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Old 09-04-2010, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,
Is anyone into toy simplification for their lo's? Do you mind me asking a few questions if you are:
What do you have?
What do your lo's play with/ like the most?
Do they seem to notice/mind having fewer toys than there friends?
My dd is 8 1/2 months and I really would like to keep things simple when it comes to toys...
Please chat to me about your experiences!
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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I just read the book Simplicity Parenting and the author gives some wonderful suggestions both for how to simplify and what are great toys that kids get a lot of use out of. I would definitely recommend it. H is basic criteria for a toy is that it be engaging rather than entertaining (ie button pushing and flashing lights are entertaining, but a toy truck actually engages a child)

My DD is only 23 months and we've only done a little bit of simplification so I can't answer all your questions but I'll try and answer some. DD loves books, she would read all day if I let her-she has a shelf and 1/2 of books and I would love to get that down to one shelf by periodically rotating books in and out of her collection. She also had:

Some wood puzzles
A doll
Lots stuffed animals (I want to donate some of those)
A wooden Train
A wood shape toy
A set of wooden blocks
Crayons and Paper
One of those Dr. Office toys where you move the wooden shapes down the wires-I have no idea what they're called.

We also have a few plastic toys from grandparents but we keep most of them in storage and only have out one or two at a time.

She plays mostly with her stuffed animals and dolls. She does a lot of coloring. The rest of the toys she'll play with periodically and she does enjoy them and the keep her occupied for a good amount of time.

She doesn't really notice a difference between how many toys she has or anyone else does.

I honestly think it's a non-issue for most people. Even the kids who have a lot of toys don't spend a whole lot of time playing with most of them. I was babysitting two kids last night who have rooms full of toys, plus a whole playroom. And we spent hours playing outside games like tag, hide-and-seek, mother-may-I, and they were fully enjoying themselves.

Stay-at-home Mama to my fabulous DD (10/08)  and DS (9/12) and wife to my just-as-fabulous DH

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Old 09-04-2010, 08:53 PM
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oh yes, from the very, very beginning! i was very clear with everyone that we were going to do minimal toys and all natural toys. it's *great* when people actually listen to you. LOL

My son is now 2, so over the years, we have collected a fair bit, but this is what we have:

1. box of 75 blocks;
2. 2 stacking toys (both have 'puzzle' elements)
3. 1 bead-on-wire thingy
4. small wooden train (3-4 cars, i can never remember how many cars there are. i think three)
5. less than 10 stuffed animals
6. a wooden giraffe
7. a wooden pull-toy dragon
8. his musical instruments which are these: a ukulele, an african drum, some rattles (mostly from the fair trade shop), two harmonicas (we lost one, bought another because he plays it every day, and then found the original one, so now we do duets), and a few other odds and ends like a little xylophone (wooden), and a little horrible sounding cheap recorder (a gift).

he also has books--i would say about 20 or so.

this birthday, he got clothes, two more books, and some art supplies (wool felting).

now, when he was a baby--between birth and 1--he actually didn't play with much. he seemed curious about most everyday objects, and his favorite toys were a bone (a friend of mine found, cleaned, etched, and gave to us as a gift some years before. he just loved that thing! LOL), a "jingle box" (a clear plastic box filled with jingle bells that i hobbled together for him), and spoons. He also chewed on his teething giraffe a fair bit once the teeth started working their way in. these were his toys until his first birthday, which is pretty much when he got all of the rest.

we still have that bone; i didn't put it in the list. LOL

after age one, he played his drum and rattles every day--they were by far his favorite toys. he picked them out himself, really, and just *loves* to play them. he still plays it every day. I grant you, it's not "technically waldorf" since they don't teach drums until much older, but he was always drumming on something, and when he first saw his drum (at around 9 mo in a fair trade shop), he went *nuts* for it and cried when we had to leave. once he got it for his birthday, he's played it every day since. he also plays any musical instrument--his ukulele and his harmonicas every day.

a lot of the wooden toys--listed above--got very little use until he was about 1.5 years or slightly older. he just wasn't that interested in them. Now, he plays with them pretty much every day. he has a concerted block time every day that he created himself. it's part of his rhythm! LOL

some of the toys need to be mended, and i'm having a woodworker friend help me out with fixing the dragon and the giraffe. he loves those.

