I would just say, "Hey, I don't want any pieces to get lost or left behind so please leave the small toys at home." Or if they want to show your kid, they could, but then put it up and out of the way for the remainder of the time. I don't think "clutter toys" is really much better. It's still a bit judgmental. However, "small" is just descriptive.
I would also just say "I would hate for anything to get lost, please leave small toys at home"
I also think that there is judgement to the term "clutter toys". Which is just fine when you are talking to your own children. However, you are talking about an item that belongs to someone else that just happens to be in your house. I don't really care for some of my friend's jewelry, but just because she wears it in my house, I would never consider telling her that in our home we have a rule about gaudy jewelry.
What would you like another parent to call your child's felted gnome or whatever you consider a great toy, if it is unwelcome in their home for even a playdate? (And there are definitely people who would find such a toy a dust magnet, clutter, choking hazard, unsanitary, junk, or other words that are rude).
What would you want them to say about it? If you wouldn't want it said by another parent about your child's most treasured possession that she is sharing with her friend and intends to bring home, don't say it to another person's child. It's pretty basic "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." here.
The only thing you can possibly say is "Oh, I see you brought your toy to share, but I don't want it to get lost or any of the parts to go missing, so we don't allow outside toys in our house."
Generally, people who don't "allow junk toys" or "allow clutter toys" means that we/they don't KEEP toys that are junky or clutter as part of their regular playthings in their own house. It says nothing about what toys their friends may play with or bring into the house for a few hours a month! I'm really baffled as to how you can possibly think that either term would be appropriate to say to a child about his/her toy.
I don't buy my little girl high-heeled shoes or impractical slide sandals.
that doesn't mean I tell her little friend "Oh, we don't buy slut shoes" when she wears her sequin-covered high-heeled peep-toe mules over on a playdate.
I might observe "I"m not sure you'll be able to play in the treehouse wearing those.'
If one of the girls asked why my DD did not have a similar pair of shoes, I might say "Well, I prefer to buy shoes that little girls can run and play in."
If I was *pressed* on that last statement, I might add that "Wearing shoes like that keep little girls from being active, and its easier to get hurt when you wear them, so I won't buy them."
If the guest came to me to show off her new shoes I would probably say "Those are very sparkly! Do you like them?"
Again: In my mind -- those are the stupidest, most impractical shoes for little girls, and I cringe when I see kids on the playground trying to run and climb in them. But I'm not going to call them names. I'm not going to needlessly hurt a little kid or cut her off as a possible friend to my DD just because her parents make different choices in clothing.
Heck, the time may come when it's my child being mocked or put down for her practical, comfortable clothing, because it's not as hip/cool/fashionable.
Do I want my kid coming home and telling me that someone called her pink athletic sandals "Dorky?" No.
Would you want your kid coming home and confiding her friend's parents called her special toys "Elitist, unrealistic, expensive, and boring?" (all real-life things I've heard said above Waldorfy toys from non-Waldorfy parents)
savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).
Okay, I see what you're saying. I guess I'm not making myself clear enough. It's not that I would call it the clutter toy rule to a kid but it seems like I need a different way to think about it and discuss it with other family members and adults because calling it and thinking about it as the junk toy rule makes it more likely that I may slip up again in a similar circumstance. And it seems like my kids are also running the risk of offending by thinking of certain toys as junk toys by saying it out loud but if they said something like, oh my family calls that a clutter toy- it may be less offensive.
That's a problem though. Neither you slipping up nor your children commenting on friend's toys should say anything involving junk, clutter, wasteful, wrong, or anything of the kind. I would certainly be offended if my child's friend said "at my house, we call that a clutter toy." There is nothing your child can say in terms of "oh my family calls that a [ ] toy" that won't be rude.
You can say that you don't allow outside toys in your home because of the potential for pieces to get lost. Your children can say "My mom doesn't want outside toys in the house, but come with me, I have a [super awesome whatever] that I have to show you!" If you have very young children or a dog, older children can say that small parts aren't allowed in the house bc baby sister/brother/dog puts everything in their mouth and might choke. There's just nothing that you can say that judges other children's toys without being rude and offensive.
I mean honestly are you supposed to say, food of low nutritional quality? Should I have really been so cautious with my words and said something like.. well, see I can't even think of an easy term to use besides junk toy. Sigh. Any way, just wanted to get some outside perspective about this. What do you think?
