” A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.” ~Elenor Roosevelt
As I mentioned in a previous post I recently simplified my 3-year-old son’s room. I spoke of thinning out his books. Now I want to write a few words about thinning out his toys (the main offender in his room).
I entered his room with a plan: to remove many of his toys, clear the floor, and leave only toys which encourage creative, inventive, or reflective play. We packed up toys for donation, but many of his toys (while meeting these requirements) are just overkill and add to the clutter and chaos of his room. Therefore, we gave a couple of toy sets, that were similar to others that we had, to a friend. The other sets not in current use were stored in an attic closet to trade for later.
When the excess and unnecessary toys were removed from his room, this is what was left:
A double bed.
A chest of drawers for his in season clothes.
A book-case with remaining toys and books.
A play tool bench with tools.
A road map rug on his floor.
A bucket of dye cast cars.
A small castle to play “guys” and “cars” with.
A bin for “guys”
A bin for a letter matching puzzle.
A bin for animals.
An alphabet floor puzzle.
A bin for finger puppets.
A bin for Leapfrog Tag Jr. and books.
A space for library books.
Under his bed are a box of Mega Blocks and a box of Hot Wheels ramps.
His closet stores his out of season clothes and a few more board games that I don’t want his younger sister getting into.
We store art supplies in our dining room where they are used.
Of course some of these toys are more loved than others. Guys, cars, and animals are usually a favorite. But since thinning out the choices, he regularly gets out his puzzles or the Zingo game to play at quieter times in his room. He almost never played with his wooden blocks or Mega blocks before, but now he pulls them out from under his bed twice a week. His baby cousin and sister enjoy learning how to turn and unscrew the screws on his work bench and every once in a while I notice him using the tools “to build something.”
All in all, I have found that less definitely is more when it comes to toys. With fewer choices and everything in its place, my son can easily see what is there and find what he wants to play with. Then he gets down to business creating and imagining with enough space to move and think. And miracle of miracles, he often cleans up with out me asking! My son has a new found love for his toys and his room. And I have more time to get household things done with out nagging and whining 🙂