Saturday, February 22, 2014
Child's Play - Getting Back to Basics
Yes! The same thing happens with the box the toy comes in - the box more often than not is played with for longer. Or the wrapping paper the toy was wrapped in.
Before seeing the above, I had already been tearing my hair out at the massive amount of 'stuff' my children have. 7 plastic boxes full of toys to be exact, not including lego, building blocks, train sets, match box cars, RC toys, board games, puzzles, crafting materials (including playdough and paints), dress-ups and The Girls baby dolls and accessories. Just masses of stuff, and barely any of it really gets loved and played with. Stuff stuff stuff. Its really just driving me mad.
Do children really need all that stuff? Is it really necessary? When I think about what my children truly play with, I can draw the list down easily. For the boys - bikes, lego, match box cars, Trash Packs and crafting materials. For The Girl - bike, lego, baby doll and accessories and crafting materials.
The rest of the stuff is just that. Stuff.
They don't need it. Is it going to deprive them of an amazing childhood if they don't have the latest plastic accessory? No. Why do I keep it all when it hardly gets touched? I don't know!!
I even tried to rotate toy boxes to encourage play, but it hasn't worked. They still just go back to their favourites and ignore the rest.
Danger Mouse is a prime example of not needing the latest stuff. He likes to collect treasure. And he cherish's it. The hubby and I recently went to Queenstown and spent a lot of time rock skimming on Lake Wakatipu. The rocks are amazing, and we brought a pile back for Danger Mouse as his special surprise. He loves rocks. His Wakatipu rocks are now home to his frog he has found on his travels. Tomorrow no doubt I will find them somewhere else.
He brings back pinecones from every trip to the Mountain Bike Park. Cardboard boxes if he sees them anywhere. Leaves. Cicada shells. Rocks. Bits of string. And he plays with this stuff. They just don't get played with once and dumped in the bottom of a box with the rest of the pretty stuff. They get used again and again until they are worn out, broken, lost or squashed. And then easily replaced on the next outing.
It doesn't cost me anything, is not wasteful on the environment, harmful and none of it really takes up much room. It inspires him, challenges him to find different uses for his treasures and helps him sculpt an amazing imagination.
So its inspired me to get back to basics with my children's play materials. Anything that they really do play with can stay, along with anything that inspires creation or imagination. Everything else is getting whittled down and will be found new homes elsewhere. We really don't need it all, its wasteful and its got to go!
Looking forward to freeing up more space. For op-shop treasures maybe?....