Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bye, Bye Toys!

Everyday I watch my oldest, Carson, play with the same toys, over and over. Not only does he play with the same things, but he plays with them in the same ways. There's little imagination. He doesn't watch TV everyday, but watches Veggie Tales at times or Super Why and it seems he only mimics those things he sees. He has little imagination of his own. At the previously mentioned play date I noticed that the other child who is his same age had a great imagination and really played with the toys he chose. He made up games and Carson was more than happy to join in, but Carson was not the one coming up with the ideas. They played school and then the pretended to be zoo animals after reading a book about the zoo.

I'm the first to admit that my boys have way too many toys. Many toys are packed up and some they've never laid eyes on. It is ridiculous. Nathan does enjoy playing with one thing for awhile and seems to be more creative, but I'm worried about Carson.

So, here's the plan. This weekend when they head to bed on Saturday night, the toys are going to disappear. There will be some cars and trucks left out, their big school bus, some play kitchen items, puzzles, and of course books, but what more do they really need? I figure they can have those and only those for a month or so and then those things can get tossed into totes and I'll pull out a few other things. Am I mean to just pack it up? I'm not pitching it, but the teacher in me knows that it's the right thing for them. It's just hard to take things from them (well him mostly, Nathan could care less). So I want to hear your comments. How many toys do your kids have? Do they really "play" with everything? Do they have great imaginations (Carson is 3, by the way). Am I a mean Mommy? Any other toys I should leave out? Come on, speak up. Good or bad, I'd like to know.


Fern said...

I think you're smart to do this. My kids have wayyyyy too many toys too. My oldest daughter is pretty creative, but my boys definitely play with their small action figures and ONLY those. I don't think you're mean at all. Maybe Carson will start drawing more -- that's always really creative. I have always noticed my kids play a lot better when there is less to play with. Maybe he's just overwhelmed.

Maeve's Mom said...

I once saw a list (online, or in a parenting magazine) that listed 6 or 8 types of toys kids needed to develop brain power (things like books, puzzles, imagination toys, toys to make music, art supplies, etc). Anyway, I went through all our stuff and left out only 2 toys of each type. It really got the kids playing with what was out and fueled their imaginations.

We have way too many toys now, but, to their credit, the kids play with all of them, rotate through themselves and are very creative (sometimes enough to drive me nuts). I think you're doing the right thing.

The Stein Family said...

My kids have way more toys than they need and the collection only keeps growing. My oldest (almost 5yrs old) has only started to gain an imagination in the last year or two as she's gotten into playing with her peers more. My youngest has seemingly had an imagination from the beginning. I think it may have some to do with how much more time that second child gets left alone to entertain themselves. Most 1st kids always have mommy and daddy by their side, never left to figure out much on their own. Curious to hear how it all worked for you.