Toy Minimalism? Now There’s A Thought
The following is an extract from an article by Denaye Barahona called “How To Get Started With Toy Minimalism”. It sounds like a step too far doesn’t it? I did wonder, but actually I was completely in agreement by the time I’d read the whole thing.
These are the benefits she believes can be gained by going for quality over quantity… and by quality she doesn’t mean expensive!
The link to the full article is at the bottom for you.
1. Creativity + Innovation
There was once a little boy who had a complete array of superhero attire. Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Iron Man. Lucky dude, right? Then there was another little boy who had a bed sheet. He tied it around his neck and pretended to be all of the aforementioned characters. When he was done, he turned it into a blanket fort and then a curtain for his puppet show. Having fewer toys is directly correlated with more creativity and innovation. These are traits we all want to foster in our children.
2. Practice Sharing
Do you think humans have evolved to share? No. Do you think that cavemen and cavewomen were sharing. Heck no. Sharing is a social behavior that has developed as a means to keep the peace. It does not come naturally; therefore, it must be practised. When you live with fewer toys children are forced to develop boundaries and limits that exercise this important social skill more frequently.
3. Independent Play
When kids have fewer toys they play more independently. When you have fewer toys that are carefully selected, children can easily find the ones they need. This means they can get the toys out on their own and put them away. There’s no more “I’m bored” or “what is there to play.” The options are out and available, which sets the stage for kids to dive in, engage in play, and think outside the box with new ways to use the toys they have.
4. Lower Stress
Clutter creates stress. If I can’t manage to keep the toys cleaned up and organized, how in the world can I expect small children to achieve the same task? This means “go clean up your toys” is a request that many parents toss around lightly–but in most homes, this is no easy feat. Because where the heck does all this stuff go? There is something calm and reassuring about everything having it’s place .
5. Conscious Consumption
When I buy a sweater, I give it a lot of thought. How much use is it going to get? How long will it fit? Is it good quality? In the world of online shopping, you can buy anything with the click of a button; therefore, I want my children to start asking themselves these questions. Toys should not be impulse purchases. Toys should be items that are highly valued and have an important place in the home and in the lives of your children.
6. Happy Mama
When I am lingering at the train table now, I can see all of these values developing in my children. Fewer toys will lead to less nagging, more sharing, independent play, creativity, along with setting the foundation for becoming conscious consumers. If this sounds like a recipe for a happier Mama–you’re right. It is. As parents, our personal happiness influences our children and the overall wellness of our family. It starts with us.
So about those toy boxes…what’s hiding down in there anyways? By slimming down on the number of toys in your house, you will be helping your children to grow and develop life long skills. Who can pass up on that?