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Im soooooooooooo sick of all the toys that don't get played with just thrown around the room, or is THAT considerd play? I know there are minimilist or toy free familes out there talk to me how much do you have<br><br>
my kids would rather make crafts or play with non toy type items,,,,, help me get rid of more toys
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ohiomommy1122</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14746910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Im soooooooooooo sick of all the toys that don't get played with just thrown around the room, or is THAT considerd play? I know there are minimilist or toy free familes out there talk to me how much do you have<br><br>
my kids would rather make crafts or play with non toy type items,,,,, help me get rid of more toys</div>
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Donate them! I can totally relate to your frustration. We're not toy-free, but I'd like to move in that direction. There's a few things that my kids actually play with (my youngest loves dolls and my oldest likes "Little People" stuff) but the rest of their toys are mostly thrown around.<br><br>
But Gaaahhhhh...the arts and crafts stuff is the worst for us. They chop paper into a million tiny bits and throw them everywhere. They write on the carpet with markers. It's so annoying. I know it's mostly my fault for not offering more structure for their play. The magna-doodle is one of my favorite toys because of the lack of mess it provides.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>emma1325</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14746988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know it's mostly my fault for not offering more structure for their play.</div>
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No no no it isn't your fault!!! You're doing exactly the right thing! Unstructured play (especially with arts/craft materials) is soooo good for kids, even if it does make a mess.<br><br>
Do you have an area of the house that they could make a mess and just let it stay messy? Like an unfinished basement room or something? That would let them be free to make glorious, creative messes without creating undue stress over their destroying of carpet/walls/everything else in the house. As a kid, I always looked forward to spending time in my aunt's basement with her art supplies - glitter and confetti and stickers and glue <i>everywhere</i>. Big messes at my own house were generally discouraged.<br><br><i>(Part of the reason I feel so strongly about this is because I get SO BORED with "structured" crafts for children. "Here, Johnny, take this pre-cut circle and glue it in the center of this other pre-cut circle. Now use this pre-selected marker and color this part orange." Yawn. I stopped going to "arts time" at the local library because I was so annoyed watching all these kids being "structured" into totally non-creative art projects. They all look alike when they're done! IMO, that's not art, it's just a lesson in conformity with a sprinkle of glitter on top.)</i>
 

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Yes, throwing the toys around the room counts as playing with them.<br><br>
While there is nothing wrong with reducing the amount of toys the family has, it should be done in manner that is respectful of your DC and has them involved, b/c the toys don't belong to you, they belong to your children. A garage sale where the kids have their own table to sell toys they have outgrown and no longer play with is a great way to achieve this.<br><br>
If you (collective you as a family, not just you) decide you would like to donate them, donate them to a charity your children feel will put them to good use, and don't just cart them off to the nearest giant bin out side a thrift store.<br><br>
Try to put yourself in you DC's shoes. How would you feel if your DH just decided you had too many kitchen gadgets (<span style="font-size:xx-small;">substitute what ever you care about</span>) you never used in a way he thought was useful, so he decided the family should go kitchen gadget free. While you might have happily put a fair number of the less used kitchen gadgets out in a garage sale if your DH suggested the family should have one and he participated to by putting out some things he didn't really use, him just getting rid of you things would be very hurtful.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Comtessa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14747067"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No no no it isn't your fault!!! You're doing exactly the right thing! Unstructured play (especially with arts/craft materials) is soooo good for kids, even if it does make a mess.<br><br>
Do you have an area of the house that they could make a mess and just let it stay messy? Like an unfinished basement room or something? That would let them be free to make glorious, creative messes without creating undue stress over their destroying of carpet/walls/everything else in the house. As a kid, I always looked forward to spending time in my aunt's basement with her art supplies - glitter and confetti and stickers and glue <i>everywhere</i>. Big messes at my own house were generally discouraged.<br><br><i>(Part of the reason I feel so strongly about this is because I get SO BORED with "structured" crafts for children. "Here, Johnny, take this pre-cut circle and glue it in the center of this other pre-cut circle. Now use this pre-selected marker and color this part orange." Yawn. I stopped going to "arts time" at the local library because I was so annoyed watching all these kids being "structured" into totally non-creative art projects. They all look alike when they're done! IMO, that's not art, it's just a lesson in conformity with a sprinkle of glitter on top.)</i></div>
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I'm a ways away from this, but had to agree with you, this is something I feel passionately about. I remember being in art class as a child (like 1st grade) and being frustrated with the art teacher and projects, because in the end, every single one in the class came out looking like her example!!!! ( I must have vocalized frustration, or the teacher just caught on, because later I was moved from mainstream to gifted and talented classes and it solved it. )
 

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My DS is only 1 so I'm a ways a way from this too but thank you for posting and stimulating such great replies. I already feel exactly the same way. We have some toys but far less than any of my friends have and few enough that the grandparents are baffled. I am determined not to get to the point of having mountains of toys that don't get played with, though I'm happy to hear that just throwing them around constitutes play! I waffle between feeling opposed to structured play and feeling guilty for not engaging more with my son's play... Anyway, the one strategy I've put in place already is to become a member of and volunteer at our local toy library. This way, DS can try out toys before we bring them home and if they do come home, I can look forward to being rid of them again soon. Our toy library is located in a big community centre basement so I can also observe older kids playing with toys to learn what they do and which toys might actually be worth buying. Maybe you could find something like that once you've managed to unload all the toys that you've already got.
 

