Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why We Stopped Buying TOYS!

I dislike hate shopping. I know it's unusual for a girl to say that but it's just.so.damn.tedious! All that work and I still don't get half the stuff I want. So usually groceries are home delivered, veggies are brought in by my cook and the only thing I like buying are fruits and stationery.


Sometimes we need more stuff. Such as coffee mugs cuz we broke too many, or a new couch cover cuz the current ones fading away. You know, stuff that you notice when guests come over! Stuff that cannot be home-delivered cuz you gotta go and CHOOSE which crappy mug you want amongst the crappiest ones you'll ever find on this planet. I take my husband along, since there isn't any point of being married if I have to suffer alone, is there?

The Practical Mom: Why We Stopped Buying TOYS!

 

His eyes pop out when we're at the cashier, what!! That many ₹₹₹ for these crappy things! Uh. Yes. And then I bring to his attention the stuff we got for our 3 year old.

Ear buds, sugar cubes, and snow spray. All for under $2/ ₹120. "This is what our son plays with!"

And isn't that amazing?


I bought sugar cubes and he spent an hour transferring colored water with droppers over them, watching the sugar absorb color.


I bought ear buds for almost nothing and he has filled pages and pages of dot-a-dot sheets with them over the period of months!

I got him snow spray and we sprayed playfully it all over having a time of our lives!


I gave him the scale and weighing scale, and he measured things for a couple of afternoons! He even learnt what is 100, "This toy is only 200, but this ones 600 mama!" (PS: before you think I'm completely mad, I haven't taught him grams and centimeters yet!)


I got him 5 different colored disposable torches for $2 and he played with them excitedly for a week! Carried one around wherever he went, even read books under torch light at bedtime!

This compared to a cool double loop racing car track that he got as a Christmas gift for god knows how many ₹₹₹ which he played with for a week. Then it gathered dust for a month or so till I finally put it inside. Don't get me wrong, he LOVED it and he LOVES cars, but I guess a little variation works.



For eg he took three of the montessori red rods (that I'd made), tied them up with rubber bands and used it as a makeshift ramp for his cars. For several days in a row.


My point is that I have completely stopped buying "toys" for him for a year. The only toy I bought was a marble run which he played extensively for weeks and also learnt a lesson about not putting marbles in his mouth!



I feel "toys" that are available in stores aren't very productive. Except for cars, playdoh and balls. What's the point of buying a full doctors toy set when a real stethoscope comes cheaper - AND is effective since you can actually hear heartbeats? And a real torch with which he can actually see the back of your tongue?  And the rest- otoscope, injection, etc left to the imagination!


Whats the point of buying a full fledged kitchen set when all he needs are a few pots and pans in his sensory tub of colored rice and coffee beans.


I realised what a giant marketing gimmick the whole baby industry is, a few months into being a mother. All you need is a baby bed and diapers (and as in my case, breast pumps and bottles). Do you really need a diaper changing table? A walker, bouncer or rocker? Or a whole nursery painted and decorated in a particular way? The baby's gonna be a baby only for a year! And he's too busy bonding with his mother, figuring out how to crawl, learning how to spit out food or bawling his brains out to notice the decor!


As a 1 year old, my kid played for hours together with cups and water. Pouring it from one to another and back and doing things that make no sense to an adult, but he was thoroughly engaged and enjoying it! Give him a broom and he would be brooming for hours together, or a dusting cloth and he would be excitedly cleaning the windows. He would stand in front of a drawer for an hour, inspecting all contents. We would open a different drawer every week!


Similarly I've learnt in the past year that there are SO many engaging and entertaining activities that can be set up for preschoolers and toddlers, using simple stuff that's easy to buy, inexpensive AND requires very little prep time. If nothing, just we put on our sneakers and go out for a walk and collect stones and branches. If I'm lazy to go out (more often that not!), place a tub or basket at one end of the room and throw balls of all sizes into it, ie. mini basket ball!



If I had a whole lotta money (could've happened if I were still working!) I would've STILL BEEN stingy on stuff and spent it all on travelling, like I used to. I may be against piling stuff at home, but I buy a crazy amount of books and puzzles for him and I've made sure he has had a baby cycle, tricycle or a bicycle ever since he was 9 months old.


I don't mean to offend parents who buy stuff, in fact I'm a big believer of "you MUST do whatever suits YOU and YOUR family". It just doesn't make any sense to ME, as I've found kick ass, most fabulous alternatives! That's all!



Until later! Stay in touch!



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53 comments:

  1. Well done on your hundredth post - and I am inclined to agree. My kids spend a lot more time having fun with the simple things in life that the complicated, and often expensive presents that they sometimes get. Thanks so much for sharing with the Parenting Pin it Party today.

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  2. Toys can be anything your imagination allows! #ParentingPinitParty

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  3. Congratulations on your 100th post. These are clever ideas, and I have to share your sentiments. My daughter has tons of toys she can play with, but what keeps her most occupied are the simplest things--like a plastic cup or plastic spoons and rubber bands. So kudos to you: I bet those "toys" you have on hand are more simulating to the mind than what's in the stores now.

