Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-05-2013, 08:52 AM   #1
Marianna1988
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Naples, Italy
Posts: 2,517
Minimalist toys

I'm not super minimalist, but I'm working on it. We have already moved and are looking for housing currently, hopefully our stuff won't be here too much longer after us (military oconus pcs). I did a lot of purging before we left, but not enough so a bunch of excess still got packed :/ I really struggle minimizing certain areas, toys is a big one. I've pretty much always had a "no batteries" rule, and the majority of our toys are either natural material toys (wood, crochet, felt, cloth, etc; mostly M&D and TRU imaginarium, but we do have some wahm, Plan, haba, wonderworld, etc) or recycled plastic (anything else like traditional plastic has been purchased second hand, to reduce our "footprint" and keep it out of landfills). I try to only buy toys that are educational and can develop gross or fine motor skills. I don't believe in "push a button, watch it light up and make sounds" We have a lot of the basics, like puzzles, blocks, stacking cups (and stacking boxes... Sigh), puppets, cars, handheld musical instrumnts, pounding toys, balls, shape sorter, train, etc. and i usually opt for single colors (to work on color learning) or for basic pictures (animals, numbers, shapes, etc so we can still have education with say blocks) but there is just sooooooooooooo much. The small items can pretty much overflow an 8 cube shelf, plus there's still the ride on toys, the push walker (Both love it), the baby doll stroller, the kitchen, the train, etc. and the arts and crafts. I actually don't even think we have a huge variety, I feel we could do better, educational/open-end toy wise. But there is just so many already, and they are all good quality. I feel guilty taking them away. I have no problems donating cheap toys, space wasters we never use, electronic toys that don't really do anything, etc. And even though we don't necessarily need building blocks AND ABC blocks AND duplo blocks, I can't bring myself to rid our house of any of them. Granted, we have 2 toddlers, plus DH and I will play with them, so 50 blocks wouldn't be enough, but we don't really need the 300 or so blocks that we have, right? Oh, and the cars! The boys (including DH lol) love cars, bikes, planes, everything, so I am not even sure I could cut those own, thy probably won't let me lol. Those alone fill probably 1 or 1.5 of the fabric bins. The thing is, I've purged the toys probably 4 times in the last year, and a lot of these are played with regularly (at least monthly). I try to rotate, but I usually feel bad taking some away, so I just bring the new ones out in addition to the old I know my biggest issue is probably the duplicates. We have 2 shape sorters, stacking cups and boxes, wooden and felt/crochet food, 8 wooden puzzles, technically 2 bead mazes since one of the shape orders is a bead maze, 2 pounding toys... You get the idea. I always say I'll get rid of the duplicate we like less, but it will turn out each boy likes one, or we'll go bak and forth each week. Man, it wasn't even this hard with my kitchen stuff!

How many toys do your kids have? How did you cut them down? How do you store them so they look neat and/or uncluttered? Can I see pics if possible?

Advertisement

__________________
Marianna and new Usborne Books and More consultant married to C mama to P (05/10) and J (12/11) and baby tre coming 10/14
~Shop at my absolute favorite cloth diaper store HERE! Free diapers, rewards points, and free shipping!~
~Save 20% with code NIFT8010 on your first order at: Diapers.com Soap.com Wag.com Yoyo.com Casa.com Afterschool.com Vine.com Bookworm.com and Look.com~
~$25 off your first order of $50 at gilt.com!
Marianna1988 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 09:37 AM   #2
smplmama's Avatar
smplmama
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: alberta, canada
Posts: 431
Re: Minimalist toys

Minimalism is so different for everyone. I think if you truly don't want to part with the toys, just start a rotation and only keep a few out. I know you feel bad but, I'm sure the kids don't mind
__________________
erica
simple living mama to 4 sweet littles.

