fans of simplicity parenting or similar come and talk to me!

(20 Posts)
eggybrokenoff Mon 18-Nov-13 10:56:35

just heard about this from a different thread and i am really interested to hear more experiences from anyone with a 'less is more' approach.

i am getting a bit stressed with christmas and the huge deluge of toys the dcs will get from their adoring and massive extended family.

i already rotate toys so they have two or so things out at a time, but i am frequently horrified by how much stuff they have that they just dont need.

what do people think are, say, the five essential top toys for children to have. what do they need nothing of. how do you get rid of something a loving grandparent has spent hard earned money on even if it isnt played with?

Zappo Mon 18-Nov-13 11:04:11

I just took a lot of baby things to a bootsale to have a clear out to make way for new Christmas toys. This way they don't go to landfill, you might get a bit back for them to spend on the children again and other children get pleasure from them.

Great way of Recycling.

I think electronic noisy toys are horrible. My children never really played with them but relatives always give them as gifts.

I think you can't beat a wooden train set (which you can add to over time), Playmobil (plastic but great for role play, very durable and visiting kids love it), Lego (good for creative minds, durable, good to pass on and if kept in boxes doesn't take up too much space).

I have two girls and they probably love their dolls more than anything at the mo.

Books of course (easy to store or keep getting from library). You can take to charity shop when you are finished and get more.

itscockyfoxagain Mon 18-Nov-13 11:09:24

I would say a toy kitchen, a train set, a dolls house/sylvanian families/happy land house, a baby doll and some lego.
If I could push it to 6 I think a bike if you have have space/can afford one.

Also a scalextric set if they are bit older.

I keep things grandparents have bought but aren't played with at their house for when we visit. Obviously that depends if your parents/in laws can store it.

fuzzpig Mon 18-Nov-13 11:12:05

I loved the book.

My DCs still have a lot of toys and the simplifying is still a work in progress. But the decluttering we've done so far has already made a difference, as has reducing screen time.

IME the best toys are open ended, and definitely non electronic (not that I'm totally against that - we have a family iPad they have limited time on).

Wooden bricks, wooden train set, animal figures, toy cars, lego, craft supplies.

We agreed no electronic toys at Xmas this year and it's been surprisingly easy to stick to. Main present this year is going to be a basket of musical instruments - I can't wait grin

lljkk Netherlands Mon 18-Nov-13 11:12:50

Is it for benefit of the parents or benefits of the children?

fuzzpig Mon 18-Nov-13 11:16:47

The whole family I think. Eg we are all getting along better and there is more peace in the house since we ditched a lot of clutter and put a simpler routine in place.

Zappo Mon 18-Nov-13 11:17:14

lljkk- For both. Apparently children get overwhelmed if they have too many toys to choose from.

Keeping it simple could be having a small display of books and a basket of toys out and the rest kept in loft as a toy library.

The book also suggests giving children things like material, clothes pegs etc to make dens with

Bluecarrot Mon 18-Nov-13 11:17:39

Lego/duplo, a trike/scooter/bike, a swing/slide, family board games and books.

My dd has so many polly pocket etc that it makes me itch. But she and her friends loved them and she still plays with them frequently enough that I can't get rid yet.

stargirl1701 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:18:32

Construction toy - Lego/Duplo
Small world - dolls house/garage
Role play - kitchen/tool bench
Fine motor - puzzles
Gross motor - ride on/rocker board

Turnipsandpumpkins Mon 18-Nov-13 11:20:09

Dressing up box. Not sure if that is on line with simplicity parenting or not. But that is the absolute favourite in our house.
I am working to reduce toys in our house drastically, but want to keep a few of each group:
Musical instruments
Construction Lego, train set
Craft
Role play dressing up, drs set,
Outdoor I.e. spades bike etc

eggybrokenoff Mon 18-Nov-13 11:20:43

lljkk i havent read the book just heard about the concept. i am intrigued for the benefit of the dcs long term i guess. i have no problem with toys in the lounge and kids books filling my bookcases but i just worry about the effect all this consuming and branding and being advertised to etc will do to them. and i feel immense guilt about family who love them so much and are so generous actually wasting their money without realising it. i want them to have things they love and play with over and over again, and look forward to playing with after school etc.

i dont know if that makes sense

I would add dressing up clothes to stargirl's list, preferably some generic cloaks/fairy wings/hats/dresses etc as well as specific Disney/cartoon characters. Even some of your own old clothes can be adapted - eg an adult's cotton skirt can be given an elasticated waist and becomes a long skirt or a poncho or a headdress ( could be a Mary type headdress or bridal depending on fabric). I enjoyed having to "adapt" the random things in my dressing up box as a child in order to make different costumes. Large squares of thin fabric are also good as the can be tied to make cloaks, skirts, baby doll slings, etc

lljkk Netherlands Mon 18-Nov-13 11:26:27

DC have house full of clutter (their things). They are not overwhelmed. Spoilt maybe, but not overwhelmed.

