Making Room at Every Stage: The Trek Upon Toy Mountain

Growing up my brother and I did not have many toys.  My mother encourages us to draw, write, play games and go outside and run around.  I learned to value my things because the Barbies I had I bought with my own money.  It was then that I realized I had to take really good care of my stuff because the money had come out of my own pocket.

The story hasn’t changed much with my two girls.  Don’t get me wrong my girls have a lot of items to play with; actually they may even have too many.  Yes, they have a veritable mountain of toys.  I would say it is like a toy volcano because there are times I’ll walk into their room after they’ve been playing and it looks like the toybox erupted all over the room.  As any mom knows that volcano can sometimes explode all over the living room, dining room or whatever other room there is that has a floor.  For my part I have not contributed much to the quantity of baubles, knicknacks and dolls.  Their aunts and uncles and cousins (all  much older) had plenty of hand-me-downs to offer.

One tragic loss was a brand new doll in a purple kitty costume that would mew when her pet kitty was put next to her heart was misplaced – out in public.  My sister-in-law had given the doll to my youngest and she would not let it go for anything.  This is one reason she lost it.  No matter how I pleaded or reasoned she insisted on taking it with her everywhere.  It was on one of these outings that the sweet baby was lost.  I searched high and low in every retail store and even online to find a replacement for the doll to no avail.  I did finally find one that mewed but it was smaller and you press her belly to make a sound.  My little one knows now that her baby must wait for her at home because if she tags along she might get lost.

My husband and I are not averse to buying games and playthings, but I have a rule that they must pass down or send to GoodWill trinkets or stuffed animals that they do not use anymore.  I like to look for toys that have educational value or that will help them be physically active.  My oldest is a fantastic reader so I have in the back of my mind at some point getting her an e-reader so that she can carry books with her when we travel without having to carry a huge book bag full.   My oldest is learning to write and loves participating in her sister’s school projects.  It’s that thirst for learning that I want to continue nurturing for both my girls.  Both enjoy board games even if they don’t completely understand all the rules yet, but they love to play along.  Toys that encourage them to use their imagination are a plus.  Lately, they have been using modeling clay to build ‘meals’ and flower beds for their baby dolls or when they are playing that they have a restaurant and we are the patrons.  Building blocks are a great idea too.

Lego Mountain at Henry Ford Museum

The volcano is on the verge of another explosion.  Its time to release the pressure from toy mountain before we can build a new novelty village at its base.  The girls are growing and changing and so are their tastes in entertainment items.  Now I just need to distract the guardians of the mountain so I can clean it up ;).

4 comments for “Making Room at Every Stage: The Trek Upon Toy Mountain

  1. Michelle Lee
    April 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    My kids are only 18 months and 5 months and I’m already drowning in toys! My son’s first birthday and two Christmas’ have been the culprit…gifts from family and friends!

    • April 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Hubby and I haven’t had to buy many toys because family and friends shower them on the kiddos. It’s great in a way, but then you end up with a lot that no one wants to get rid of. . . I guess that’s why you send them to grandma’s house and clean out their room while they’re gone and hope they don’t notice ;).

  2. akbj
    April 14, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I too, along with my siblings grew up in the 60’s & 70’s without tons of toys, we had plenty of things like legos, tinker toys, lincoln logs, and I had dolls, and my brother had Tonka trucks, etc, but we were definitely encouraged to go “out” to play, it was fortunate that we lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone and I could have a paper route at age 11. We made forts, played catch, had a bridge across our creek, had a tree house, a rope swing over the creek, stuff like that. It was a very cool way to grow up, oh, and of course we were allowed to go bicycling at a young age due to it being a small town. We had very limited tv time and when the tv finally broke it was never replaced. My brother has sort of been the opposite with his kids, they have had every electronic item available and are computer gamers, and they live in a city, so their lives are very different. Plus they grew up in day care and we grew up with mom at home, so it was just different, not saying one is better than the other, just very different. Oh, and we grew up being read to, we had lots of books, I think that made a huge difference. We’re all still readers……But my brother’s wife is very involved with her sons, even though she works, she has flex time, and she is the most involved mom I know, and I am very impressed with how she does everything…But I sometimes reflect on the difference and wonder what he thinks about it. I like your article, it made me think a lot. Thanks….

    • April 15, 2013 at 9:03 am

      Thank you for sharing akbj! My husband grew up without a TV in the house and did a lot of reading. Strange that he is practically addicted to TV now. . . Anyway it is great to do things that encourage the imagination. I believe it helps to develop more well rounded individuals and even helps with problem solving instead of every answer being fed to you. We don’t want to atrophy our brains!

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