|Naomi rolling all over the pillows|
I've come to the conclusion (well, awhile ago) that kids don't need many toys. Regardless of what toy company's and the world tell us, they do not.
Look at the picture above. You see one toy that is for "kids." It's a little puzzle. The pillows, rubber spatula and poker chips belong to the adults in the house. Yet, these are the things our girls want to play with most.
In the last year we've made some changes in our home regarding toys (one: because I was tired of the clutter and two: they weren't playing with it all anyways, it was getting thrown on the floor). I cleaned out a lot of them and they have been donated to Goodwill. We have mostly wooden blocks, pop on's (similar to duplo blocks), bracelets, a little kitchen with recycled containers that we cleaned out when we ate it all (yogurt containers, oatmeal, formula cans, spice bottles, etc) and spoons. People are probably thinking I'm denying my children all the wonderful age appropriate toys that are out there. I disagree. In fact, I think I'm giving them room to use their brains and imaginations. And that's more important to me. I want them to stretch their minds when they play. If a toy does one thing it will always do one thing and their imaginations can't expand because their toy does ONE thing. I'm a big fan of John Rosemond and he talks in depth about "play."
Ten months ago I turned the TV OFF in our home. Gasp! I didn't find anything on that was of worth to our little ones. And I doubt anyone could change my mind. I had the TV on just to have it on. I have no idea why, I just did. Doesn't everyone? After I made that decision I didn't realize how attached Nyla had been with it on. The first four days she kept saying, "tv on." I kept saying no and she just went about her business. This proved to me that I really didn't need it on. I didn't want her to become addicted to it. You can read more on this topic on a previous blog post.
I'm thankful for bloggers across the web who continue to write about their minimizing efforts. It shows that I, too, can have minimal "things" and still lead a happy and healthy life. You can too, take it one step at a time. I have.
Helpful blogs and posts:
Overstuffed: Clutter, consumption, and the study that shows how possessions shape us
Why I took my kids' toys away (and why they won't get them back)
Intentionally Simple (she continues to write on de-cluttering their lives. One of my favorites!)
How to make weekly purges happen (from Organizing Junkie; another favorite blogger)