I really love that quote! Besides overscheduling our kids and thinking they need to be entertained constantly to have a fulfilling childhood, another thing we as parents can do is provide our kids with more toys than they can play with in one lifetime. I have been one who has worried about my kids not having enough of the right type of toys to keep them busy (that’s a laugh, really). Or, you know, you see that cool new toy someone is blogging about and you think, “I would have loved that when I was a kid!”. You splurge on it. The kids are excited for a day and then don’t play with it.
Or maybe this only happens to me because I have one child who is very artistic and imaginative and one who is all action and likes physical play?
In our Little House on the Prairie readings we have noticed just how much the children played and entertained themselves. And sure, they had no choice since their ma and pa couldn’t always afford expensive toys. But I wonder if this was purposeful, too? The children were SO thankful whenever they received a toy – remember how much the doll meant to Laura when she received it when she was 4? She had only had a well-loved corn cob doll before that. And one Christmas the girls found oranges (which were rare) in their stockings. I doubt those oranges were cheap, and I’m sure Pa could have found little toys for the children instead. It’s just a guess, but I think they chose to focus on the experience.
Now there are some wonderful toys that promote imagination – one of my favorites are Schleich’s realistic animals, particularly the horses. Still, I’ve been a mom for 5+ years and I have learned the hard way that expensive toys, especially when kids already have quite a few to choose from, aren’t always appreciated the way you had hoped. My kids have Schleich animals, Legos, stuffed animals, trucks, dolls, building sets… and these are great toys but sometimes they just want to play with a box or pretend like a paper towel holder is a magic wand. And both of my kids would rather be running around outside or playing in the dirt than anything else!
The point is that they are happy with little, and if I had figured that out earlier I would have saved a lot of money. :) Because both of my kids would rather draw or paint, or build with legos, or play with cars (in my son’s case) than touch any of the other toys. And I find myself often, when I see the mess becoming too much for them to clean, having to go through our toys and take some to Goodwill. But for what’s left, I’ve found that the best way to keep control of the mess and help the kids to appreciate what they do have is to switch out the toys they have access to – it works really well for us!
It’s fitting that this is one of my favorite shots this week:
And here’s another one! :) It’s not often pictures are taken of me because I’m behind the camera, but every once in awhile I take photos of myself with the kids. Just so someday they can say, “Oh, I DID have a mom!” ;-)
What I’m Reading, Watching, Thinking
I wanted to share what I’ve been up to lately… I usually am sharing about my kids, I know. :) I do try to get moments in for myself now and then, and reading has always been one of my favorite pasttimes.
Since reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, I have determined to read all of her books. The Forgotten Garden was FANTASTIC, I so recommend it! I just finished one of her earlier novels, The House at Riverton. That one wasn’t quite as good, I’ll admit, but it was well-written and I did have to finish it to find out what happened. It was worth reading, but was a little depressing at times. Kate really has a way with words, I just wish that in that story everyone had been a little happier. However, it was realistic and I have to appreciate that side of it. I guess you’ll have to read it if you want to know what I mean. :) Next up (for me) is The Distant Hours.
John and I just caught up on Once Upon a Time on Netflix – that show is something! I’m looking forward to seeing which fairytale characters will show up next. Which was your favorite and your least favorite? One of my favorites is Pinnochio – I thought the whole turning into wood thing was cool. Least favorite? Well besides Cora… well, Peter Pan and that whole world is really creepy.
We like Once, but it’s not in my “Oh my word, SO excited to watch” list like Doctor Who is. Of that, the latest I’ve seen is the last season part 1 but not part 2 yet.
My children are up now so I’ll have to end this. ♥ I get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning so I can be coffee’d and showered before they awaken at 6:30. As usual, on the dot, they’re up and asking for milk. Why is it that kids don’t need alarm clocks, no matter how tired they are when they go to bed?