You're supposed to say "what a nice toy" and leave it at that. You are not supposed to insult other children's toys.
Also, should another child bring food that you don't think is healthy enough, you shouldn't insult that either.
Being a host means putting your guests at ease and being polite. Even if those guests are just children. Being a parent also means modeling gracious behavior. I'm sorry, but you did not do that when you insulted the toy and said that you have rules against it. While you and I share similar toy ideals, how another parent treats my child is far more important to me than what their playroom consists of, and I would be "bent out of shape" if you insulted anything whatsoever about my child or my child's interests or likes while s/he was at your house.
Word. That was downright rude, and especially mean since you directed it at a little kid.
I don't like mass-produced clothing. It doesn't mean I'm going to start referring to other people's clothes as sweatshop crap, especially to their faces. I'm also not going to teach my children to do that, because whether it's a fact or not doesn't negate the fact it's judgmental and unnecessary.
I don't really understand why it's hard for some people to hold their views without simultaneously making others feel crappy - whether crunchy or mainstream.
ETA: just read your last post - have you eliminated every plastic toy from your house? You said that you've become a bit more lenient in the past. What is the big deal if another kid brings a toy of THEIRS over? If it's not staying in your house, is it really worth demeaning another person over - including the friends of your kids, or your own friends? You don't want clutter. They won't be adding to the clutter. No matter how you decide to label it, the child will end up not understanding why they can't have a particular toy in your house, and it's likely it will lead the kid to wonder what's "wrong" with their toy. I dunno. It just doesn't seem like a reasonable hill to die on, IMO.
Okay, I see what you're saying. I guess I'm not making myself clear enough. It's not that I would call it the clutter toy rule to a kid but it seems like I need a different way to think about it and discuss it with other family members and adults because calling it and thinking about it as the junk toy rule makes it more likely that I may slip up again in a similar circumstance.
While I agree with you about having kids and all the clutter of the seemingly endless supply of toys, there seems to be two different issues. The first issue if you don't want YOUR kids to have certain kinds of toys in your house and you use the "junk toys" phrase to explain it to your kids. That's cool and I don't think anyone would be upset by you using that phrase to explain it to your kids. What I think people are taking issue with is that it sounds as if you are passing judgement on a kid's toy to the kid. It would be as if you showed a friend your new car and the friend said, "You bought that piece a crap car? It gets terrible gas mileage. I would never drive that car, we don't drive cars like that in my family."
Okay, I see what you're saying. I guess I'm not making myself clear enough. It's not that I would call it the clutter toy rule to a kid but it seems like I need a different way to think about it and discuss it with other family members and adults because calling it and thinking about it as the junk toy rule makes it more likely that I may slip up again in a similar circumstance. And it seems like my kids are also running the risk of offending by thinking of certain toys as junk toys by saying it out loud but if they said something like, oh my family calls that a clutter toy- it may be less offensive. I like the analogy of explaining to kids about toys, junk toy = junk food but it seems like it's not a good way to explain it to young children and I'm just going to drop the term from my vocabulary from here on out. Any way, it's obviously not my time of month for clear communication! Or adequately filtering the thoughts in my head and saying them out loud! So I'm just going to stop here! Talk amongst yourselves : )
I think the best way to change the minds and hearts of those around us is to lead by example. I know in my case, I began making toys for my daughter when she started requesting specific toys. Crochet is very easy to pick up for some people with just a simple book, or you could even take a class if you find it difficult. YouTube has good tutorials as well.
The great thing about making your own toys is that you can use natural materials, soft fibers, etc. After making some toys for my daughter, I started gifting them and it rubbed off on others. They started making dolls and play food and character toys for their children. And knowing that I influenced others to try something they may not have otherwise done made me really happy!
I don't think it's unreasonable to try and get rid of toys that don't meet your standards. You might want to do something like have a "transformation ceremony" where your children bring you all the junk/clutter toys they are willing to part with, put them into an "alchemy pot" overnight, and the next day (or week or however long you think they should have to wait for something special) when they open it, you've replaced them with a new hand-made toy. And if it's a success, you may be able to talk up the success of it to your friends and encourage them to do something similar. But I would just suggest that you have the toy already planned out and probably made in advance so there really is something you care place the old toys with
I'm sure that once you have a success story to share, the people around you would be interested about hearing about how to improve their children's toys. My dh and I do this constantly (about toys and health as well), even when it really wasn't on topic, and there is always someone interested in the conversation.