Last edited by smplmama; 03-05-2013 at 09:39 AM.
smplmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
elizabeth.scalf's Avatar
elizabeth.scalf
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hershey PA
Posts: 2,750
My Mood:
Re: Minimalist toys

There have been times in my toy purges that I've had two similar toys that I've had trouble deciding which to keep. Sometimes, I just randomly pick one. Sometimes, I can try to rationalize that one does XYZ and another does ABC, but we have another toy that also does ABC so I'll keep the one that does XYZ... But I've found that gets confusing. What if I decide to get rid of the toy that also does ABC, etc? You see my dilemma. So.. usually I just pick one. At first I felt like I was depriving my children of toys. But then I switched my mindset. Toys are a privilege, not a right. They are still ver happy playing with just one. Another thing I often got caught up on was educational toys. Turns out, most educational toys aren't really. When you think about it, and ABC puzzle is no more educational than a standard puzzle. Maybe 5% more educational? What kid actually puts the puzzle together then spends an hour practicing the letters? So I ditched most of the puzzles except a few that fit into the smallest pouches. I got rid of the board puzzles that take up a bunch of flat space. How do kids learn shapes? By feeling and by talking and by doing. So I have one shape sorter toy. I definitely didn't need 3, even though one had a star but one had an octagon (oh, how to decide!). Turns out, my kid loves coloring, so I take a sharpie and a big piece of white paper and draw 4-6 shapes and let her color/scribble in each shape and we talk about it. I enourage them to trace the shape. My 4-year old has a See and Spell from M&D but it's on a shelf. I've learned instead that I can take a sheet of white paper, fold it into fourths (not squares but like 4 long rectangles) and use a Sharpie to write 4 words (House, Cat, Dog, Mommy) and she has plenty of room to see, trace, replicate, and practice letters and words. Much more open-ended AND my kid gets more involved and gets to pick her own words she wants to learn. As far as pounding toys, babies/toddlers will pound anything. Shape sorters - just one with the basics. Hope that helps some. If you have other specific questions feel free to ask away. It's much easier for me to put some on the closet shelf than actually get rid of them, because I am still tied to emotional/monetary value. But I'm working on that.
__________________
SAHM to Coralie, 1/09, Siri 9/10, Ellie Sue 9/12, Baby #4 due May 2014.
elizabeth.scalf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
Marianna1988
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Naples, Italy
Posts: 2,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizabeth.scalf
There have been times in my toy purges that I've had two similar toys that I've had trouble deciding which to keep. Sometimes, I just randomly pick one. Sometimes, I can try to rationalize that one does XYZ and another does ABC, but we have another toy that also does ABC so I'll keep the one that does XYZ... But I've found that gets confusing. What if I decide to get rid of the toy that also does ABC, etc? You see my dilemma. So.. usually I just pick one. At first I felt like I was depriving my children of toys. But then I switched my mindset. Toys are a privilege, not a right. They are still ver happy playing with just one. Another thing I often got caught up on was educational toys. Turns out, most educational toys aren't really. When you think about it, and ABC puzzle is no more educational than a standard puzzle. Maybe 5% more educational? What kid actually puts the puzzle together then spends an hour practicing the letters? So I ditched most of the puzzles except a few that fit into the smallest pouches. I got rid of the board puzzles that take up a bunch of flat space. How do kids learn shapes? By feeling and by talking and by doing. So I have one shape sorter toy. I definitely didn't need 3, even though one had a star but one had an octagon (oh, how to decide!). Turns out, my kid loves coloring, so I take a sharpie and a big piece of white paper and draw 4-6 shapes and let her color/scribble in each shape and we talk about it. I enourage them to trace the shape. My 4-year old has a See and Spell from M&D but it's on a shelf. I've learned instead that I can take a sheet of white paper, fold it into fourths (not squares but like 4 long rectangles) and use a Sharpie to write 4 words (House, Cat, Dog, Mommy) and she has plenty of room to see, trace, replicate, and practice letters and words. Much more open-ended AND my kid gets more involved and gets to pick her own words she wants to learn. As far as pounding toys, babies/toddlers will pound anything. Shape sorters - just one with the basics. Hope that helps some. If you have other specific questions feel free to ask away. It's much easier for me to put some on the closet shelf than actually get rid of them, because I am still tied to emotional/monetary value. But I'm working on that.
