Toys (the kind you buy from the market exclusively marketed for the children :)) play a role in the children’s lives. There is no denying that fact. But there is also no denying the fact that they can be an unnecessary part of childhood.
Considering the amount of money we parents spend on toys, the above statement can be quite ludicrous.
So believing that toys are required in some capacity, the question then arises is how many toys?
And do the children really need ‘so many’ toys when they are armed with plenty of imagination?!!! This is not from a mom who has gone cuckoo or has decided to become the toy for her children. But infact it is a slow realization that is coming true as each day passes. And no, we are not denying our children the ‘joys’ of toys. They have plenty but again I don’t see justice being done with their material possessions.
Somehow for good or bad, neither my son nor daughter have had any favourite teddies / dolls. They catch up with a few of the spiderman’s and rag dolls that they have…for a while…then they are onto something else. The sugar dolly is left to find her own way back to the toy room.
The worst used to be when their friends would come over and then the room would be left like a hurricane passed through it. We would find miniature toy parts strewn all over the place, under sofas and rugs! Ofcourse everyone would help to put things away (with lots of mommy nagging!!) but the growing worry was that in this little room of ‘plenty’ there was fascination left for ‘little’.
So one fine day while the kids were in school, I segregated all the toys in some organized manner, packed them in boxes and stacked them high up in the loft. Took me a whole day to get this herculean task accomplished. (And here I thought my children didn’t really have as many toys as the next kid). My reasoning of packing away their toys was two fold – To ease my workload and also to help the children really appreciate the true worth of their toys. Oh and I got a lot of my cupboard space back. Even if I didn’t quite know what to put in it, I was happy that space lie empty than filled with meaningless toys.
I left a handful of toys in a dedicated corner space for the children.
Now here’s the interesting part. When Peanut and Buttercup came home they were clearly astonished to not be greeted by toys overflowing from the cupboards but THAT WAS IT. The toys in the deep recesses of their cupboards that they had barely even seen let alone play with were of course not missed. They didn’t even know what they were missing!!!!
But since I had considerably and quite suddenly reduced their playing field, they were found aimlessly fidgeting around the house once they had played with their toys.
Then their ‘imagination’ kicked in and soon they were off scouting around the house. They stumbled upon the cloth clips and after nearly half an hour of silently working together they produced some fascinating creations from joining the clips together. The rest of the time was spent pretend playing till we all left for the park.
They experienced a similar thing one afternoon at Buttercup’s BF’s place. Instead of taking out the bucket full of toys, BF’s mom engaged all the children by involving them to make an entire solar system out of atta and food colour!!
Other days they sneakily take away an oil brush or a big ladle from the kitchen. When Iam not looking (I’m always looking, but so much fun letting them think they have gotten away with some mischief), they will climb onto my desk and find a compass or a magnet or even a pencil and a sharpener and run to their rooms with their new finds.
Keeps them busy all the while smiling mischievously.
And the fate of the boxes in the loft is not all bleak. Every couple of months there will be an interchange of boxes and hopefully this will keep the children delighted with the ‘new’ toys that descended from above.