Monday, September 19, 2011

Saying No to Toys

I've know this for a while now-- but the past few weeks have reinforced the fact that my kids do not play with their toys.  Either we have terribly uninteresting toys, not enough toys to hold their attention, or they would just rather play with non-toys.  Personally I just think they like non-toys.  In a room full of colorful plastic kids paraphernalia Emerson will always manage to seek out and find the lid from a tupperware container or a chip clip.  Either of these items usually provide entertainment for quite some time.

So.  I've decided to just go with it-- for two reasons.  One-- the kids like non-toys and they keep them quiet and happy.  Reason enough in and of itself if you ask me.

But secondly-- this is a fringe benefit-- giving the kids non-toys in place of real toys is cost effective and storage effective.  Case in point-- instead of buying Caleb bath toys I've just given him the doubles of all my kitchen stuff that I don't use on a regular basis.  Instead of trying to find room for that turkey baster in my crowded kitchen drawer I let him squirt things while he's making soup in the tub (it's his favorite bathing pastime.)

I think it's quite genius.  Family members who occasionally assist with bath time at our house aren't so convinced.  My brother in law looked at me like I was insane when he saw the cheese grater on Caleb's bath "toy" shelf.  I'll admit that I'm not sure what Caleb does with it in the tub-- but at least I don't have to find a spot for it in my overcrowded kitchen, right?

And don't worry-- any bath time "toy" that is re-introduced into the kitchen is put through my dishwasher's sterilizing cycle :)

So yesterday Doug and I were not surprised to discover this in the living room.

Caleb woke up early Sunday morning and decided to play in the living room.  Of course-- he raided the chip clip drawer and spent the morning quietly constructing rocket ships. (yes I have a lot of chip clips-- I eat a lot of chips-- don't judge me.)

So I'm thinking that I probably won't be buying too many toys in the future.  Lego, games, puzzles, books, crafty stuff, cars/trucks/trains, and maybe a doll or two are all we need!

So what do your kids play with?  Toys?  Non-toys?  I'm curious...


Gord and Andrea said...

they play with toys but only a few. they mostly play with each other making up games or jumps for their cars/trucks. they wrestle and play chase and play outside. they color and invent things with lego. i for one love it... it means i can justify a purge :) the tricky part is thinking up good christmas and birthday gifts for kids who have everything they need :)

Heidi said...

My kids never really played with toys and still don't. They love games and play "house", "school", and another game called "manhunter" which isn't quite as violent as it sounds! They especially like to play games with us so we've taught them Ticket to Ride which is more palatable then hours of Sorry or Uno. Zach will sometimes get out his cars but usually spends his time making a garage or a track out of shoeboxes and duck tape instead of really playing with the cars. I especially wanted to buy Ana a playmobile doll house - the really big Victorian, but she was adamant that she wouldn't play with it and deep inside I knew she wouldn't, but it sure was hard not to put that baby in the cart! Oh and the kids are 7 and 9 so near the end of the toy stage but they've been like this for years. I say if you don't have to buy them don't. Toys are never good for ambiance in decorating anyway!

Niki said...

Tupperware, an old pot that lost its handle, a spatula, a babyfood container, a golf ball, my old wallet...these are all in Levi's "toy box." :)

Flowers2boys said...

i actually had this conversation with myself a couple weeks ago while cleaning the basement. my boys have never played with their toys. i loved lego as a kid and played hot wheels in my sandbox created cities... and only just this summer did the boys start playing with their "stuff" - just as i thought they were approaching the ages where toys are to young for them, of course just as i thought i could clean up! however i still think given the choice between a toy or an old cell phone or my sunglasses - the non-toy wins!

GSFALK said...

Pets! Definitely the best 'entertainment' ever for our kids.

Sabrina said...

Favs in our house? Potatoes, pads, soap bars, spatulas, wooden spoons, bowls, lotion bottles, anything with a lid that screws on and off, my make up brushes, cars, scrubby sponges (new ones only!), the phone...non toys definitely top 'real' toys.