Sunday, February 28, 2010

Too many toys

My grandparent's have a wonderful 'toy bag' that they have kept for visiting children. It has entertained many many children of all ages .. and yet it is filled with things you might not recognise as toys. An old set of keys. A wallet filled with out dated money and cards. An old cell phone. Old ties. Old scarves. Some shells. A pair of goggles. Some ends of wool.

I looked at it today, watching my two children deeply absorbed in play with these 'toys'. I realised that, despite my best intentions, we have far too many toys.

Fortunately, we don't have a lot of junk toys ... being a 'Steiner' family our friends and relatives have been pretty respectful about not buying us $2 shop plastic junk. But even in the realm of 'quality toys' we have too many.

I have enjoyed challenging myself to think 'what would I take the in RV' (this is my fantasy alternative life where we follow the example of the Happy Janssens and live in a bus!). When it comes to toys, I think for my children the list would be:

- some lengths of rope that can be tied around trees to create swings and climbing frames

- some plain wooden blocks

- some small blankets (crocheted by Nana) and playsilks

- a doll

- a couple of small wooden cars

- some beeswax crayons and paper

- some stacking boxes

- balls - a cloth one for inside and a plastic one for outside

- a few favourite books

And that would be it!

Nature would provide the rest, twigs, leaves, shells, rocks ... stuff that can come and go. Also, the recycling bin is always a good source of play materials ... yoghurt pottles, milk lids etc.

So tell me (if any one is still reading this!!!) what would you take in your 'RV toybox'?


Jo's Place said...

We are the same, unfortunately it's not all Steiner type toys although I wish it was. We do however have old keys, and old wallet with cards etc the same as your kiddies grand parents so it's not all bad and we do encourage imaginative play. In fact I have a Steiner book out of the library at the moment and it is fabulous.

This is a good example of what having too many toys can do. The other day I had a friend over and the older girl was getting bored, I gave her a container and said go find some bugs which she did, but then I went to make her a house for the bugs (aka snails LOL) out of old palm fronds etc and she looked at me as though I was nuts. I thought it was a little sad and put it down to the fact that she has everything and had never been encouraged to do that type of thing.

Redbeet Mama said...

I love your list - but if you could fit a small kid kitchen - that would be all my little ones really need.

Sometimes I think it is us that are attracted to more toys - I love Waldorf playthings and keep finding something new. It is so hard to take away knowing the cost of these types of toys.

I started putting most away and changing them up each week.

Enjoyed your post - just found your blog today.

hanna said...

oh yes, totally with you on this. My greatgrandmother had a box like this that was kept in a cupboard by the stairs, we loved it, and you know what our favourite thing was - the old empty talcum powder bottles.
My mother recently told me that her and her siblings also used to play with this box of 'stuff' when she was young, and their favorite thing was the old powder bottles too :)

nova_j said...

a few days ago paul got sick of the toys strewn around our lounge, and moved them all to lexi's room... in the 3 days since 2 dolls & one tiny teddy bear have been played with! they'd rather play in the lounge with almost nothing, than in the smaller space with lots of toys?!?! i'm quietly pleased ;)

we'd have..
- couple of baby dolls
- wooden train track (clutter yes, but an almost daily toy here)
- teaset
- wooden animals
- paper + pencils + crayons
- books
- small ball
and that would probably do us!
comparatively my step-daughters family couldn't last a day without their playstation :(