he plays with the stuffed toys the least, and prefers the smaller ones, but he does play with them all regularly in one way or another (usually with his blocks).

he also plays in the kitchen quite a bit. i have plastic tubs that he can play with (though we are phasing those out as the recycling here picks up--we are new to this area and don't know all the ins and outs of recycling yet), and he uses our bench as his "play kitchen."

he also colors a lot, has started wool felting with me, and loves helping out around the house in a lot of different ways.

oh, and we also have the wishbone balance trike/bike. it's expensive, but we feel it's worth it because it will grow with him for 3-4 years (coming to about $60 per year). he rides it inside every day, and we take it out at least once a week for him to ride outside.

whenever i write it out, i feel like we have a ton of stuff, but it's really not that much. it won't be long before we cull a few things (the bead toy, the stacking toys), and we will get some more things i'm sure. but that's what we have for now.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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We recently got rid of 70% of our kids' toys, and they have barely noticed. Our system was to designate one place for the toys (an old armoire in the basement we were not using) and anything that could fit could stay, and anything else had to go. From the armoire ("the toy closet") the kids pick one or two toys a week, play with them like crazy for a week, and just when they get boring, we put them away and get out something else. It keeps their room clean, gives them space for more 'quality play", and gives the toys a novelty they do not have when they see them all the time.

We're practicing a 1-in,1-out policy, which keeps birthdays simple as well, since we don't want to get rid of any of our awesome toys. It is harder when we have three kids at different levels, but so far it's been working.

They go to a co-op preschool a few days a week, as well as the children's museum, grandma's, friends houses, the park, etc, so even if WE don't own a huge trunk of dress up stuff/$$$ of legos/the full kitchen set, they have access to those things on a regular enough basis.

Ivory, partner to Tom, mama to Ella (12/9/05), Alice (12/8/07), and our newest addition, Rebecca (4/1/10).
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by gypsymama2008 View Post
I just read the book Simplicity Parenting and the author gives some wonderful suggestions both for how to simplify and what are great toys that kids get a lot of use out of. I would definitely recommend it. H is basic criteria for a toy is that it be engaging rather than entertaining (ie button pushing and flashing lights are entertaining, but a toy truck actually engages a child)

My DD is only 23 months and we've only done a little bit of simplification so I can't answer all your questions but I'll try and answer some. DD loves books, she would read all day if I let her-she has a shelf and 1/2 of books and I would love to get that down to one shelf by periodically rotating books in and out of her collection. She also had:

Some wood puzzles
A doll
Lots stuffed animals (I want to donate some of those)
A wooden Train
A wood shape toy
A set of wooden blocks
Crayons and Paper
One of those Dr. Office toys where you move the wooden shapes down the wires-I have no idea what they're called.

We also have a few plastic toys from grandparents but we keep most of them in storage and only have out one or two at a time.

She plays mostly with her stuffed animals and dolls. She does a lot of coloring. The rest of the toys she'll play with periodically and she does enjoy them and the keep her occupied for a good amount of time.

She doesn't really notice a difference between how many toys she has or anyone else does.

I honestly think it's a non-issue for most people. Even the kids who have a lot of toys don't spend a whole lot of time playing with most of them. I was babysitting two kids last night who have rooms full of toys, plus a whole playroom. And we spent hours playing outside games like tag, hide-and-seek, mother-may-I, and they were fully enjoying themselves.
Thank you so much for your reply! I have "Simplicty Parenting" on order, I am sooo excited for it to arrive, so glad you are enjoying it! My lo hasn't many stuffed toys, but I am hoping to knit her a bear (not very Waldorf I know, I never really understood why though tbh!)
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
oh yes, from the very, very beginning! i was very clear with everyone that we were going to do minimal toys and all natural toys. it's *great* when people actually listen to you. LOL

My son is now 2, so over the years, we have collected a fair bit, but this is what we have:

1. box of 75 blocks;
2. 2 stacking toys (both have 'puzzle' elements)
3. 1 bead-on-wire thingy
4. small wooden train (3-4 cars, i can never remember how many cars there are. i think three)
5. less than 10 stuffed animals
6. a wooden giraffe
7. a wooden pull-toy dragon
8. his musical instruments which are these: a ukulele, an african drum, some rattles (mostly from the fair trade shop), two harmonicas (we lost one, bought another because he plays it every day, and then found the original one, so now we do duets), and a few other odds and ends like a little xylophone (wooden), and a little horrible sounding cheap recorder (a gift).