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Okay, we have waaay too many toys and I have found myself frustrated and annoyed at the amount, the messes, the kids not playing with a lot of them - but not wanting to get rid of them, and so forth.... but I just wanted to say that it won't be forever. My DDis 8 and plays with less and less toys as time goes by. Things get smaller, at least, and more electronic (like ipods and hand-held video games). Even if they aren't into electronics they will be more into chapter books, drawing/writing, crafts, and clothing. SO, eventually, even though I have four children - I figure we won't always be swimming in a sea of toys. Until then I just need to work with my kids to keep things organized, give away what they truly don't use, and stop bringing so many more things (particularly plastic-y toys with millions of pieces) into the home.<br><br>
Right now we have a 3 tier shelving system along the wall of the garage that holds about 2 dozen large rubbermaid totes full of toys. I hope to get rid of a lot of them, but in the meantime the kids are doing well with only having a select amount in the house - and their favorites in their respective bedrooms - and the toy clutter is at a minimum in our main living spaces.<br><br>
I know you asked for toy-free families... but I just wanted to say that even if you decide not to get rid of all or most of the kids toys, it won't be forever (and hopefully you can find a way to manage the chaos in the meantime).
 

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Our goal is to keep the toy clutter to a minimum. Our little boy is due in March and DH and I have already discussed it. We want toys that he can be creative with- legos, lincoln logs, a mat for his cars to drive around on, etc. We do not want any battery operated toys. I plan on making a lot of his stuffed animals and things like that.
 

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I think we could easily go toy free at this point & ds wouldn't notice at all. He really would rather play with anything but his toys (right now he is sitting beside me emptying my wallet). I have already gone through his toy basket a couple times & weeded out anything he doesn't play with so that really all that is left is balls, trucks & blocks. We have vowed to try to maintain a certain amount of space for toys. Once that space is full something has to go before more can come in. It helps that we really have limited space in our house so there just is not room for more.
 

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That is an interesting concept.....Toy Free......My friend was telling me about a mom she knew that did this. She just got rid of every toy her children had. So it left wondering where does that leave the children? What do they do now when they want to play?<br><br>
Anyone know about this?
 

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We are toy-minimum, not toy free, HOWEVER, everything is a toy to my DD at this age.<br><br>
We have one small toy basket filled to the brim with strange items she's picked up here and there that is actually mostly recycling, office or kitchen supplies, etc. with some *actual* toys here and there. She has some handmade dolls from people who love her, a couple stuffed animals (some store bought, some handmade), and one of those beads-on-wire activity things. She also has a ton of books.<br><br>
We've been VERY clear with our extended families and friends that we don't want a lot of toys and NO lights-flashing-noise-making toys. She doesn't need them, she plays with real items from her environment and uses her imagination, even at only 13 months. We've told them straight out that if they buy us stuff we don't want, we'll get rid of it, and they've listened luckily.
 

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Just a heads up for anyone considering drastically limiting toys:<br><br><a href="http://tec.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/3/11" target="_blank">http://tec.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/3/11</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>This review examines research and theory pertaining to the relation between social-cognitive development and toys. Empirical research establishes a moderate relation between the availability of toys and children's development throughout early childhood, a relation that appears to reflect more than an association with social status.</b> The relation appears bidirectional and varies somewhat according to sex and race. Several aspects of psychological theory appear to describe part of the relation between social-cognitive development and use of toys. These include cognitive developmental theory (Piaget), theory relating learning and development (Vygotsky and Feuerstein), script theory (Bretherton), theories of intrinsic motivation (Berlyne, Bruner, and Yarrow), and theories relating play to development (Mueller and Dunn).</td>
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We're not toy free, but I did find a solution to the "toys all over the house but they're bored anyway" problem. I put 75% of my kids toys away and out of reach (on top shelves in their closets, or in storage containers) and I rotate what they have to play with. When I notice toys are not being played with or boredom is taking over, I rotate. This has worked for us for years and my kids play and play and play with their toys like they're all new. It's amazing!
 

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DD could care less about toys but I am all about the toys. It's a strange dichotomy.<br><br>
I keep hoping she'll play more as she gets older or we may end up toy free due to DD's own minimalist predilictions (sp?).<br><br>
V
 

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We're not toy free, but one of the historical figures influential in my life is <a href="http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/fahs.html" target="_blank">Sophia Lyon Fahs</a>, who did raise her children intentionally toy-free (Not removing toys from her children...she never gave her children pre-made toys and instead insisted they make their own toys and play with everyday objects. She believed very strongly in the value of imagination, and there is a great story about the incredible toys her son would make from boxes).<br><br>
While we are not toy free, we do toys on a rotating basis, taking small numbers out a time and placing the others in storage bins until we are ready for them again. We typically rotate once every week or two.<br><br>
Someone expressed concerns for kids with no toys, but I am equally concerned for kids who have too many toys. Doesn't seem good for the spirit.
 

