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anyone wanna join my toy-free tribe? - Page 5

post #81 of 196
Doe anyone have suggestions of the "top toy" you would pick out for your young child? I would like to be able to tell grandparents, etc one nice thing to get DS for his 1st bday so that he gets 4-5 nice gifts, total, vs a bunch of crap. But I am really stuck on what. We might get him a waldorf doll from us, but then I thought maybe he is too young. Maybe we will just wrap him up boxes from us. (yes DS is only 7 m but I like to plan ahead).
post #82 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
Doe anyone have suggestions of the "top toy" you would pick out for your young child?
Yes-- books! As for what you should get him, seriously, you can get nothing unless it is an actual need. He WON'T care, not for years. Even my just 3 yo-- when we gave her presents on her b-day, she seemed surprised, though she'd seen her other sisters get gifts in Feb. She woke up on her birthday just happy it was her birthday, not expecting anything else.
post #83 of 196
I don't know if I'm in... I'm subbing because it has a certain appeal to it, but I don't know. I used to be pretty dogmatic about the toy issue, and I'm not wanting to go back to that - but right now we're surrounded by an ocean of toys. It's gotten ridiculous. Soooo.... I might be open to doing a major purge.

What to do with plastic toys though? Can they be recycled at all, or is Goodwill/Freecycle the only viable option? Not that that's a bad option, Freecycle rocks.
post #84 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
thanks for that information about clothes.

i'm due in august, and so i'm not too concerned about the baby being too cold, but i was planning on babylegs and little socks anyway.

i do have great access to laundry and will form here until the end of time no matter what. i lived my days without it. it was not good for me. LOL much better to have laundry.
The only thing I would add is to have some extra prefolds around for burp cloths. My DD never spit up, my DS has reflux and I feel like my entire house is draped in prefolds to catch what comes pouring out of him. I would just have a few at first to see what you really need but it isn't exaggerating to say that I need 10 or so extra for spit up alone, and I do laundry every other day.

Toys:

We are minimalists when it comes to toys. Actually, I think most of my friends and family think I am a big meanie, but I just can't take the clutter. I remembered reading in the Little House books about Laura's one rag doll and how much she loved her- Charlotte was special to her because it was made just for her by her mother and she wasn't inundated with so many other things. When I visit friends and family with overflowing play rooms it is almost like the kids can't settle down and play because all the toys overwhelm them.

Personally, I think a lot of the toy problems are parents who choose things thinking they look really fun/interactive, the kids don't play with them and the parents can't bring themselves to get rid of them. Not to mention that kids get something for every activity in their lives- stickers at the library, toys at restaurants, balloons at the grocery store. None of it seems remarkable or special because there is a sense of expectation attached to it. This is more of what I'm worried about, my kids expecting to always get something for no reason at all.

We did a huge toy purge last night (before I saw this thread!). If the toys don't fit neatly in the few baskets we have to contain them around the house then we have too many.
post #85 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
What to do with plastic toys though? Can they be recycled at all, or is Goodwill/Freecycle the only viable option? Not that that's a bad option, Freecycle rocks.
Thats what we do. I wouldn't know how else to recycle toys.
post #86 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB20005 View Post
Not to mention that kids get something for every activity in their lives- stickers at the library, toys at restaurants, balloons at the grocery store. None of it seems remarkable or special because there is a sense of expectation attached to it. This is more of what I'm worried about, my kids expecting to always get something for no reason at all.
I totally get what you are saying, and have worried about this same thing. Before dd was born, someone commented on how spoiled she would be. My thought was "well, I don't think having a lot of things makes a person spoiled. Its when they dont appreciate them and think they are entitled to whatever they see and want that I have a problem with."

I am thinking back to my childhood now... I had quite a bit of stuff. Dolls, Barbies, My Little Ponies, so on.. I didn't trash my stuff. I took good care of it. I loved it. I played with them a lot. I even have a few dolls that were so special to me growing up, that I wanted to keep and give to my children. Unfortunately we lost them in a move and I am still so sad about it. But ya know, I was a happy kid all around. My toys werent the cause for my happiness, but they also didn't make me feel sad and empty. I had loving parents (despite of divorce) a lot of siblings, and some good friends.