The bolder is exactly one of my problems! We have a shape sorter, and we have a bead maze. And we have a shape sorter that is also bead maze. So, I rationalize that I should keep the 2-in-1... But the thing is, i actually prefer the separate toys better. So I end up talking myself into keeping the 2-in-1 because it *should* be the toy I like best, even though I don't. Sigh.
__________________
Marianna and new Usborne Books and More consultant married to C mama to P (05/10) and J (12/11) and baby tre coming 10/14
~Shop at my absolute favorite cloth diaper store HERE! Free diapers, rewards points, and free shipping!~
~Save 20% with code NIFT8010 on your first order at: Diapers.com Soap.com Wag.com Yoyo.com Casa.com Afterschool.com Vine.com Bookworm.com and Look.com~
~$25 off your first order of $50 at gilt.com!
Marianna1988 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
Marianna1988
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Naples, Italy
Posts: 2,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizabeth.scalf
There have been times in my toy purges that I've had two similar toys that I've had trouble deciding which to keep. Sometimes, I just randomly pick one. Sometimes, I can try to rationalize that one does XYZ and another does ABC, but we have another toy that also does ABC so I'll keep the one that does XYZ... But I've found that gets confusing. What if I decide to get rid of the toy that also does ABC, etc? You see my dilemma. So.. usually I just pick one. At first I felt like I was depriving my children of toys. But then I switched my mindset. Toys are a privilege, not a right. They are still ver happy playing with just one. Another thing I often got caught up on was educational toys. Turns out, most educational toys aren't really. When you think about it, and ABC puzzle is no more educational than a standard puzzle. Maybe 5% more educational? What kid actually puts the puzzle together then spends an hour practicing the letters? So I ditched most of the puzzles except a few that fit into the smallest pouches. I got rid of the board puzzles that take up a bunch of flat space. How do kids learn shapes? By feeling and by talking and by doing. So I have one shape sorter toy. I definitely didn't need 3, even though one had a star but one had an octagon (oh, how to decide!). Turns out, my kid loves coloring, so I take a sharpie and a big piece of white paper and draw 4-6 shapes and let her color/scribble in each shape and we talk about it. I enourage them to trace the shape. My 4-year old has a See and Spell from M&D but it's on a shelf. I've learned instead that I can take a sheet of white paper, fold it into fourths (not squares but like 4 long rectangles) and use a Sharpie to write 4 words (House, Cat, Dog, Mommy) and she has plenty of room to see, trace, replicate, and practice letters and words. Much more open-ended AND my kid gets more involved and gets to pick her own words she wants to learn. As far as pounding toys, babies/toddlers will pound anything. Shape sorters - just one with the basics. Hope that helps some. If you have other specific questions feel free to ask away. It's much easier for me to put some on the closet shelf than actually get rid of them, because I am still tied to emotional/monetary value. But I'm working on that.
Oh, and when I mean educational, I don't just mean related to learning to read and traditional "school" things. My kids are 1 and almost 3. So puzzles with shapes are educational (I will say "here's the rectangle" "can you find the triangle?" Etc, and most usually have colors too, so I'll do similar but with the colors), as are animals, modes of transportation, and so on. We make different animal sounds, talk about where animals live, pretend to drive/fly, make ambulance sounds, that kind of stuff. I find it hard to pare down the puzzles because they are different themes, but they drive me crazy sometimes lol. Just because there are so many, and each one has 5-10 pieces.
__________________
Marianna and new Usborne Books and More consultant married to C mama to P (05/10) and J (12/11) and baby tre coming 10/14
~Shop at my absolute favorite cloth diaper store HERE! Free diapers, rewards points, and free shipping!~
~Save 20% with code NIFT8010 on your first order at: Diapers.com Soap.com Wag.com Yoyo.com Casa.com Afterschool.com Vine.com Bookworm.com and Look.com~
~$25 off your first order of $50 at gilt.com!
Marianna1988 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
Reuben Christopher's Avatar
Reuben Christopher
Registered Users
Formerly: unbreakableangel
seller
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 9,999
My Mood:
Re: Minimalist toys

Maybe just say "I'm going to get rid of 5 toys a week" then pick one day and just pick out 5 toys to get rid of. With all the cars you have just getting rid of 5 won't bother anyone but it will slowly decrease the clutter. If you stick to that then after a few months you will have pared it down a bit but not had it be a big overwhelming task.
__________________
The Tiny Panda
like us on facebook! We make Dragons, Woolies, Hats, Cocoons, Gnomes & More!
Wahm Wares Page
ISO/IHA!
Reuben Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.