I am reading many articles promoting fewer toys to enhance a child’s creativity. I really loved this emerging trend as the idea of my living room being covered in plastic noisy toys is not appealing to me. Even though my children never received many toys, I always made sure to rotate them leaving always books and a couple of toys around. But when do you know that a few toys are not enough?
Are the toys age-appropriate?
Children might have lots of toys but some of them may not be age-appropriate. Perhaps they already outgrew them and they need something else to stimulate their creativity. For example, all of a sudden my daughter shifted her interest from her plastic cups to our glass cups. Anything in our kitchen cupboards seemed to be more interesting than her toys. It became a race for me putting the tins in while she is already getting the milk bottles out. I thought that I won the battle when I put the glass containers on the top cupboards and locked the bottom ones. However, soon she got tall enough to reach the rack of spices with the stool!
A toddler and baby in the house
But my exhaustion hit rock bottom with baby number two! How can you feed your baby while seeing your toddler climbing on the kitchen counter or on a console table to put her hands in the water of the aquarium?
Enough is enough and one phone call to the cable guys solved this temporarily – cartoons! But then an idea struck me on how stupid I was to believe every single article I read. These articles are probably written by people with other family situations. Maybe they do not have kids or their children have grown out of their toddler years. Alternatively, they may have a huge outdoor area or have space and time to spend all day doing arts, crafts, and messy play. How do they know what is right or wrong for me?
What solved the problem?
I still have the occasional surprise finding a tower made out of tins lying around! But a 60 euro kitchen with some pans and plastic ingredients plus a Lego Duplo solved most of the problem!
I still believe in the idea of hiding some toys or putting them on rotation. However, now I am not anymore shy to have my daughter’s toys in our living area. Not only is she happier but she is waking up better happy to find her toys waiting for her. And mummy is happy to deal with fewer tantrums.