Less toys more memories !

top view photography of toddler playing with toy
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Toys have a way of taking over.

It starts innocently enough. We love our kids. We want to make them happy. But before we know it, we find our-self standing ​knee-deep in discarded toy cars and superhero masks. The kids are bored; the house is a mess, and no one is happy.
Sound familiar? Isn’t it ? You’re not alone. Every new parent have the same story
Have you ever noticed that kids are easily overwhelmed with choice, and a child who is unsure of what to play with often ends up playing with nothing at all. No doubt kids remain amused by their toys… but that amusement last for few seconds.Then it’s back to the toy box, or more aptly, the floor.

My childhood?

When I think about my childhood, the memories that immediately flashes are: riding cycles with my sisters, playing outside until it got dark and mommy shouts, being excited to buy kulfi from Matka kulfi Wala, seeing the thriller horror show for the first time and being afraid to sleep, school functions, skinning my knees because I was trying new stunt on my cycle, watching fireworks with my family, playing antakshari for hours, winning all of my sister’s toys, her crying, me having to give them all back…

These are the experiences I remember which always brings smile on my face… My memories aren’t filled with the “things” from my childhood because when it comes to the things, my mind is a little foggy. I do remember getting a parrot shaped teddy on my birthday, a beautiful doll named Dimple that belonged to my eldest sister and a cute little teddy Lallu that was(still is) my elder sister’s love . I never had boxes full of similar toys, cars and dolls as we never required it.

My point is, the memories of my experiences flood back faster than the memories of the “things.”

Memories are more precious

When it comes to making your children happy, consider creating bonding rituals and traditions for children to look back on and cherish instead of automatically heading to the store to buy another toy or gadget. Have a monthly or weekly movie date or game filled evening, a cookie bake-in, or make a ritual of preparing a weekend meal together. These rituals will make a lasting memories and not the number of toys they have.

But now, when you already have cluttered your kids room with toys, there are few ways which i think will help you in making space in the room for pictures and memories..

1. Time to let go
Start by digging out and boxing up any toys that your kids have outgrown. If your child is already reading, it may be time to pass those alphabet and phonics toys on to someone else. Still holding on to those rattles and teethers? Time to let go.
Multiples are another obvious offender. If you have three versions of Memory featuring three different characters, pick a favorite and move on.
Finally, toss the junk. Broken toys, puzzles and games with missing pieces, Happy Meal prizes, party favors—just trash it!
Its time to think what they actually like. Kids tend to play with same toys regularly. they may pick up other toys as well but they will always come back to their favorites. Find out the favorites.

hand playing childhood game
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

2. Toys on Display
When kids can’t see their toys, they don’t play with them. Sick of your kids pulling out every last toy just to leave them lying all over the floor? Why not leave them out in the first place.
Instead of stuffing toys into baskets and bins, try organizing your little one’s things into several themed play stations where toys remain largely on display. For instance, you might have a parking lot for all the cars and trucks. Set up a table with art supplies and building toys and a reading corner with a comfy chair and some books.
Your child will have a much easier time deciding what to play with, and you’ll find it much easier to keep up with the mess.

3. Toy Rotation
Playing with the same toys over and over again can get tiring after a while. Wondering how to keep your kiddos engaged? Try mixing things up a little. A well-organized toy rotation helps to eliminate clutter while allowing children to play with a wider selection of toys. Since the available toys change on a regular basis, there is always something new and exciting to play with, ensuring your child will never get bored.

4. Make Books Interesting and Accessible
Bookshelves are often difficult for little ones to access on their own, and with so many books to choose from, it’s hard to know what to pick. If you want to encourage your kids to read, try trading traditional bookshelves for a few easy-to-access book rails. Book rails hold fewer books and display their covers better, making them more attractive to kids.
Make sure your child can see and reach the books, and change the titles often to continually peak their interest.

5. Buy Fewer Toys
The best way to keep toys under control is to not buy so many in the first place! You are in no way loving your child less by buying them few toys.

6. Make a Better Choice
Toys are meant to be tools, not entertainment centers. Instead of buying your kids flashy plastic junk, look for toys that encourage creative thinking, teamwork, and imaginative play. Bricks, blocks and other building toys are excellent creative fodder for growing minds, and games are perfect for teaching children teamwork and good sportsmanship.

7. Toy bank
If in India, there is a Toy bank https://toybank.in/ who are doing a marvelous job by collecting toys and distributing it to kids who need it and those who cant afford it. You can always call them and donate your toys to bring smile on yet another kids.

So, don’t let those little plastic flashy thing take over you… gift your child with memories to cherish forever (like we do).

One Reply to “Less toys more memories !”

  1. We are emotional beings and when we feel the guilt that we are not able to give much time to our kids, we generally tends to bridge that gap by providing him things which makes him happy. After spending days traveling and not able to spare the time my kid need from me, it is a usual instinct to come home with a surprise gift ( though i keep a control on it but see many of my colleagues do so).

    Yes, you are correct that buying less gift will not diminish my love for my kid. Neither, those gifts will become memories for lifetime. At the same time, i dont want my kid to feel disheartened after looking at the toys of his/her friends.

    There is no scale to measure happiness but we can assess the right level of materiality and personal touch to define what to buy.

    There is nothing which can supercede the time you spent with your kids. A life full of memories can not be compared with a room full of toys, but some toys do become part of your memories (first toy car, the plastic bat, sunglass, glitter pens, doctors kit, tricycle, superhero mask/ outfit, favorite teddy etc.)

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