Monday, December 7, 2009

A Rant On Toys

My space has been taken over by toys. There are toys in every room of my house. There are toys in both cars. There are even toys still out in the yard. And really? Do the kiddos play with all these toys? Of course not!!.So I was thinking to myself, "Self, why are there so many freakn' toys in this space o' mine that NO ONE PLAYS WITH?"

And I suddenly knew it is because of me. I buy the toys- granted, most were sweet deals that I found at yard sales, flea markets, and consignment shops. I pick the can't-pass-by freebies up off the side of the road. I say "YES!" eagerly when people offer me their kiddos' cast offs. Geesh, why am I the toy horde???

My kiddos are 3 and 1. They don't watch TV with COMMERCIALS (thank you Nick Jr), so they have no clue what is out there.  Wait, I take that back. Logan, at 3, is just starting to catch on to advertising. He has found mail order TOY catalogs and Black Friday fliers laying around and has gotten very excited about all the toys in them. But you know what? He seems perfectly happy just LOOKING AT THE PICTURES.   I am the one getting all worked up about how many of those toys to get him for Christmas, and how much they are gonna cost.  Seriously? He might have asked for one of the toys out of the tons of pictures he looked at. And for real? He could care less if he gets the $15 truck over the $150 dollar truck. Even if I can get that $150 one for $40....OK, OK, see, it's about me again.

What I have realized is that I need to change MY behavior in order to make sure that my still young kiddos are not going to think that the world revolves around toys. If I can reduce the quantity of useless toys they are surrounded with in their daily lives, than toys won't seem so important.  And hopefully they will value the toys they do play with. Logan spent last weekend at his Granny's house and I cleaned out his room. I filled two trash bags with toys and stuffed animals to bring to the thrift store. He hasn't even noticed.

And  another thing? Last week Logan was playing with an old fire truck baby toy that I had pulled out of the toy stash in the basement for Sophie.  Of course, Logan recognized it as his old toy and immediately started playing with it. He was in meltdown mode after 5 minutes. Why? Because the batteries didn't work. With out the batteries, there is no siren. With out a siren, the toy is "broken".  I told him he could make the "Woooo Wooooo"" siren  noise himself. He stared at me blankly like I was talking crazy! With all these battery operated toys, am I raising kids who lack imagination???

This really scared me! It scared me enough to decide that this Christmas we are going battery free. And on top of that, the hubby and I also decided that this year we are only getting the kiddos gifts that promote imaginative play.  So no Vtech and LeapFrog plastic battery operated learning toys for my kiddos this year. They will be learning with their new musical instruments and craft supplies. Logan will work on his imagination with his wooden parking garage and service station, and Sophie with her cloth tea set and wooden sound blocks.  And the hubby won't be running to the Mobil station at midnight on Christmas eve to spend a small fortune on batteries...


Melissa said...

I agree! You spend more on batteries then on the toys themselves. Why don't kids play with linkin logs any more? As soon as Ethan gets big enough I'm getting him some of those.

Carly said...

All I can say is Amen! No Batteries are the way to go. My favorite toys are wooden toys that need no batteries. We have a kitchen set that my son( also named Logan) who just turned 5 still plays with all the time. I think its great to see him imagination flowing with cooking and endless grocery store trips.

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