he also has books--i would say about 20 or so.

this birthday, he got clothes, two more books, and some art supplies (wool felting).

now, when he was a baby--between birth and 1--he actually didn't play with much. he seemed curious about most everyday objects, and his favorite toys were a bone (a friend of mine found, cleaned, etched, and gave to us as a gift some years before. he just loved that thing! LOL), a "jingle box" (a clear plastic box filled with jingle bells that i hobbled together for him), and spoons. He also chewed on his teething giraffe a fair bit once the teeth started working their way in. these were his toys until his first birthday, which is pretty much when he got all of the rest.

we still have that bone; i didn't put it in the list. LOL

after age one, he played his drum and rattles every day--they were by far his favorite toys. he picked them out himself, really, and just *loves* to play them. he still plays it every day. I grant you, it's not "technically waldorf" since they don't teach drums until much older, but he was always drumming on something, and when he first saw his drum (at around 9 mo in a fair trade shop), he went *nuts* for it and cried when we had to leave. once he got it for his birthday, he's played it every day since. he also plays any musical instrument--his ukulele and his harmonicas every day.

a lot of the wooden toys--listed above--got very little use until he was about 1.5 years or slightly older. he just wasn't that interested in them. Now, he plays with them pretty much every day. he has a concerted block time every day that he created himself. it's part of his rhythm! LOL

some of the toys need to be mended, and i'm having a woodworker friend help me out with fixing the dragon and the giraffe. he loves those.

he plays with the stuffed toys the least, and prefers the smaller ones, but he does play with them all regularly in one way or another (usually with his blocks).

he also plays in the kitchen quite a bit. i have plastic tubs that he can play with (though we are phasing those out as the recycling here picks up--we are new to this area and don't know all the ins and outs of recycling yet), and he uses our bench as his "play kitchen."

he also colors a lot, has started wool felting with me, and loves helping out around the house in a lot of different ways.

oh, and we also have the wishbone balance trike/bike. it's expensive, but we feel it's worth it because it will grow with him for 3-4 years (coming to about $60 per year). he rides it inside every day, and we take it out at least once a week for him to ride outside.

whenever i write it out, i feel like we have a ton of stuff, but it's really not that much. it won't be long before we cull a few things (the bead toy, the stacking toys), and we will get some more things i'm sure. but that's what we have for now.
Hello Zoebird, thanks so much for taking the time to reply, I feel so fortunate that we are able to do things simply from the very start (I am very lucky that my twin siter MamaUk has paved the way in our family so my relatives "get it" about the natural toys, less is more etc) My lo has a beautiful wooden bone shaped toy which was passed on from her cousins with a bell in it that she loves! She does have some lovely wooden teethers and a rattle, a teething girrafe and a felt ball but tbh she is just as hapy with a wooden spoon and a saucepan lid! I suppose I am SO keen on keeping things simple that I am a bit scared of what to purchase incase I get it wrong...I really hope she gets into drwing and making stuff when she is older as i'm an artist!!!
I was thinking about getting her some stacking bowls, a pull toy, a truck and a doll when she is a bit older and some blocks! Not sure what to start off with first though...
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ivymae View Post
We recently got rid of 70% of our kids' toys, and they have barely noticed. Our system was to designate one place for the toys (an old armoire in the basement we were not using) and anything that could fit could stay, and anything else had to go. From the armoire ("the toy closet") the kids pick one or two toys a week, play with them like crazy for a week, and just when they get boring, we put them away and get out something else. It keeps their room clean, gives them space for more 'quality play", and gives the toys a novelty they do not have when they see them all the time.

We're practicing a 1-in,1-out policy, which keeps birthdays simple as well, since we don't want to get rid of any of our awesome toys. It is harder when we have three kids at different levels, but so far it's been working.

