Maybe I shouldn’t speak for all 4 of us, but let’s just say I manage toys the Mean Mom way. Years ago, when our house was proportionately bigger and our children were smaller in both size and count, we actually had far more toys.
I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but I was an official Toy Lady, so I’m sure that affected things a bit. I had to have a good collection of toys, and so I did.
As the ages of our children expanded and our house shrunk, we had 2 options: we could either be overrun by an ever-increasing assortment of toys, or learn to make do with less. We chose sanity.
Over the years, the number of toys in our home has shrunk. Toys have come and gone, and very few have been missed. We have come to regard most toys as very nearly consumable. Now that I think about it, that’s true in a very literal sense. The dog has consumed quite a few of them. This may not be the best of stewardship, but allowing our house to overflow with toys wouldn’t be good stewardship either.
Aside from a few classics, we find that our babies are just as happy with pots and pans, measuring cups and spoons, and other safe items. They’re happy with unsafe items too, but that’s hardly the point here. The older ones spend more time with pens and paper, books, computers, playing cards, etc.
Those classic toys I mentioned? Legos and Duplos are at the top of the list, and we never seem to have enough of these. We also have wooden blocks, dollhouses, and 1 doll for each young child. Of course there is more, but the rest of the toys are less permanent. Dress-up, swords, guns, cars, various balls, doll accessories, various bits of cheap colorful plastic that disappear as soon as the novelty wears off. We have a wooden train set, but quite honestly that has not been the big hit I hoped it would.
Individually owned toys like dolls usually live on the bed of the owner. A flat toy might be stashed under the mattress. We have a small laundry basket for toys as well, but it rarely holds much.
Communally owned toys are kept in a corner of the dining room: a bin of legos/duplos, and a bin of wooden blocks under a small table, and 3 dollhouses atop.
Our board games are sadly neglected, as we tend to enjoy games that call for less equipment and more creativity: a deck of cards, a few dice, and some pens and paper are far easier to stow and provide plenty of entertainment for agile minds. Ask my children: maybe they’ll post about some of their favorite games!
Upcoming topics to be tackled by the 4 Moms:
- Dec. 16 – Feeding company: Because it’s rude to eat in front of them
- Dec. 23 – Questions for the Four Moms: Got a question? Get it in now!
- Dec. 30 – Teaching children to do their chores: If you’re doing it all yourself, then you missed your promotion.