If I could really raise my kids again I half think I would raise them to do work & jobs every day, with play only allowed after a long list of chores. Focusing on excess things misses the point; it's lack of awareness of the value of work that I regret.

fuzzpig Mon 18-Nov-13 11:27:04

Turnips my DCs love their dressing up box! It was a labour of love two xmases ago. grin

One way of keeping it 'simplified' is to stick to versatile accessories like lots of hats, jackets, scarves/material, beads, glasses etc and outfits that aren't character specific, so maybe a lovely dress rather than a specific Disney princess IYSWIM. I don't entirely stick to that rule though TBH (I'm making a fix it felix outfit for DS for Xmas as it's the one thing I know he really wants) but generally the non-specific stuff is more versatile and gets more use. So a cheap hi viz waistcoat has been used for a builder, paramedic, fireman etc

How does it work with multiple children
For example I have four and my eldest and youngest are going to want very different five toys. So if they each have five that's 20 straight off (and a playroom thank goodness)
Also how much of each thing? Lego can be one set or buckets of the stuff

fuzzpig Mon 18-Nov-13 11:38:39

My DCs have come on leaps and bounds since we ditched all TV time Monday-Thursday (we started when they went to school in September). We'd got very reliant on DVDs before this and DCs weren't really sitting down to watch it but still 'needed' it on IYSWIM? They'd be scatty and bouncing from one toy to the next.

But now they just come home and play. They are still allowed 30mins each on the iPad or DS each day but often they don't actually even ask for it because they are so engrossed in play. Sometimes I'll put something particular out for them - eg when DS (just started reception) had started learning phonics I left out the big tub of magnetic letters/numbers and they happily played with it solidly for the entire afternoon/evening, they would never have done that before. They go to bed more nicely and DD is much more willing to do her school reading book - she has come on in leaps and bounds recently.

We pretty much only use our tv for DVDs now. I used to hate the adverts on milkshake when they watched it on weekends so I'm glad to cut that out. DVDs are our weakness/vice as a family so they have heaps to choose from and don't miss out at all.

On Fridays we have movie night - we've done that for nearly a year now but it's more appreciated and special now as it's the first DVD for several days. All snuggled up in the dark smile

What I really like about the book is that it's actually not preachy in tone, it's really accessible and it's something you can pick and choose from rather than saying "you must do every single thing in this book" IYSWIM.

Realised my post may have sounded a little aggressive I didn't mean it to be. I'm interested. I already follow the Christmas present rule though generally they only get want, read and wear.

eggybrokenoff Mon 18-Nov-13 11:43:04

fuzzpig can i ask how old your dcs are and how it went cutting out tv? did you have mega tantrums or did you wean them off slowly? my ds 4 earns tv time with his reward system and usually has half an hour a day. i could prob easily switch that to leappad but he loves sat morning tv and that has become a lazy habit of mine he is pretty attached to. then often a film sat eve and that is a lot of telly in one day

bibliomania Mon 18-Nov-13 12:51:57

Haven't read the book, but I agree that less is more. When we moved house I got rid of huge amounts of stuff, and most of the toys that survived the cull are still in the cardboard boxes we moved with (18 months later).

Dd has just turned 6 and all she really wants is notebooks, coloured paper and stationery. We have jigsaws and a few board games. Bike and roller skates.

Although I have to admit she still has a lot of little handbags (with caches of foreign coins) and piles of plastic jewellery. Beads for making your own necklaces are still popular. And a toy till with fake money. I also let her play with proper makeup, as the play stuff brings her out in a rash. I have some of my own but almost never wear it, so don't mind her slapping on a bit of lipstick.

fuzz, that's impressive about the TV reduction. I think I need to switch it off more often. I don't think DD would even mind - it's my bad habit really.

fuzzpig Mon 18-Nov-13 13:11:16

They were 6 and just turned 4. There were strops for a few days especially from my eldest, but I just reminded them that playing is much more fun and that we'd still have movie night on Friday. The iPad time was more of a compromise really so they still get some relaxing zone-out time if they need it, but often as I said they don't bother.

After the first week it was fine smile

I still struggle with weekends especially if DH is working as I'm often too worn out (I'm disabled) to do much so we end up with more DVDs on then. But as we are gradually decluttering/tidying it's becoming easier for them to play.

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