Friday, July 27, 2012

Toy Overhaul

Fun percussion set from B. Toys
I am contemplating an entire toy overhaul in this house over the next eight months or so (through L & D's third birthday). We still have a lot of toys they had as infants and some they acquired in their second year. I think it's time to downsize and prioritize.

Every time I consider or mention downsizing the toys, my mom and grandmother tell me I'm doing a bad thing. "The girls should have all the toys they can play with." Even though in the front of my mind I feel I'm doing a service to my sanity and their creativity, the little voice in the back has guilt and won't get rid of the toys. That is not to say that I haven't gotten rid of some toys, because I definitely have, but I think I can do a better job than before.

Little Tikes T-ball
My new focus is to heighten creativity and pretend play while giving them things that will last for a few years. I've always tried to find toys that do this, but they have a lot of toys that are the equivalent of busy work for adults. I'm scoping out tons of musical instruments, art supplies and sports toys. I'm also starting to research bikes and trikes to get them mobile when we're out and about (as if they're not mobile enough). I've considered play kitchens and the like, but still can't decide if that kind of purchase is worth the money. I think letting them help me prepare meals would be more fun. There are, though, plenty of play kitchens at yard sales and on Craigslist for next to nothing.

For those with kids this age or older, what do you think? Is it time to give the baby toys the boot? Am I bad for wanting to downsize the toys (and, truly, the amount of time it takes to clean up said toys)? What do your kids enjoy the most?


  1. I am a big fan of pruning the toy stash, if only to box them up and put them aside for the next kiddo, though I have passed on a few things to others. I don't feel that infant toys are developmentally-appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, most of the time. I keep the musical instruments and small figurines that can be used in pretend play, but I've put away entertainment centers, mouthing toys, mobiles, crawling toys, etc, though we never let people give us a whole lot of "baby toys" because we don't prefer the bells and whistles, and because we didn't have the space to have a ton of stuff. The thing is, they will still have plenty to play with and will be getting more, since Christmas and their birthdays will be here before you know it. I say go for it. Just a word of warning- I put away the last of the baby stuff a couple of months ago and we're now expecting #2. If you're superstitious about this kind of thing, keep just one baby thing each out and in your way... ;)

  2. Considering that Ewan, Lillie & Dani are now playing with toys that Pam & Tim played with as a child, I am probably not a good one to give advice. However, for what it is worth ... I would keep some toys for these reasons(a) to be used by visiting children (b) passing on to their own children (c) sentimental reasons (d) repurposing -- some toys from earlier years can still be used by an older child but in a newer, more developed imaginative way ... i.e. we are still using the plastic letters for babies in a different way for Ewan by connecting them together to be our 'rope' to tie up Tiger Lily when we are playing Peter Pan & the Pirates and we use the stacking colored balls in many ways (telescope, megaphone).