So, I bet you guys have been wondering how my month without toys has been going! Well, it was going wonderfully. Yes, I said was, as in past tense. The toys magically reappeared over the weekend. It was like an early Christmas for my poor deprived children!
We made it three weeks. The kids were doing fine, I wanted to go longer. I wanted to go forever! But, I had to give them back out of sheer necessity. I really needed those tubs I was storing the toys in to store the maternity clothes and kids clothes that I’ve been cleaning out of the closets. I had piles of clothes that weren’t being used stacked on my office floor, and nothing to store them in. Finally, I couldn’t take the clutter any longer, and decided the toys would have to go back into the toy boxes so that I could get all of these clothes out of my way!
But three weeks without toys (well, except for lesson time stuff) is pretty good, right? Just what did my kids do around the house with nothing to play with? Oh, the creativity I hoped for definitely came out! Here is what I noted as I watched them through the weeks:
On the first day…
The kids discovered a roll of wrapping paper, and quickly converted it into a sword, a telescope, and a horn.
They crawled around the floor pretending to be cats. Then they turned into little birdies learning to fly (off of my couch!).
Titus did better than Jada. She insisted on aggravating him constantly.
We were able to go outside for a while, and they played very well together. I even noticed Jada pushing Titus nicely on the swing. Later I heard her calling him, “Hey buddy, wanna go exploring with me?” And off they went together into the backyard trees.
Later, Ty got bored and sat on the floor holding his blanket and sucking his thumb. Every now and then he asked me where his truck or something was. I just kept saying, “They’re put up for now, buddy.” And that was that.
On the second day…
Jada got a screw driver and completely disassembled one of the kitchen chairs. That occupied quite a bit of her time!
I found Titus sitting on the office floor playing with rubberbands.
I noticed that when I played some children’s music it seemed to help them play better.
They got to play outside again for a while, so that helped!
Jada followed the rules, and asked Titus if she could play with his firetruck. He let her, and they sat and played really nicely together.
Later that evening I realized I couldn’t hear them. I quietly walked back to Jada’s room, where they’d been playing, and found them both sitting on her bed. She was reading a book to Titus, and he was listening contentedly. Now that is what this was all about!!!
And through the weeks…
Titus kept producing little toys which he’d found under the couch, in the car, or behind his bed.
I found Jada in her room hanging her clean laundry in her closet. When I praised her she replied, “I did it just to help out.” Wow!!
Jada actually invited Titus into her room, something that she never does! When I asked him to come out she said, “No! I want him in here!”
It helped that we got the puppy! Playing with her gave them something to do.
Lots more exploring the woods and playing in the yard.
Titus liked to play with my plastic containers, and empty a cabinet to hide in.
One day I found Titus in his room using his hands to talk to each other. The conversation was something like this:
Left hand: You’re dumb!
Right hand: Don’t call me dumb! Say your sorry!
Left hand: I’m sorry.
It went on for quite a while. He cracks me up!!
Overall, it was wonderful!! The bickering was dramatically reduced. They were creative in their play, and actually enjoyed each other’s company. There weren’t toys all over the house! And they shared what they did have nicely.
No, they weren’t perfect. They still argued occasionally. But seriously, it was really nice. I really didn’t want to give the toys back… ever! I do plan on getting rid of quite a bit though, and changing some rules about their toys. Like, I think I’ll make them keep their own personal toys in their own rooms. If it comes out into the main living area, it will be considered fair game for anyone else to play with. Hopefully that will help with the “That’s mine!” kinda thing.
Anyways, that’s how my experiment went. I’m gonna work on getting most of the toys outta here. But with Christmas coming, it’s gonna be hard to keep it to a minimum. Especially with so many loving grandparents to spoil them!!