They go to a co-op preschool a few days a week, as well as the children's museum, grandma's, friends houses, the park, etc, so even if WE don't own a huge trunk of dress up stuff/$$$ of legos/the full kitchen set, they have access to those things on a regular enough basis.
Ivory, I really like the one-in-one out policy! The system you have going on with your toy closet sounds great! We really have to try hard on keeping things simple as my lo's birthday is on boxing day so we don't want her having too much stuff in one go and getting ove-stimulated!!!
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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I've been thinking about this lately ... because when we go to friends' houses with toys, my dd (19 months) gets quite excited about the toys with lights and sounds and lots of colourful plastic. And one of those friends always finds a reason not to have playdates at our house, which I think is because she thinks there's nothing to play with here. Mostly, I don't mind. But sometimes I wonder if I'm being too strict with our simplicity.
We do have a family centre nearby with a free drop in ... they have all the big ticket items, and we go there once a week or so. They have a big play kitchen and lots of dress-up gear.

What we have:
  • a big basket of library books
  • a big basket of our books (French and English)
  • a basket of blocks
  • shape fitter box
  • a bead-on-wire thingy (does anyone's child actually play with theirs?)
  • a pinwheel
  • a small cart on wheels
  • a wooden hedgehog pull toy
  • marachas, bells, egg shaker, xylophone
  • a wooden train with blocks that fit on
  • three puzzles
  • half a dozen stuffies and puppets
  • a small basket of little toys (dd loves very small items like porcelain kittens and little wooden cars) and a cloth bag for her to carry things around in
  • several large scarves (she uses them to do all kinds of things)
  • sidewalk chalk
  • bucket and shovel
  • dominoes
  • two baby blankets
  • a big ball and a little ball
  • a large cardboard box that dd uses as a train
  • crayons and a wire-bound sketchbook (keeps her art in one place)

That seems like a lot to me! It keeps my dd entertained.
We set up the simplicity expectation/ideal at the beginning, asking people to donate to the food bank instead of giving us gifts for our new baby. For dd's first birthday, we did the same, and matched the donation.
Last Christmas we didn't do gifts, but this year we might do the "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" idea.
We also have a 1 in/1 out rule, although it doesn't have to be a like item.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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We have too much and have been going through everything lately. The nesting bug made me really want to simplify even more. Waldorf toys are beautiful but really, do kids need that many?! We bought a lot b/c I got good deals and justified it with "we're going to have a lot of kids". oy vey!

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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I recently went through the toys....and donated many of them. I also cycle them around (seasonal toys if you will) as well as have a telephone box (ok that's what I call it, but it is basically a box of toys that I don't want her to normally play with but that I can pull down when I am on the phone for novelty). The telephone box was a recommendation from her Waldorf play-group teacher last year. It is fantastic (also use it when we are sick).

That being said, we have a toy collection. On the Waldorf toys, I haven't been able to simplify those. But will take them out of the mix for a while if they are not being used. I do the same with books.

I just simply don't like my house being all crowded with stuff. I am also trying to be extra conscious about what comes in...that it is quality and fits with our values. Certainly it is quality over quantity here.

: blogging about life, beauty, crafting, healing, waldorf...

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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It was such a relief for everyone in the family, when we eliminated most the plastic. Our dd seemed to get the most use from her play stands, silks and cotton play cloths, her doll with some clothing and a few felted animals, a small wood wagon, a collapsing wood stroller w/fabric seat, a set of blocks, a wood kitchen with a small assortment of wood and fabric foods, a little cash register, art and hand craft supplies and books. She also has a small wooden table and chairs, a small doll's armoire to hold her doll's clothing on hangars and a wooden doll cradle. She had a bear and other dolls at some point but her one Waldorf doll was the favorite. She still treasures her toys and packed everything carefully away, for her own children, when she left for college.

She never has a TV, video console/games or any electronics, except for a small hand held game boy during her teen years, that she kept in the car for long car rides. She did have a small trampoline, at one point but outgrew it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:43 AM
 
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We don't have that much, and almost all that we have is of the non-plastic variety. We have done this pretty much since birth out of necessity or desire.

But I have to say, my 5 year old really notices that we do not have as much as most people. I try to use it as a teaching moment as to WHY we have less stuff (and better quality). And I really, really hope it starts to sink in some time soon. We also have pretty limited screen time, and most of that is at least non-ad, but sometimes I really wonder why and how she seems so concerned about 'keeping up with the Jonses kids'.