Limiting toys is generally a good thing for a lot of reasons. But, you can still have a happy child, or a sad child, or an angry child, regardless of how many toys you have.
post #87 of 196
I definitely have an issue with getting rid of toys that I bought myself, or that my mom bought for DS. For example, DS really liked this spinny toy at ECFE (parenting class) and my mom wanted to buy him a toy, so I told her he liked this thing, and she bought it (in retrospect, i should have asked for a book or told her he didn't need anything). Now, we have it, he isn't really interested in it anymore, and it is kind of big, but she only bought it a month ago and she paid 10$ for it- becuase I told her to get it. So i feel bad getting rid of it.

My IL's on the other hand, i would have no problem tossing the utter crap they buy us, but my husband feels guilty about tossing that stuff (even though he admits it is total crap).

I guess the moral of the story is that we both need to get over the guilt and just toss/regift this stuff.
post #88 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
I guess the moral of the story is that we both need to get over the guilt and just toss/regift this stuff.
Yes, because once it is out of your life, you forget about it! If someone asks about it, say "DS grew bored of it. You know how kids are. So we gave it to a child without much, and now it is being used a lot!"
post #89 of 196
post #90 of 196
Hi there
My friends call me the Toy Police! Yes it's true.

I am the one who doesn't give a poop who gave us the gift, if it's a crappy plastic/ commercial/ battery operated toy... it goes away. Period.

As I look around the room at DS's toys (all scattered at my feet) here's what I see.
- A pile of rocks/ seashells/ coconut shells
- wooden gnomes
- buckets and shovels, old boxes, various kitchen items he's overtaken
- various toy animals
- playsilks, playsilks, playsilks
- wooden stacking rainbow
- plain wooden train, truck, pirate ship
- a handful wooden play people
- beanbags, blocks, and instruments
- a toy rocketship

That's it. Seriously. And you want to know what he plays with the most? The animals and the rocks/shells/playsilks. Imaginative play ALL DAY when we're not out playing in the dirt/sand.

Yes we live on a boat so space is severely limited, but it goes to show you, if you make a choice not to have crappy toys, if you take a stand and give your family a "wish list" to make sure you don't get crappy toys, if you decide to truly only keep open ended toys at home... it's amazing how they will make do with what they have. That's what kids did for thousands of years and what many children all over the world do. It doesn't mean your child doesn't have fun, or doesn't get great gifts on their birthday. It just means you may have to put some more thought and effort in to it.

And yes... BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS are the ultimate. My 3 year old begs for me to read to him and happily listen to a 165 page chapter book with only a handful of sketched pictures in one sitting.
post #91 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smalls181 View Post
Yes, because once it is out of your life, you forget about it! If someone asks about it, say "DS grew bored of it. You know how kids are. So we gave it to a child without much, and now it is being used a lot!"
I love that - and will have to remember that.
post #92 of 196
Great thread.....We recently did a drastic toy purge.....well not a purge,but a "hide" EVERY toy was gone...he was left with only his craft centre.
Now, it happened partly as an experiment and partly as a desperate consequence for DS's behaviour (but that is a different story)
Anyway.......Once the toys were gone, not only did DS not ask for them, but he was the most delightful little boy without them!
So, here I am with closets full of toys!

Now we are able to slowly go through them and decide which ones will be leaving our family.......

I am pretty lucky and all grandparents are understanding about "junk" toys
post #93 of 196
I think I found my home.

I'm expecting my first any day now and I'm struggling to keep the plastic MIC junk out of my house already. I'm nervous whats going to happen once the baby is actually born & the family finds out the gender.

zoebird - I feel like I could have written your posts (if I were only so eloquent & collected)

My biggest problem at the moment is with my mom & aunt. My uncle is not well and in a rehab facility (long term) so they've been going out "shopping for the baby" to take their minds off things. When I talk to my mom about it she just says "well you're the only happy thought we have right now so just let us have our fun". Then I feel extra guilty & the money wasted makes me want to cry (the crying part could just be pregnancy hormones ). But I have to get rid of this stuff!

Reading through this thread really helps remind me that the Circo stuffed turtle that replays a recording of my aunt's voice saying "who loves the baby" (a family 'game' to teach names) is not important - and in fact, if I get rid of it now, there will be more space in our lives for my aunt to ACTUALLY play the game and develop a lasting relationship & memories. You just can't substitute that.

