I did a bold thing about a month ago, one that I had muttered and threatened to do every time I stumbled over the shape sorter bucket or picked my way through the rubble after the girls had played Find the Bottom of the Toy Box. The boys moved their treasures to their drawers a few years ago, and their very prized toys from tot-hood were put into their keep sakes boxes in the attic. All their Legos and Creative Toys With Millions of Small Parts are stored in plastic boxes, with only one species at a time being allowed into the outside world.
But the toy box still ran over with lots of stuff that nobody ever really played with except in odd moments of setting up store. At bedtime a favorite stall tactic was dithering over which stuffed animal to sleep with tonight. Other than that, they ignored them. So I took out everything except two dolls and two purses with a few dolly accessories. Everything. I had read this blog post that gave me courage to be radical. (I can’t make the link work here, but I will post it in the comments.) Olivia took one look at the pristine condition of their room and the toy box and wailed, “WHERE are our TOYS?” But you know what? That was the last I heard about it. They didn’t miss one single thing. I put them all into the attic, because a long winter ahead with a box full of newly interesting stuff to play with occasionally will be a life saver. This was an experiment for us. I am sure there are seasons when the toy box will fill up again, and we will continue to give birthday gifts. The baby has a basket with a couple of pull along toys and Little People. The girls play with their one doll each, and give them much better care than they did when they had a family of a half dozen. I mean, they actually keep them clothed! They don’t fight
much now. They trade. They also draw, snibble, paste and color. They string beads, look at books, or play in their play house/sand box on nice days. As for me, I haven’t stumbled over the shape sorter bucket in a month.