Every time my boys have a playdate, I'm always amazed at how few toys we have compared with my kids' friends. As I've built up my kids' toy collection, I've tried to focus on the classics - blocks, dress-up toys, puzzles, games, art, and music. I've tried to avoid toys with flashing lights and blaring sounds - partly because I'm too cheap to buy batteries. And yet, every night when it's time to "clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere," I shake my head. We have too many toys.
In fact, the longer I've been a parent (six years as of this past week - sniff, sniff), the more I've become convinced that any child could get by with just a handful of treasured toys, some balls, some crayons, and a bike. That's all they really need.
Who needs toys when there's the great outdoors?
Who needs toys when there are playgrounds?
Who needs toys when there are museums?
Who needs toys when there are festivals?
Who needs toys when there are boxes?
Who needs toys when Mom needs help?
If you hope your kids will become so preoccupied with flashing lights and buttons that you never have to see them, then by all means, buy some more toys. Going to museums, playgrounds, and festivals require your time. But in six years of being a parent, I've learned that your time is what a kid wants the most.