Except when you think about it, it actually does.. Just after Christmas I noticed Sebastian was actually playing with his toys less and less. Yet there seemed to be more and more of them. They were everywhere – spread right across the lounge, up the hall, in his bedroom, the bathroom, in our bedroom and even a couple in the dogs crate (just for good measure).
Every day we went through the motions, choosing toys from the toy box, playing with it for a couple of seconds, minutes if we were really lucky and then moving on to something else which caught our eye. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until all his toys were somewhere other than the toy box, and he was happiest helping me with whatever I was doing, feeding the dog / cat, the washing, setting the table and generally following me around. My little helper, my little mini me. I’m not complaining, I loved having a little helper but Sebastian was getting bored and with so much ‘stuff’ everywhere, tidy up time was becoming increasingly harder as well. At times the state of our house was overwhelming for me, so I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for him.
All of his amazing new books, puzzles and toys from his birthday and Christmas weren’t getting played with. They weren’t being enjoyed. They were being cast aside. Sebastian was bouncing around from one thing to another like a kid in a toy shop who couldn’t believe his eyes and had to play with everything right then, right now and so ended up playing with nothing.
I had to do something!
Both for my sanity and for his – he was gaining nothing from the status quo.
So one afternoon I started. It began with sorting, sorting and some more sorting. I moved every single toy into the lounge (biggest space for an activity like this) and sorted – current toys, new toys, favourite toys, toys for when he is older, soft toys and baby toys, there was the odd toy that had served its purpose and was destined for greater things as well.
From here it was on to rearranging, this was easy enough for some toys – packaging up toys for use next time around, i.e soft toys and baby toys. I put the toys, books and puzzles for him to grow into way up on the top shelf (out of sight / out of mind – for now). I halved his story collection, don’t worry I didn’t get rid of them just left some in the lounge and the rest in his room. I rotate them every few weeks. It just means we don’t end up reading the same story every night, after all there is only some many times you can read ‘Pesky Pirates’ 🙂
Finally, it was on to the remaining toys. As harsh as it sounds a majority of his toys now live in his wardrobe with only a small selection kept in the lounge for day to day use. A variety – some educational, some fun, trucks and balls, pulling and pushing toys and of course blocks. And you know what..? He loves it! He now plays with his toys. He builds. He creates. He actually gets enjoyment out of them. And every couple of weeks I change them around, so there is always something new and exciting. Sebastian can still access all his toys and some days he enjoys sitting and playing in his room with them. I still have my mini me helper, but I also have a little boy who loves his toys and actually has fun with them.
So in case you are wondering, in our house.. more toys equals less fun. The flip side of that is.. less toys equals more fun! What do you think? How do you manage with the never ending sea of toys at your house?