I'm subbing. I know it will be a lot easier to keep on top of this from the beginning. Hopefully by the time my DC is old enough to actually care about toys, I'll have figured out how to set the boundaries with family.
post #94 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by xekomaya View Post
I'm subbing. I know it will be a lot easier to keep on top of this from the beginning. Hopefully by the time my DC is old enough to actually care about toys, I'll have figured out how to set the boundaries with family.
I WISH that I would have had the same mindset about toys that I have now when my children were born! Now I am stuck with this giant purge, and I am having to retrain how my family members buy gifts!

My children are a little attatched to a few toys that I would LOVE to get rid of..How should I handle this? My dd is 4.5 and I think that I have her figured out since she REALLY wants a waldorf doll. But my ds is 3 and another story! He loves this little plastic racetrack, that you push a buttoon, and the track spins and plays obnoxious music What would you do?
Thanks!
post #95 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas View Post
I WISH that I would have had the same mindset about toys that I have now when my children were born! Now I am stuck with this giant purge, and I am having to retrain how my family members buy gifts!

My children are a little attatched to a few toys that I would LOVE to get rid of..How should I handle this? My dd is 4.5 and I think that I have her figured out since she REALLY wants a waldorf doll. But my ds is 3 and another story! He loves this little plastic racetrack, that you push a buttoon, and the track spins and plays obnoxious music What would you do?
Thanks!
Is it still complete with all the cars and track pieces? Is there a battery to wear out or take out? Can you replace it with something you are more comfortable (like a trip to a racetrack ). This is the type of toy that wouldn't last long for my children and I would pass it along shortly when they grew bored by it.

I got really good at opening all my children's presents ahead of time and purging things out before they saw them. Dp has one aunt that would send giant boxes to each child, all individually wrapped junk. I would spend days unwrapping it in my spare moments, return most all of it for pennies at Kmart and Walmart, and then replace it with something like gymnastic classes or whatever the money would buy. I then would write one collective ty note teling her how generous she was and her taking the time to think of us meant so much. I was able to retrain my mil though but some people are very stubborn. If you don't think the toy is toxic and it is nip you could donate to the many drives around the holidays.

As for the giant purge, I am always purging it seems. Things just happen to us. We attended a fundraiser dinner but didn't bid on any of the baskets so an elderly neighbor bid and won a Marilyn Monroe barbie doll for my girls. They thanked her, played with it for two days and set it aside. After a bit of it never coming out I put it in the goodwill bag I always have going, they didn't notice for a couple of weeks, and now it is gone. I tend to remove things in stages just in case someone is attached to something or let them take it to the pool/sandbox where it gets destroyed. Dp tends to have a very frank discusssion and never bring the item into the house. No one but us have ever missed anything we have purged. Dp wishes he had his class notes from undergrad and I wish I had the kelty kids backpack I gave away after baby #3.
post #96 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercy589 View Post
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.
I know EXACTLY what you mean.............sigh
post #97 of 196
Just bumping us back up!!
We are preparing for our 1st birthday party that we have sent out requests for no toys, so we will see what happens! My ds's 3rd birthday party is Sunday!
post #98 of 196
Great thread!

We're currently doing a major purge in preparation for our move. This thread is a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Thanks!
post #99 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas View Post
Just bumping us back up!!
We are preparing for our 1st birthday party that we have sent out requests for no toys, so we will see what happens! My ds's 3rd birthday party is Sunday!
Let us know how it goes! I'd love to hear what people's reactions were. Also if you don't mind, how did you phrase it on the invitation? Are you asking for something else like a donation to charity?
post #100 of 196
I ended up wording it.. We are very appreciative of everyones generosity but would like to ask for a toy-free party. If you wish to buy gifts, Luke is in need of 3t clothes, books and money to go towards a zoo membership. Thanks for your understanding (not word for word but pretty close )

Well, parties are over. My family did REALLY well! They never complained or anything and my Mom even said that she wished she wold have limited the toys that went into our house. Ds received a bunch of clothes, some art pencils, a clock, some cd's, and $$ for our zoo membership. Pretty good! Now dh's side was a totally different story..a toy gun that has disappeared already, a ton of plastic cars and a giant plastic car to store them in, a bunch of plastic dollar store sippy cups, and a skateboard.
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