One of the wonderful things waldorf inspired homeschooling has helped me with over the years is seeing how important quality toys are over quantity. Too many toys can cause a child to easy become board, dampen creativity, hurt the budget, make cleaning harder, and hinder fun. Who would have thought?
As parents we want to give our children the best, and often all those things we never had. Maybe it was a good thing though that we didn’t have them? Maybe if we had less we would have wanted less. I think though seeing others with so much caused us to want more and more and not be happy with what we did have. I have found in the past that too many toys has caused my children to feel like they had nothing to play with. How odd is that? However when they had fewer toys, well cared for, on display with respect for them the children suddenly wanted to play all the time!
In Walddorf emphasis is places on natural toys like play silks and wooden toysand tend to stay clear of plastics. With the dangers of BPA and other harmful plastic chemicals still found in many toys this is wise on more than level. I have noticed that plastic toys tend to last a season or two at best, wooden toys though could be handed down through a generation even when well cared for and well made in the first place. My husband has a sweet simple little wooden boat that was his as a child and the children love it!
Children Love to Play Here
One of the things I never get tired of hearing about is how other children love playing here. More than a few mothers have expressed how amazed they are with their own children’s play changing after playing here, more imagination and action. The kids love the wooden toys and play silks. One friend though was not happy when she bought a lot of play silks as her sons loved them at my house but didn’t touch them at her own house. Why? Because they have too many toys at her house as is!
Invite a House Gnome Over!
If your home is suffering an over abundance of toys you might want to invite a house gnome over. In our home the house gnome visits from time to time at night while the children are sleeping and takes things we no longer care for or need. Sometimes he leaves new things! Of course if spinning fairy tales is not your thing you could just do the culling and try explaining the reasoning to your children. I find the kids argue less though with the gnome!
Cycle Toys Seasonally!
If you don’t want to part ways with your children’s trove of toys how about cycling them seasonally. Have some toys in bins some place safe and change out the bins from season to season bringing new life into them!
While my husband and I work on a children’s room make over we are faced with too many toys. Some will be rehomed, others will be binned for cycling. Even though we try to live by quality over quantity the holidays and others gifting to our children add up quickly so we have to be on top of this and mindful of how all the toys effect our children. Some toys will be placed back into the bedroom, others will go up into the play space, and others to bins, and still more will be donated.
One thing I tend to do when thinning toys is notice what is missing but important. While thinking about toys it hit me that we don’t have any wooden balance bikes and I wish we did. I added these to a pinterest list for the holidays as a reminder to myself. I think they are amazing toys that have a lot of life in them and the quality is something friends rave about. I am betting that they would even be great hand me down toys too!
In the end it might be a hard concept for some, that less really is more when it comes to toys. Don’t take my word for it though, try it!