Monday, January 26, 2009
Where Did All These Toys Come From, and Can I Just Throw Them Away?
Before I had a child, I had definite ideas about how my children would be raised. A few educational toys, lots of books, very little TV, lots of good exercise, good nutrition, etc. We've done pretty well with a few of those ideas - Wendy has lots of books, even though she only ever wants to read her favorite two. Her nutritional status is pretty good, as long as no one expects her to eat the lima beans. Good exercise - she does that all on her own!
The toys. Oh. The toys.
I've stuck to my plans and have spent maybe $150 in toys over Wendy's lifetime, including birthdays & Christmases. Most of these toys are ones that require a lot of imagination, and some are great activity toys (like the Bounce & Spin Zebra I wrote about last week).
Wendy is the first grandchild on James' side of the family. She's the first granddaughter on my side of the family. I'm not going to put all the blame on her grandparents, but at least one set has bought her way too many toys. (Not the set that lives close by.) Wendy also has several aunts & uncles who like to see her face light up when she gets a new toy - especially if it flashes or moves or sings or otherwise requires batteries.
Somehow, between 2 birthdays, 3 Christmases, and many "I just had to get this for her" moments, Wendy has enough toys for a whole day-care center. (I think there may be some toy hanky-panky going on during the night, because some mornings I'd promise there are more toys than there were at bedtime.) Something has got to be done. I don't think it's good for children to be swimming in toys. I know for sure it's not good for my tiny house and my pitiful attempts at organization.
So what should I do?
Do we just get rid of about 85% of her toys?
What about the toys she's outgrown, that we want to save for David?
What should we do to maintain a reasonable amount of toys, when people keep giving us tons of stuff?