Go Green I don't vax either, why mess with perfect?
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:45 AM
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when in doubt, don't purchase.

and yes, my DS does play with the bead thing. he loves that thing. when we flew to NZ, the first flight was smack between lunch, nap, and dinner. so, i knew he would be awake a bit (to eat), then asleep for the majority, then awake a bit for landing before we would be ready for dinner. he played with his bead toy whenever he was awake. and he still plays with it occasionally, so we keep it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Yeah, we've never had plastic either but we have too many wooden 'waldorf' toys. I think I have even made too many things for them. It's harder (for me at least) to simplify those kids of things.

I am bad too : especially with the wooden toys, I like to decorate my house in them ....

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
I've been thinking about this lately ... because when we go to friends' houses with toys, my dd (19 months) gets quite excited about the toys with lights and sounds and lots of colourful plastic. And one of those friends always finds a reason not to have playdates at our house, which I think is because she thinks there's nothing to play with here. Mostly, I don't mind. But sometimes I wonder if I'm being too strict with our simplicity.
We do have a family centre nearby with a free drop in ... they have all the big ticket items, and we go there once a week or so. They have a big play kitchen and lots of dress-up gear.

What we have:
  • a big basket of library books
  • a big basket of our books (French and English)
  • a basket of blocks
  • shape fitter box
  • a bead-on-wire thingy (does anyone's child actually play with theirs?)
  • a pinwheel
  • a small cart on wheels
  • a wooden hedgehog pull toy
  • marachas, bells, egg shaker, xylophone
  • a wooden train with blocks that fit on
  • three puzzles
  • half a dozen stuffies and puppets
  • a small basket of little toys (dd loves very small items like porcelain kittens and little wooden cars) and a cloth bag for her to carry things around in
  • several large scarves (she uses them to do all kinds of things)
  • sidewalk chalk
  • bucket and shovel
  • dominoes
  • two baby blankets
  • a big ball and a little ball
  • a large cardboard box that dd uses as a train
  • crayons and a wire-bound sketchbook (keeps her art in one place)

That seems like a lot to me! It keeps my dd entertained.
We set up the simplicity expectation/ideal at the beginning, asking people to donate to the food bank instead of giving us gifts for our new baby. For dd's first birthday, we did the same, and matched the donation.
Last Christmas we didn't do gifts, but this year we might do the "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" idea.
We also have a 1 in/1 out rule, although it doesn't have to be a like item.
I have a couple of friends who bring there lo's over to play with my dd and while they appreciate that the few toys I have for my lo are beautiful I am sure they think she does not have enough... and when I tell them that we want to go plastic-free for her playthings in the future I am not sure they really understand why. I really hope they don't think I'm a "toy-snob", lol, but there have been a few comments about me not "approving" of plastic toys they have purchased. They struggle to see past the price tag on these sorts of things...I am convinced that if you added up what each of us spent on toys it would probably equal out...they might buy cheap but they buy much, much more, some new toy every week it seems! I really want to create a beautiful environment for my lo but at the same time not make her too "different" iykwim!
And even at 8 1/2 months she seems to go for the flashing/ blinking toys at play group... I am hoping this is just because it is something she doesn't see at home and is a novelty!
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=zoebird;15812217]when in doubt, don't purchase.

Make sense Zoebird!!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
Yeah, we've never had plastic either but we have too many wooden 'waldorf' toys. I think I have even made too many things for them. It's harder (for me at least) to simplify those kids of things.

I am bad too : especially with the wooden toys, I like to decorate my house in them ....
I have this problem . . . with making things. I reorganized the play room yesterday evening. We do simply have too.many.toys. My in-laws gave my son two plastic ride toys for his first birthday. TWO! One, of course lights up and plays music. And he dances to it, so, it stays. He does also play with the beaded wire thingy that is on top of a wooden box that has stuff on each side, but, I put it in the pile to go to the Goodwill. My husband pointed out this morning that he plays with it. But, I pointed out that there are still toys we are keeping that engage him the same way.

