About a year ago – I did my first cleansing ritual that I like to call: Toys Left Out Go To Goodwill. I was sick of seeing toys all over my house and repeating that they needed to be put – at the very least – in the right room. So, I bagged it all up while my kids watched and took it all to Goodwill.
Well – let’s be honest. Half of it went to the garbage because the point of the story is: My kids do not take care of their toys. Many of them were broken and beyond repair.
They were upset that day and immediately forgot about it never to miss those toys again.
I’ve done it a few more times since with the same results. They are upset that day, but promptly forget what went away and don’t seem the least bit sad about it the next day. Probably because they have SO MUCH CRAP, and probably because they tend to play with each other more than with their toys.
We have a strict: Only Buy Toys For Birthdays And Christmas Policy in our house. The kids even know the rule: We don’t ask for things unless it’s for Christmas or Birthdays. But we just have so much family…and these kids still end up with more toys at each Birthday or Christmas than I had in my entire childhood similar to big fantastic RC excavators that can be found at websites such as https://www.hereon.biz/rc-excavator/.
I remember visiting Australia and seeing the wonderful Toy Box City toy boxes. They were just mesmerising, but it reminded me just how much “toys” as a whole have declined.
But now? We’re getting down to the bare minimum. I can not even believe how spacious the playroom looks now. Toy boxes are empty, drawers are empty, shelves are empty…and my kids still don’t seem remotely phased by the loss of their toys.
Are they sitting around devastated at their minimal toy collection? Nope. They’re sliding down the slide they made with mattresses on the stairs. They’re using the empty toy boxes as forts. They’re teaching school to their stuffed animals. They’re beating each other up using paper towel rolls.
I feel like this last year has taught me so much at how we should be spending money on our kids. Christmas was the first real test, and we did much more with Play School stuff and digital items than with actual toys. They rarely played with the toys past their first days of ownership anyway, and it turns out there’s still plenty of things around the house for them to play with. Like vacuum cleaner attachments or even an automated vacuum bot!
Wes has been carrying that around for two days now. It’s the crevice attachment and he carries it around inside the extension attachment. His sword/sheath. He wanted to even take it to school with him! He has a perfectly good nerf sword in his room and this is what he plays with.
So…I’m starting to think toys have always been a big ole waste of money. Books? Crafts? Movies? Games? Those things seem to have life past their initial discovery. But toys? They just don’t. At least not any more than any other toy. Not in my house. Not with my kids. When they’re in the mood to dig through the toys and play, they’ll play with whatever is there. But more likely than not? They’ll decide what they want to play, and just make due with whatever is around. Even if that means fighting a war using shoes as their army men and socks as their bombs.
Wes has a birthday coming up. We have one “big” item we’re getting him which I’ll save for a reveal later – but the rest? Legos. Books. Crafts. No actual toys. There’s no point when he’ll forget about it one week later and two months later it will end up at Goodwill.
Well…maybe I’ll buy him a new vacuum cleaner attachment. He has been really good lately.