Tiny House & Toys
Parents – the toy struggle is REAL. Amiright or Amiright? Its not long before you feel like TOYS are taking over your home whether you’ve got a tiny house or not!
Take a deep breath, you are not alone! Here are a few insights that have helped us tame the toys!
“Kids need toys!”
I know this is a common mindset. And while I agree, its not in the way you think.
Break out the tin hats folks, but Im a firm believer that marketing (albeit, rather clever indeed!) has had TOO MUCH influence on what we think our kids need in order to have fun and learn!
Its the class “Christmas Morning Experience.” We buy THE gift, the one we KNOW that our kids will love FOR THE REST OF TIME… and what happens? After 5 minutes, they spend the rest of the day playing with the box.
I cant tell you the number of times my kids have happily played with common house hold items (tin ball anyone?) causing me to question the need for toys as we know them.
Our kids don’t need more stuff.
What they do need are moments that foster creativity and imagination! Its these moments that empower our kids with the ability to make anything a toy and have a blast! And this will only continue to benefit them as they get older!
(The kids set up a “camp site.” Notice that there are only 2 “toys” and yet they played at their “camp site” for an entire morning!)
“But what about birthdays?”
Instead of asking for gifts, we ask for experiences.
For Christmas one year, we got a trip to the movies, a trip to an ice cream parlor, and a trip to an indoor play land. Its these experiences that will last longer than any toy and create the great memories of childhood!
Now dont get me wrong, there are times when an actual THING is needed/wanted over an experience. So for those times, we also follow the 4 gift rule, “a want, a need, something to wear, something to read.”
During the year, I keep a running list on my phone of things that my kids need or want. When it comes to gift giving time, I ask for those things specifically.
“Ok thats great, but how do you pare down their toys?”
I start by organizing everything they play with. I put all the pieces back together and make it perfect!
Then I watch.
I watch what gets played with and what doesn’t. From there, I separate the things that dont get played with and the kids and I go through the toys together. I explain that we cant keep all the toys and in order to make room for the ones we have or possibly get new ones, we need to get rid of the old ones. This has worked very well for my 6 year old. My 3 year old hasn’t quite caught onto the concept yet but I’m sure she’ll start vocalizing her opinions soon.
Once a toy has been designated to donate, I try to get rid of it as soon as possible! (which is another Konmari tip!)
I cant tell you the number of times I didn’t do this and sure enough, those toys made their way back into the house!