We have:
  • wooden kitchen
  • wooden refrigerator
  • collection of wooden cars and trucks
  • wooden rocking horse
  • wooden push cart
  • wooden stroller
  • wooden shopping cart (can we get rid of a push toy please?)
  • wooden cradle
  • playstand (made by papi)
  • wooden dollhouse (furnished)
  • basket of sea and snail shells
  • basket of rocks
  • wooden animals
  • three little pigs wooden set
  • Root children wooden set
  • more than enough much wooden, knit and felt playfood
  • ceramic plates and cups
  • wooden and metal cookware
  • wooden baking sheet and cookie set
  • wooden milk bottles and cups (2 sets/separate gifts!)
  • dolls (waldorf and non) & doll clothes and cloth diaper bag set
  • stuffed animals (they mostly live on a shelf)
  • wooden blocks
  • dress up clothes
  • silks
  • wooden tool set
  • wooden cash register
  • music instruments (maracas, recorder, clave sticks, shekare (sp?), drum)
  • frog rocking toy (which my son rejects for the bigger horse)
  • felted wool balls
  • felt jingle ball
  • table puppets and needle felted dolls
  • forgot the wooden puzzles!
  • also forgot the art supplies! Beeswax crayons, paint boards, paint, chalk, easle, modeling beeswax (the felt and fiber stash is mine, mine, mine!)
  • and of course, books

I'm not completely responsible for all of this . . . although I am mostly responsible. Co-ops have been my down fall. And, when my daughter's first waldorf kindy went out of business, well, we acquired a few items at the sale!

For Christmas, I just want us to make some tree blocks for my son and I want to make a Waldorf doll for my daughter with some clothes. A larger one that looks more like a child than a baby - a friend doll - since she turns 5 next month.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Yeah, we've never had plastic either but we have too many wooden 'waldorf' toys. I think I have even made too many things for them. It's harder (for me at least) to simplify those kids of things.

I am bad too : especially with the wooden toys, I like to decorate my house in them ....
Guilty as charged here too (I ordered some Ostheimer figures for ME for Christmas!). Just to mortify myself even further...and try to give myself ideas of what could go...
We've got:
*Playstands -- they section off a part of the living room for DS (and the kitties enjoy it when we hang curtains off the front for a clubhouse)
*Play kitchen with dishes and a basket of felt food I made. [Doesn't play with the felt food much really.]
*Small basket of musical instruments [Doesn't play much--except the harmonica my dad got him--but only very early in the morning when I stayed up too late. *sigh*]
*Basket of wood animals - some mama-made, some purchased. [Plays with ALL THE TIME]
*3 pieces of castle and some figures for it. [Plays with daily]
*A few vehicles [the one he plays with the most is the one I itch to make disappear--squeaky wheeled M&D firetruck!!]
*Basket of blocks [plays with a few times a week]
*Dollhouse I made + some furniture [rarely plays with it, but I love it and and cats enjoy it!]
*Puzzles [have been put away for a few months, but enjoys them when they're out]
*Doll bed [NEVER plays with]
*Ironing board [NEVER plays with--it's been put away, but he rarely played with it before]
*Big doll and little doll that I made. [Rarely plays with. Donating the little doll, but the big doll has to stay for my sake. ]
*Small number of stuffed animals (they breed...esp around the holidays! I cull them regularly!)
*A large basket of silks and dress-up items [Play with all the time, but could thin the silks even more--he really only uses one or two but I made a ton of them because it was fun.]
*Wooden sword and shield [mostly live at his dad's because he's better than me and it hurts my knuckles!]
*Set of M&D tools from Christmas last year (a huge deal where my brother LISTENED to our request for wood toys!). [Played with somehow or another a couple times a week.]
*A small assortment of Schleich animals. [good bath toys, and his dad likes to get them. played with non-stop!]
*Plus a couple of misc things that went with his farm when we had it all set up on a train table -- out buildings, a tree or two, etc. The barn itself lives at his dad's house now but comes over to visit once in a while. I sold the train table when I moved.

Part of the trouble with getting rid of things is that I'm hesitant to cull too much when family actually went through the effort of finding things that fit our requests. I don't love Melissa and Doug, but those gifts represent a significant effort by relatives that blatantly ignored our request for no plastic the first year because they a) didn't get it, and b) thought it was a phase and probably c) thought DS was missing out on something with my silly ideas. Don't know if that makes sense. But the exercise of making the list was helpful. I can see some items that should clearly be either packed away for a while, or moved on to another family that will love them. It's time to do the same with his books as well. I'm not vigilant about culling the books and he's on the <a href="http://www.imaginationlibrary.com/">Dolly Parton program</a> so gets a new book (of varying quality!) every month. Time to start sharing some with other homes!!

