Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Few Things: Minimizing and Toys

This is something that's been hard to figure out in my quest to minimize. Now-a-days kids have millions of useless toys and it is thought to be normal. But they only play with them for about a week and then move on. I've found that Eliza has more fun with things that aren't even toys (and some things she shouldn't even be playing with!). She's much more content doing things like painting or playing around with my gardening stuff or helping me cook than playing with some dumb toy from a store.

When I first started out, I got rid of all the toys she hadn't played with in over a month. This wasn't too hard, she had a lot of not so great, cheap toys. She has a toy box and usually the day would start out with her emptying the ENTIRE toy box out and then get tired of the mess and go play with something else. So I got rid of the toys we didn't need and then we were left with only the ones she DID play with (and a few that I couldn't bring myself to get rid of). To minimize the mess /dumping out issue, I allowed her to only have a few toys out at a time. I basically divided her toys in half and put the rest in a box up on a shelf. When she got tired of the ones she had access to, she could exchange them for a few in the box. This system works pretty darn well!

Then I took it a step further and put up a few more of her toys such as her train set and all the potato head stuff, basically the games/toys that required lots of pieces. She can only get these out when all of her other toys are away and if she decides she wants a different one, she has to pick up the one she had before. And let me tell you, this system has been AWESOME. Not only has she been learning how to pick up after herself but it helps so much with keeping my house clean and makes my job a million times easier. It also helps her stay entertained by only playing with one toy at a time and getting the full use out of it rather than dumping them all out on the ground and getting sick of it within a few minutes. It's so funny because I'll tell her to clean up and she'll go, "Man, I should not have made this big ol' mess!". Learning (:

That's really all I have to say. I don't like toys very much. I would much rather have her outside playing with nature (I think she'd rather that too) but we don't have a backyard or anything to play in so we're kind of limited. So we have toys.... for now.

Here are a few links I've saved up with thoughts on minimizing and toys:

Too Many Toys
Why Fewer Toys Will Actually Benefit Your Kid
Do Your Kids Have Too Many Toys? 
How to Become A Minimalist
15 Clutter Busting Routines for Any Family
10 Ways to Simplify Without Becoming a Minimalist
Now, if only I can convince my Dad that HE doesn't need toys! ;)
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