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I think some toys are good. But there is a LOT of garbage out there.<br><br>
At this point, for dd #1, I am doing "toy free" to some extent, in that I'm not buying anything that is literally a toy, as she has so many and that doesn't seem to be where her main interest is. She likes arts and crafts, books, and music. I'm sure I can do a whole Christmas only getting her stuff like that. She might get a toy or two from other people, we'll see.<br><br>
For the baby, well she has very few toys as it is and could use some stacking cups and that kind of thing.<br><br>
How about a junk-free Christmas? That sounds like a more workable solution to me. Although I don't tell other people what they're allowed to get my kids so she could get something elsewhere. I do make suggestions if they ask, though.
 

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There is a book called "Simplicity Parenting" that I just read which talks about the toy issue. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We're not toy-free, but compared to all of our kids' friends, we are definitely toy-light. Aside from the train table, which is downstairs in our finished basement, and all of the outdoor stuff (of which we have an average amount), the toys my kids own can fit easily on the shelves inside their closets. NO toys in the living room, our bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, TV room, or loft. Unless they are being used, toys stay in the kids' rooms; I can't stand the cluttery feeling of toys everywhere.<br><br>
Even though we don't have a lot, we have stuff that gets great play mileage. DD has two large bins of dress-up clothes. She has a wooden dollhouse and a small bin of Playmobil stuff. DS has a bunch of matchbox and wooden cars and a garage thing with ramps for the cars to go down.<br><br>
We also have a box of regular-sized Legos and a box of the bigger Duplo ones. And we have about ten games and a bunch of puzzles at all different skill levels.<br><br>
Like others here, my kids get the most use out of craft stuff. That's my exception to kid clutter in the main house; in our kitchen we have one of those little wooden kids' tables where they are welcome to do crafts. Two drawers of the armoire in the living room that houses our TV are full of paper, crayons, markers, stickers, pipe cleaners, felt, beads, foam sheets, and all sorts of other various craft supplies. Often when they are bored, the kids dive into there and create something fascinating. It does get messy, but the mess is confined to our kitchen, and I just sweep up anything left on the floor.<br><br>
I find it very soothing to have so few toys. My kids play with what they have and although we rotate houses for our weekly playgroup so we're often at different houses with many more toys, they don't come home from these playgroups asking for what they played with. They are only 5 and 3, though, so it's possible we'll have to deal with that in the future.
 

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I think some kids really like to play with toys and other kids could care less.<br><br>
My sister's kids don't really play with toys. My DD, raised in a similar manner, loves playing with her toys. It's just their personalities. I'm not really a "toy" person, but DH is. He's got his gadgets and still asks for Lego for Christmas.<br><br>
We're pretty toy light. Every few weeks I go through and take out the toys that she doesn't play with often. At 3 she helps with this. Those toys get put away for awhile. When I bring them back out we put them into 3 piles. The first are the ones she jumps all over and wants to put back with her other toys. The second are ones we all agree was a good toy, but she's too old for it. Those get put in a labeled box for our next child. The last pile are the ones we donate. They aren't bad toys, they just aren't right for us.<br><br>
It takes awhile to filter through the toys, but it works. DD is involved and she likes the process. I like it because there is less room for getting rid of things we later decide we want. We don't have really any money to buy our own toys, so most stuff is gifts and it's more hit/miss.<br><br>
I also cycle through the "active" toys. We'll put stuff we know she still likes in the hall closet (very far away from the other put away toys or she freaks out) and bring out other stuff. That way our total amount of toys that are out stays small and manageable. I like to be able to pick up all the toys, from a normal day of just her playing, in ~5 minutes. Our living room is our play room, so I like to keep things reasonably tidy.<br><br>
What I have a hard time with is her play kitchen. She'll play with it ALOT for a few weeks, and then ignore it for a few weeks except to dump out all the stuff onto the floor occasionally. She really likes the thing, and it seems ridiculous to put it away (and we don't have the space) all the time. But it makes me so frustrated. I also have a hard time with her books. Again, they are in our living room and I hate the look of an untidy shelf. But it takes forever to put them away in an order that looks nice.
 

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Well, we are limited by space. Basically if it doesn't fit in our toy storage it has to go--we have 2 shelf units and a large ottoman that opens up. There are some free standing toys, a doll house, a kitchen, and a dress-up corner but mostly it has to fit in our teeny-tiny space! I can't fill up the house with yarn, DH can't fill it up with computer cables, and the kids can't fill it up with toys because we all have to live here.<br><br>
I find that if the toys are organized and tidy they get more play. We collect a lot of crap but I've just given up being sentimental and I cull it once a month or so. I'm not as organized as some of the PP though!<br><br>
Kids need free reign to do what they like with their toys but they don't need that many toys IMO.
 
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