I have a question for those with multiple kids close in age... we have 3 boys, 6 weeks, 17.5 months, 31.5 months. I am starting to notice that my kids seem to need less clothing since they play with each other fairly well now. Has anyone else noticed this? I am hoping to start getting rid of some toys in anticipation of the holidays and birthdays and was wondering if this playing together trend is something that will continue?
I have three boys too (6, 4 and 2) ! Hmmm...less toys? Probably less than people with kids of both genders (we have a cars bin, an action figure bin, trains, etc.) ... pretty simple. And definitely not 3x as many toys as we had with just one child. But it's hard to tell because the mess is definitely greater - even when they play nicely together and with not that many toys my kids seem to make a serious tornado in whatever room they are in.
I have two boys 17m apart and two girls 20m apart.
They definitely went through phases where the sort of focused on working out their play issues and became closer as result. One such time was at age 1-1/2 and 3, and another was at 3-1/2 and 5.
They are very close friends now. My first and third butt heads sometimes (they are 4 years apart) and my youngest is fiesty and also sometimes butts heads with any of the others, but for the most part they are devoted playmates.
I think one of the keys is giving them plenty of time to "just play" with each other, for hours on end. We homeschool and I think that has made a difference in how close my kids are. The more time they spend together, the more they will work out how to get along. Of course it helps to coach them through the tough spots and honor each other's individual needs (I have two kids who, when provoked too much, disengage and have to be by themselves for a bit to recover, and one who wants to hash things out immediately, so they have had to learn to work with those personality conflicts.)
We don't have a ton of toys in our house, at least not compared to most mainstream families we know. If all we ever had was a basket of baby toys (rattles and teether dolls), stacking blocks, soft balls for throwing, wooden blocks, little guys/animals/trees/etc, wooden train, little kitchen, dolls with clothes, a few stuffed animals, dressup, outside balls, ride-ons/bikes/scooters, art supplies, games, and books, I think that would easily have sufficed. Over the years I pared down to just these and they seemed to fill everyone's needs quite well (and still do). Usually if someone gives them some kind of specialty toy as a gift, it gets used once in a blue moon and discarded. The simple stuff is what gets used over and over and over. Also sticks and rocks when they are old enough to play safely with them.
It was really, really, really hard when they were babies/toddlers so close in age, with four in carseats who couldn't do their own buckles yet, and frequent night-wakings, and multiple kids nursing, or at least needing in-arms time, at once. Around when the youngest turned 4 it got significantly easier and has remained that way. I even think I have it easier now than friends whose babies are spaced farther apart (though I didn't think so when they were tiny). Good luck.
- homeschooling mom to four teens
When ds was younger, I felt I needed more toys because we wanted to have something to share with other kids. It's not so much of an issue now because the toys he uses play well in a group. Taking turns is easier for older kids, as well. But when he was younger, I frequently found myself picking up two of things even though I just had one child. Two nets for trying to catch fish in the stream, two bubble blowers, etc. I also think that kids get a fair bit of mileage from their siblings toys and that if I had more kids, I'd get each of them fewer things. Not always, of course. They would have different interests. But there is still a huge overlap, especially with the younger developmental toys. You wouldn't get each kid a set of blocks, ya know?
We have a train table with tracks and trains and all that, a play kitchen, a bunch of cars/trucks and a bunch of duplo blocks. They are getting an easel from my parents for Hanukka. They don't seem deprived (I don't think?) but we definitely don't have as much as a lot of people I know... there is still stuff they never use tho! I am glad there are others with kids close in age who don't feel that their kids need an entire room full of toys :)
I have 3 boys also...almost 10, 3.5y & 9 months. We are weeding out toys like crazy since the oldest is into "big kid" toys & the littles are more in age range together. My biggest thing is to keep the tiniest pieces in the oldest's bedroom for choking (legos are tiny)--everything else is in the "formal dining room" aka the playroom.
We defintely need less toys overall though. As long as we have enough of a similar item to share (cars/trucks), I've noticed we are fine.
A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.
My family with five kids has less toys than any family I know. We have a dress up bin, wooden kitchen, baby/cloth diapers/sling, a toy shelf with some bins for cars/dinosaurs/blocks/knex/nerf. Oh, and the bookshelf has one of those metal puzzle stacker things!
Occasionally, after the holidays or birthdays there is a random toy that winds up sticking around for a little bit then it breaks or the kids will put it in the donate bin. My six year old winds up keeping his the longest, and my three year old has kept around a pretend pink battery operated laptop (looking forward to the day she's done with that!) for almost a year.
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