How many toys does a child REALLY need?

(14 posts)(12 voices)
  1. The clean house thread and a book I am reading have me thinking. Just how many toys does a kid need? I am reading the Book "Confessions of a slacker mom" which is a hysterical, lol read. I so recommend it. In the beginning of the book she talks about all the toys our kids have. And all the toys, for the most part, we didn't have. We had imaginations. We played outside. We "made do" sometimes. My dd, who just turned 5 on Friday, has 3 toy boxes full of crapp. I mean, I bet I could throw them away and she wouldn't notice. She likes to play outside. Play computer games. Watch minimal tv. She still plays with her stacking cups that we took to China in 2006 to entertain her as a 9 month old.

    So, how many toys do your kids have???


  2. Donna,

    I agree so much.

    It's hard sometimes (for me) not to get wrapped up in seeing everything my friends' kids have (nicer, bigger toys) and think "oh the kids would love that". But the reality is, my kids spend more time tossing toys around the room than actually playing with them!

    One thing I definitly do is donate age-innapropriate toys. Usually I do this when they are sleeping so they don't even notice. We have a baby (11.5 months) and I know once he turns a year, some of his baby toys will be going. He simply doesn't play with it all that much...would much rather go crawl around outside, or empty our sippy cup drawer!

    I really try to make a concerted effort to only buy toys that require some imagination. Like for example, the kids get so much use out of all their matchbox cars, farm animals and Melissa and Doug Farm houses.


  3. Way tooooo many! 6 baskets under a bench seat and tons of stuff in the playroom!! But everytime I go through them with a trash bag, I'm like "oh, so and so gave them that".....etc. We really dont buy them things, I mean toys, but they have great grandparents and friends that spoil them! So what to do? They play in a box for days, forget the toys! I'm fine with them having minimal toys, but I cant seem to throw out things that people have bought them.

  4. jharb, yes we don't have this problem much as we don't have a lot of family around and haven't yet had any big birthday parties. I end up tossing a lot of hand-me-down toys.

  5. I don't know how to define "a lot" but they have more than they play with. Sometimes it seems like they forget that they have toys sitting on the shelves. They don't touch half of them. Most of their toys are pretty basic things, too, like plastic animals or blocks or dollhouses and they just don't play with them. DS likes his hotwheels and his trains and a stupid bank that you can put money in, and it talks, and that's about it. DD likes magnetic rods to build things and jigsaw puzzles and her leapster. I could probably get rid of everything else, but I keep thinking "Hmmmm, maybe in another 6 months they will like this toy" and it seems like such a waste to get rid of things that may eventually be used.

  6. A lot less than most of them have probably.

    I'll come back with a better, more detailed answer when I finish picking up Lego for the umpteenth time this week

  7. We got a little carried away with the girls, but had our heads screwed on straight after the baby was born last year.

    I sold/donated most of the plastic stuff about 3 weeks ago because all it did was accumulate dust. The items I kept:

    - Legos
    - Potato Heads
    - Melissa and Doug puzzles
    - Wooden blocks

    What I was finding was that my kids rarely play in their playroom (maybe 30-60 minutes a day before bedtime). Unless it's an inside rainy day, they go to the library, or the park, or a playgroup. And, often if they are home, they read books or color/paint. Those things don't involve crappy plastic toys.

    In the playroom, I kept their Rose Petal Cottage, kitchen/laundry center, books, baby dolls/dress-up clothing and the items listed above. Their dollhouse is the only toy in their room aside from books.

    It felt wonderful to rid myself of plastic. I felt a pang of quick guilt that the little guy wouldn't have all of the plastic his heart desired, but then quickly got over it. Oh, and I got rid of a black hefty bag filled with stuffed animals - only kept those with sentimental value.

  8. It's funny the toys that other people find useful and how different everyone is. All my kids did with the Rose Petal Cottage was wrestle in it and tip it over. And they have zero interest in Mr. Potato Head or dolls. They won't paint or color for more than 2 min. either. They will sit and play a computer game for 30 min. though. They figured out how to load in software, click through all the windows and play. Maybe instead of a toy room we should have a PC lab. Dh would love that.

  9. Way way too many toys! I do periodic clean ups of the can get SO cluttered. I did away with mega blocks, wooden building blocks, some stuffed animals (they have WAY too many of those - Kim, you've inspired to me get tough on that!), balls, wooden puzzles and a lot of junky stuff. I have neighbours down the street with younger kids so they benefit from all the cast offs. I bought some amazing storage bins from Land of Nod, they helped hugely with containing the messiness. Things we've kept that they love: play doh set, Thomas the train set, dress up clothes, dolls, all their Playmobil 123 items and all the kitcheny related toys for their play kitchens.

  10. We have TONS of toys. My 4 yo DDs spend the vast majority of their time with their arts and crafts, so they could definitely get by with just that stuff! I try to sometimes rotate toys between the playroom, the family room, and their bedrooms. When a toy pops up in a new place, it catches their attention. We're expecting a new baby in July, so I'm holding onto a lot of stuff for him. Eventually everything will get passed along to friends, donated, or sold at the twins club consignment sale.

  11. We don't need nearly as many as we have. Most of the time toys get played with for a short time when they are new, then get cast aside. We haven't bought many of them; but the kids have generous grandparents and aunts/uncles. I too have a hard time getting rid of things - it's more of a sentimental thing. BUT - we are having a neighborhood garage sale this weekend and I am currently tagging a ton of toys to sell. The kids know and don't care, so I guess they can truly go.

    Cardboard boxes are huge fun here. Every time a new box comes into the house, the kids decorate it and make it into something creative. Then it goes out with the recycle.

  12. My DS (6 y.o.) would be thrilled to death with only his bike, his Wii, and his legos. DD also likes the same things, and likes her dolls. My youngest DD really is into pigs. I have no idea why, but she loves all pigs, and the Muppets movie (with Ms. Piggy) is her absolute favorite. Yet we somehow have tons of toys stacked up everywhere. *sigh*

  13. My kids have too much but I buy most of mine on sale (and fewer each year). I also sell alot twice a year in consignment sales (made $600 last sale last month). I'm trying to be much pickier about what I bring into the house and I purge frequently to move toys out of rotation. It is so nice to be out of the baby toy age. The clutter seemed to go down.

    Now as for storage I don't have anything I really like - it still gets too messy for me most of the time.


  14. Our DS doesn't really play with toys but along his 6 yrs on this planet we bought a bunch of them hoping to find something he would like. We sold some and saved the rest and now the twins are getting some use out of them.

    On the chopping block right now are Quattro Legos and Mr. Potato Head. If MPH's quality was better I would keep it all but the parts never ever stay on and I can only put him back together so many times in 3 minutes without losing my mind so off he goes to Craig's List.

    6 yr old is infatuated with this Marble Run $20 toy from Toys R Us. Could care less about his Leapster 2, matchbox cars, Legos, etc.

    I need to purge books but they have to get trashed - my 3 ruin every book so I can't even give them away.

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