The toy story....

So, about those toys put up in the top of the closet...

{still awaiting doors to be hung}

As much as we like to go with the idea of "not childproofing the house, but childproofing the child," {for the most part...there are some exceptions}, we decided to put the toys out of reach so they couldn't just get everything out whenever they wanted....which was making for a lot of clean up time and too much play time.

Like the clothes, we kept saying that we should do this, but besides never making the time to do it, I feared going the extreme.

I think this is part of living in a smaller house, too.  I have seen people with play rooms away from their main living areas, and it seems their situations are a little easier.  I could totally be wrong on that. Yet, I think it would be easier to separate play that way.

When I asked another mom why they are self proclaimed "not really a toy family," this is what she said... 

"My husband and I just decided even before kids we wanted to do all we could to encourage hands on creativity and nature awareness and adventuresome spirits. We thought to minimize toys would help that and so we have all these years and there has never been any complaint from our kiddos! We've also just not done tv, video games (besides chess on the computer - which we limit as well - ha, we laugh now cause my husband nor I can beat any of our kids in chess anymore!) and hand held gaming, etc. -- might sound cruel, but our kids have excelled fine without all this, and in fact, have filled their time with amazing things and we are grateful.

Of course we don't desire to be legalistic or strange about it all - we don't talk about it or try to get others to see things our way - it's just the way we've decided to do it here at our place. We have movie night once a week and that's fun of course, and I love having dvds I can go to and pop in on my computer when things are all crazy and I need a down time. The boys have a great big box of legos that they love, each boy has a little box in their room where they keep special things/inventions, knives, collectables. The girls have some dolls though they prefer to create and do crafts and play outdoors with their brothers. We've plenty of balls for sports of course, bikes, and a few board games and fun games that they've been given along the way that pass time nicely.

So that's it in a nutshell - I really believe each family functions differently and what is best for each household the couple must decide for themselves of course. We've just personally found great reward and benefit from limiting and simplifying - which has made for some very creative, adventuresome, excited about life type kiddos."

I am sure the Lord will lead you and your husband as you seek him. We've found it an awesome thing to keep life simple in regards to toys, but we know it's not for everyone. He will show you what is right for you. When you take something like toys out of the equation, but are ready as a mom to invest yourself more, as well as creativity and exploration, and as a couple, if you do this as a team - kids become amazing at pursuing creativity and exploration as well. Having begun this way when our first born was just little, we've seen awesome results in having children who aren't bored, don't even think they need "things" to be happy, and excel in creativity and things along those lines."

That says it well!! :) the underlined and italicized sentence {which I emphasized}....well, that's the part that kicked me in the rear.  So true, huh!?!

This is similar to what we, too have personally been convicted of.  Although there are principles in the Bible that all of us believers should live by, it may play out a little differently in each of our lives.  I just really like how she explained it, and I wanted to give a little glimpse into why I put away all of our toys....which, by the way has been fabulous!  The laundry has still been amazing, too!

and let me just say that this is all an area that we are still praying through and seeking what's best for us! I seem to always find an aspect that challenges me and leaves me questioning the Lord for a wiser route.  So, we are learning....but for now, this is what it is. 

and to break it down...
{we probably have more than what she was saying, and who knows...we may be purging again, soon!}
In the top of the closet are separate boxes of kitchen toys, baby doll toys, and horses/little ponies. There's not much in each box.
Then, in the activity room {laundry, craft, storage, school room}, there's legos, little people and cars/trains {again, not much in each one}. 

There's some educational activities for homeschooling, and then other items you'd find in most homes....puzzles, games, leap frog, etc.
Cole has blocks in his room along with some of the cars that are awaiting to be put up, too.  We also have some outside play items like balls and dump trucks, etc. 

Besides trying to limit materialism and keep an uncluttered house, our point is to have some basics that can be built upon {if necessary!} instead of lots of random things....which usually leads to an overload of stuff.

Our other point is to have mostly set play times. I know little ones play a lot, but our goal around here is to have them {especially as they are getting older} working alongside us {which is hard sometimes, and I'm still figuring it out!} or doing activities that are more than just entertainment.... like schooling, chores, reading, helping, etc. We've been trying to focus on how "there's a time for everything." Plus, like the lady mentioned, Anna Jaymes would mostly prefer to draw and craft over playing these days. 

 {the other day, she came in and asked if she could do a craft, and I replied, "no, we need to do a little work first." She then said "but that IS work!"  Ha. True, true. I smiled, knowing that this is almost the mindset I want her to have....wanting to DO something productive and rewarding, instead of being entertained all the time.}

They do have a couple of baby dolls and little ponies that tend to stay out.  It's fun to see them being creative with them and using their imagination during some moments of down time in between activities {as they always manage to squeeze in some good ole play time!}. 

Now, even just listing all of that, it sounds like we have a lot to me!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something or not explaining some points enough, but overall, that's it....and as for now, it's working well!

*2 other recent posts about simplifying clothes and toys...




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