Did I ever mention that my mother only BARELY managed to convince my dad not to get him a REAL bow and arrow set last year for his 3rd birthday?? I think that particular item will live at Grandpa's house when the time comes (hopefully not for a few more years!)! He can shoot their neighbors!!!

This year, when I started putting together his wish list (my family are OCD early shoppers), I was EXPLICIT that he doesn't need toys, has too many toys, no more room for toys. I did say what types of things he likes because some people really love to buy toys for kids (I do!) no matter what. But I wanted to be crystal clear that he doesn't need a darn thing!!!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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We have simplified a long time ago, and keep simplifying. Too many takes the joy out of playing.

DD has:
a doll set (2 dolls, clothes, a hammoc that I made as a bed for her, a stroller and a blanket)
a farm with animals and a farmer.
a rocking horse

DS has:
a Kinderkram castle with 4 knights,
a train track set (with the trains and cars...)
wooden trucks (a loader, a tractor and a big truck)
a set of wooden tools

DS #2 has nothing much now (he is too young) but I kept some stacking bowls for him, and the staking rainbow. He also has a first Waldorf doll that belonged to DD. He'll get it later.

Together, they have:
playstand (that are not the true Waldorf thing, but 2 small bookshelves that used that way.)
a small kitchen setup (bowls, pretend food...and everything that comes with it...)
art and craft material
baskets of silks, acorns, wooden blocks, shells, bits of wool...
books
some clothes they use for pretend play, including their previous Halloween outfits
and a few cooperative games that we play together

that is all, and truthfully, we don't need anymore.

For Christmas, we will add to what they already own: for both of them a wooden kitchen (because they don't have the kitchen per se) and for DD a high chair for her doll and a Bunchpect animal for her farm (stocking), for DS some more castle piece and a Ostheimer dragon (in the stocking). They will both get a piece of clothing that is handmade, and a book. For our house (we always get something to enhance our house at Christmas, this is a family present to all of us... ) we are adopting a gnome house with a little inhabitant in it, and we are making an exception and getting a Nativity set also this year (so they can play on the nativity story with them)

DS #2 is getting some ruskovilla clothing, an amber necklace and a teether. No toys for him.

Good luck simplifiying. I find that this is a process that is being done every day, and not just a one time thing.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Neptune2 View Post
We have simplified a long time ago, and keep simplifying. Too many takes the joy out of playing.

DD has:
a doll set (2 dolls, clothes, a hammoc that I made as a bed for her, a stroller and a blanket)
a farm with animals and a farmer.
a rocking horse

DS has:
a Kinderkram castle with 4 knights,
a train track set (with the trains and cars...)
wooden trucks (a loader, a tractor and a big truck)
a set of wooden tools

DS #2 has nothing much now (he is too young) but I kept some stacking bowls for him, and the staking rainbow. He also has a first Waldorf doll that belonged to DD. He'll get it later.

Together, they have:
playstand (that are not the true Waldorf thing, but 2 small bookshelves that used that way.)
a small kitchen setup (bowls, pretend food...and everything that comes with it...)
art and craft material
baskets of silks, acorns, wooden blocks, shells, bits of wool...
books
some clothes they use for pretend play, including their previous Halloween outfits
and a few cooperative games that we play together

that is all, and truthfully, we don't need anymore.

For Christmas, we will add to what they already own: for both of them a wooden kitchen (because they don't have the kitchen per se) and for DD a high chair for her doll and a Bunchpect animal for her farm (stocking), for DS some more castle piece and a Ostheimer dragon (in the stocking). They will both get a piece of clothing that is handmade, and a book. For our house (we always get something to enhance our house at Christmas, this is a family present to all of us... ) we are adopting a gnome house with a little inhabitant in it, and we are making an exception and getting a Nativity set also this year (so they can play on the nativity story with them)

DS #2 is getting some ruskovilla clothing, an amber necklace and a teether. No toys for him.

Good luck simplifiying. I find that this is a process that is being done every day, and not just a one time thing.

Thanks for chiming in ... sounds like a great collection of items.
How often do you switch things up or find something new to engage your kids? Just birthdays and holidays? I ask you especially because you have several kids of several ages and therefore way more experience than someone like me with just one toddler! Any other tips or advice?

