The Disappearance Of The Toys

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.

6 thoughts on “The Disappearance Of The Toys”

  1. I love this post and agree with you.

    My only issue is that my goodwill does not accept toys. So a couple of times a year I just try to throw out any broken toys.

  2. this just confirms what I need to do. My MIL and my son cleaned out his and his sister’s room (6&3 yrs old) and bagged up what they don’t play with. there are six garbage bags in the family room waiting for me to decide what to do. Storage or Goodwill? If they haven’t missed anything in the two weeks they have been in those bags…off to Goodwill they go!

  3. I need to do this BADLY, but my son seems to have picked up his Grandma’s habits (she kept all her kids toys for the grandkids to enjoy so now my son thinks he is saving his for his children… UM no)

  4. In my son’s short 34 months with me, I’ve already had to do this a couple of times. I need to go through it all again soon. The problem is that BZ does actually play with a lot of his toys. But they’re mostly all just cars/trains/tractors, legos, and balls, so I guess I could just pare those down a little and he’d be fine. The other stuff, which he doesn’t get as into, could be given or thrown away. The hardest part will be convincing my mom not to keep getting toys for him. I swear, he barely mentions that something looks cool and the next thing I know it’s in my house. I like the Christmas and Birthday only idea. Maybe the rule for my mother could be that if she buys him something not for Christmas/Birthday, then it stays at her house, and she can deal with the accumulating clutter. Her house is much bigger than mine, so she can handle it! 🙂

  5. I’ve saved some of my sons’ toys (Brio trains and tracks and k’nex, for example) for my hopefully many years down the line grandchildren. One of my husband’s sisters always bought a small toy and a savings bond for Christmas and birthdays. Guess what they still have? All of the savings bonds. I’ve started giving them as gifts, too.

  6. Oh man it’s not just the kids’ toys that we have to start getting rid of. I still have t-shirts that I got in high school that have graduated to sleep shirts because I can’t bear to get rid of them, yet high school was many fashion eras ago at this point. And we’re moving sometime this year!

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