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  4. It's amazing how they play with anything. My daughter found a black cape in the closet when she was about 4. That cape had many, many adventures. Some with stuffed tigers, some with swords, and some with just DD's imagination.

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  5. How very fun! I think hands on is better than toys anyway, such things really stick.

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    1. toys are hands on too- but very,very few ones!

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  6. Our baby is 16 months old, and we are full of toys! I am keeping in mind your ideas for the future! Thanks for sharing at Turn It Up Tuesday!

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    1. when my kid was that young i would stare at toys in a toy shop in wonder- cuz i never knew what to buy- or what the purpose of any of those toys were!

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  7. How fun! This looks really entertaining for the kids. I will have to try it.

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  8. This is a great perspective that I need to keep in mind as my little one grows! Thanks for joining the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again next week :)

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  9. Well good for you! My 5 year old granddaughter has so many toys that she has a hard time choosing one. Not a good thing. In this case I really agree that less is more! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Yes, in fact Montessori recommends keeping only a few toys on the shelves at a time instead of the whole heap so children can focus! Hugs

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  10. I love all your wonderful ideas for play - in fact we tend to use a lot of our recycling. And I disagree that you even need a baby bed - as we co-slept. Great post.

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    1. We co-slept too! Still do! (His bed is next to ours) but we used a crib for the first year for his naps! My kids still a big time roller! :)

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  11. This is a very sweet idea for play!


    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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  12. Congrats on your 100th post! Your "toys" are so much better for creativity and imagination. Thank you for linking up at Thursday Favorite Things and hope to see you again!

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  13. Congrats on your 100th post. I agree with you. We love crafts and reading around here too. They get excited about a new toy for a few days and then get back to their play dough !

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  14. Great post! I keep thinking I need to get out of the consumerism trend but had no idea how to do it with the kids, this was very uplifting and encouraging. I may not be able to stop all together (mine are older) but at least I can start scaling back. Thanks for sharing on Snickerdoodle Sunday!

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    1. "All you need is less!" Thanks for stopping by !

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  15. I love your sugar cube idea...........and I know all the kids will also. Your so right kids love to do crafts and don't always need the expensive toys that loose their attention in no time. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  16. I'm with you on this! We don't regularly buy toys for Baby Boy and never really planned on it. He does get some things from relatives for his birthday or just because, but those are pretty limited, especially as we've made clear to others that we don't like plastic and we don't agree with electronics and other such 'nonsense'. Baby Boy has learned so much in just doing whatever with whatever whenever, it's amazing. We have a 2 year old who really knows how to use a screwdriver and tighten/loosen screws. We have a 2 year old that vacuums and helps sweep and do dishes and so many other tasks...that he ENJOYS! :)

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    1. haha, whats with kids and cleaning! mine too looooves helping out with the laundry and other things we find utterly boring!

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  17. My two mostly just like to play in the sink with a few empty ice-cream tubs! Great post and thanks for sharing with the #pinitparty. I have pinned and shared :)

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    1. I know! Empty cups and water is al they need :) Thanks for pinning & sharing!

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  18. It's alarming how much junk there is in toy stores nowadays! We are a lot like you where we spend most of our money on puzzles/books/education items. Glad I found you through the Parenting Pin It Party! Pinning!

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    1. Puzzles & books are a must! Thanks for stopping by ! :)

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  19. I agree that learning and exploring is so much better when done this way. Children get bored with toys so quickly! What great experiences your child is getting. Will be pinning this.

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  20. I agree. My son had more fun rolling around and playing with the cardboard box that the gift came in. I really tried not to waste money on stuff, we made stuff :)

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    1. I know ! Once I gave my kid a giant cardboard box to paint! Didn't even bother to cut it into a garage or house or anything! Simply paint the box!

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  21. Absolutely! As a Mum to four now adults, and three grandchildren, yes...the cool stuff is not the stuff at Toys R Us. Great blog! Visiting from Share Your Cup. Love, Mimi xxx

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  22. Love this idea of sugar cubes, food coloring, and a dropper. I may try this! Thanks for sharing at #laughlearnlinkup. We are featuring you this Tuesday :-)

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  23. Good for you. We're all too consumerist anyway! cheers.

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  24. Creative Parents = Creative Kids.
    Good for you! Kids give folks hints when they have a room so full of toys they can't walk in it & they end up playing with a box.
    For my preschool certificate I wrote a 100 page paper on the academic objectives from activities at the sand table. Just the sand table. Bothers me that Kindergarten teachers have to follow a curriculum these days that limits play more and more every year. That's another post in itself.

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    1. Creative Parents = Creative Kids! Hopefully thats true:) Will stop by your blog

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  25. This is very interesting. I remember that I used to play with all sorts of things that weren't toys (as well as all of the usual toy things) when I was growing up. A lot of times, the things you'd least expect are the most fun and educational to play with! Thanks for linking up with us at the #HomeMattersParty and I hope you'll join us again!

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    1. I know! We are in a service apartment for the last 3 weeks with no toys, and my kid has made a makeshift tent house with the clothesline, and piggie banks out of drawers!
      Thanks Sarena

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