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:16 PM
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for us, when hawk appears to have a specific, lasting interest, we purchase.

for example, he was obsessed with bikes. we would go to the playground, and as soon as a kid got off a bike, he would try to get on it and ride it. he would point them out, he would try to ride, and he would often just ride that around the playground (parents are pretty open here) and then cry when the family reclaimed their bike.

so, we shopped and found a balance bike that we like, that we know is adjustable and could last many years (up to age 5-6). (http://www.wishbonedesign.com/) he rides it every day, he talks about it constantly, and he loves to take it out for a ride. it was a good purchase, and will last him another 3-4 years. by then, he may have a sibling who could use it also, or we could pass it on to cousins or such.

anyway, his birthday came and while his grandparents wanted us to buy toys for him, i showed them how he "made" his own toys. he created a helicopter (be-leh-be-leh) with a peg, and two bits of the stacking toy; he created an airplane with his train and two pens stuck through the windows. so, he didn't need those toys. one train car is a 'car' and another is hte 'cable car' and then he also has the train itself. and then blocks make boats and houses. he doesn't really need any more toys.

they sent clothes and also books, which is perfect, and we just keep it simple with some basic wool felting supplies--a hand working skill i want to introduce to him. i think he will enjoy it. if he doesn't; i will.

i keep my parents focused, telling them explicitly what i want. they know we live in a small space, that i prefer minimalism and open ended toys, and that craft supplies here are expensive. so, they can support that process (and then we'll send the results to them!). my ILs are a bit harder to predict and rein in, btu they are cheap, so they won't buy much.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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simplification definitely is a process.

if family can understand and follows your wishes that can make it much easier and hopefully they will grow with you. i came into waldorf when my little one was three. the hardest things for our family has been limited media and toys. my family has come around within the last three years but my in-laws just do not understand.

my little one (6 years) loves going over friends houses and takes notes on all the things she likes.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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I don't usually get rid of toys, but I do rotate them out as dd1 outgrows them. I don't get rid of them b/c we have another kid & will have more after her, too. DD1 still plays w/ the beads on a wire occasionally & dd2 is just now starting to play w/ them. Toys in this house will get lots of use, lol. We do have many toys, but we still have less toys than most. Extremely few electronics. DD1 loves them & I see them as a novelty to be enjoyed when we are somewhere else. Just b/c she likes a toy somewhere does not mean that I have to run out and purchase it. She can still play w/ it and enjoy it at that place.

I just put away even more toys that dd1 is not playing w/, like her Ostheimer animals *sigh* I put a big ole basket full of acorns & caps in her play room & will add a basket of small sea shells & small pinecones. Will add big cones further into the fall/winter. She also has toys, like her big bin of art supplies, that she likes to go thru and look at occasionally. Her fave toy for a while now has been her sticker collection. She really likes little things that she can sort thru and look at, pile up, line up, and organize.

jumpers.gif

DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

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Old 09-08-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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This is what we have for DD (6) and DS (4)
  • Basket of silks/dress up items
  • Basket of blocks (unit blocks and tree blocks)
  • Basket of wooden animals/scenery pieces
  • Small basket of wooden peg people
  • Small basket of bean bags
  • Small basket of wooden cars (all made by us except the people mover one)
  • Large stacking rainbow thing
  • Doll house with basket of furniture (the dollhouse may be gone soon. They play with the furniture all the time, but not the house.)
  • Train tracks (also may be gone soon, they don't play with it much)
  • Treasure chest with glass gems, crystals, wooden coins, gold tokens, polished stones, etc. (By far the most played with toy in our house)
  • Tea set
  • Basket of legos (mostly a rainy day toy)
  • 2 puzzles and 3 or 4 games (one of which is a very annoying plastic Whack-A-Mole thing which will be disappearing soon)
  • Each have 2-3 special dolls/stuffed animals

Items that I don't consider toys are books, arts & crafts. and our "nature cabinet" (has baskets of wool, rocks, shells, acorns, etc).

Okay, that looks like alot of stuff. And here I was thinking that our toys were pertty simplified. Compared to most people I guess we are, but I may have to go through things again. Most stuff really is played with on a daily basis though.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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Guess what my daughter told me last night during her bed time routine? She would like to get rid of some of her toys and her jewelry (mostly beaded things we've made)! Well, how about that. Of course, I said she could. Can't wait to see what this purge brings. Last time it was stuffed animals mostly.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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