. sigh.
post #77 of 196
I'm so glad I stumbled upon this thread! Glad to find so many other mamas out there looking for plastic free environment for their kids.

I don't know that I could go completely toy free. But my toddler would certainly be blissfully happy with a few beautiful item made from natural materials, and a few balls for outside.

I'm concerned about the effect of staring at a hideous plastic doll has on him. I mean, it doesn't even look human - why would we present a child with something UGLY, that is a caricature of a human being?

But in my daily life I know only a handful of others who would appreciate only simple toys (or sticks) made from natural materials (or rocks or leaves) that are beautiful (like being out in nature.) hmmmmmm....... does he even need the toys, or just the outdoors?

And this does not even begin to address materialism which is just horrible for children!

Glad you started this one.
post #78 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverbaby View Post
I'm concerned about the effect of staring at a hideous plastic doll has on him. I mean, it doesn't even look human - why would we present a child with something UGLY, that is a caricature of a human being?
I would guess the effect is none! My DD has always preferred animals to any sort of doll, but I made her a very cute Waldorf doll anyway. Around the same time she got a $3 plastic doll from Target while out with my mom. Guess which one she preferred? Soon she wanted neither.

My point in participating in this is a little different from some of you, I am guessing. Like I said before, I don't think toys harm children in any way, nor do I think the materials get to be the deciding vote as to whether or not the toy is OK. My thing is-- my children VERY RARELY play with "designated" toys at our house, so I don't know why we have them, have continued to buy them (I am guilty of this), etc. My oldest was very into roleplaying (she still is) but very rarely used props. My middle child prefers digging in the dirt with me over playing with a toy.

DD wanted to go to Toys R Us with her earned allowance. I felt so bad for her. She wanted to buy SOMETHING, though we urged her not to buy just to buy. So, she got moon sand. Have you heard of this? She was quite disappointed when it turned out to be difficult to work with. I felt like it was a hard but good lesson-- buying something rarely turns out to bring you the satisfaction you'd expect.

The plus side of them not playing with toys very often is that, while we do have toys, it usually doesn't take long to clean them up since they hardly use them!
post #79 of 196
So last night I went through her room with a garbage bag and filled it with stuff she has accumulated over the last year.. and yes, the garbage bag was full. That felt really great. (It will be either sold at the mom to mom sale, or given to goodwill.)

I noticed something about myself while doing this, though. Part of me thinks she NEEDS some of these toys in order to learn. Like, the shape-sorter. "How will she learn shapes and spacial reasoning without this shape-sorter?" And then I realized how silly that was. First of all, she is a very smart 2 year old. And second, how did kids learn this stuff BEFORE these toys were everywhere? As an aspiring un-schooler, it was a total "duh!" moment.
post #80 of 196
I'm not a mom yet but do have many of the same concerns you have all shared related to toys. I also wanted to share this artical about play, modern toys, and development that some of you may find interesting.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=19212514
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