3,200 things gone, only 6,800 to go
I’m having a major meltdown over the toys I should not have bought my kids. To be honest, at least 1,000 of the 3,200 items I’ve liberated from my home have been children’s toys.
It’s mind boggling. How could anyone have that many useless or unwanted toys? For us, it was a combination of buying way too much, not organizing the toys we had, and not getting rid of anything (even junky stuff!) for over 4 years. The overconsumption part bothers me the most.
Since I don’t get a do-over, I thought I would write a post about the toys I wish I hadn’t bought and the ones that I’d buy again. At the risk of sounding melodramatic (which comes naturally to me) -
If it prevents just one parent from buying something like this:
- it will all be worth it.
I have boys so the lists may not be relevant to everyone:
Top 10 Toys I Wish I Hadn’t Bought
1) Pixos Super Studio Set – my boys took it apart and used the pen as a gun, spilling pixos all over the floor. I’m still finding them.
2) Remote Control Cars/Helicopters – they may still be too young but my sons crashed these even when they weren’t trying to and the endless battery upkeep drove me nuts
3) Faddish Action Figures – Transformers, Power Rangers, Green Latern etc. My youngest, however, loves the Fisher Price Super Friends Bat Cave.
4) Thomas the Train – it’s still a mystery to me how my kids loved the Thomas display at the store but hardly touched the set at home. I know a lot of kids and parents who love Thomas. For a little advice on doing Thomas the right way, see this Mom’s review on Amazon. She covers all the bases.
5) Moon Sand – my kids love it but it inevitably gets all over them and all over the floor. I actually hide this from them. How crazy is that? The new Moon Dough might be a good compromise.
6) Cheap Croquet/Golf Sets – for my boys – it all turned into hockey
7) Trendy Plush – we have more Olympic Mascots, Mario Plush, and Club Penguins than I’ll ever admit to publicly
7) Complicated Hot Wheels Sets – a simple track always kept their attention longer
9) Bionicle Building Sets – were too complicated for me to put together and parts fell off them easily leaving me with unidentifiable (and creepy) body parts
10) Complicated Crayola Sets – markers and paper work just as well and they don’t cost a fortune
Top 10 Toys I’d Buy Again
1) Play Doh – no sets – just the dough
2) Playmobil – my boys love Playmobil although they use the men and vehicles more than the larger sets
3) Fisher Price Farm/Garage – the classic versions
4) Hollow Cardboard Blocks – my kids would build these and knock them down for hours
5) Lego – my boys love lego figures and play with them a lot. Again, large complicated sets don’t get much play.
6) Balls – all shapes, sizes and sports.
7) Soft Foam Swords
7) Nerf Foam Dart Shooters and Nerf Water Guns – I’ll never buy a cheap knock-off again
9) Dinosaurs – make good monsters for attacking Playmobil men and for the bath
10) Little Tikes Big Car Carrier – the boys at my local playgroup used to fight over this
These are just a few things off the top of my head. If you have some to add to either list please let me know. I’d love to hear about what toys work (or don’t work) for girls. Or different opinions on my picks.
And, if you’ve made any obvious toy buying mistakes – please make a comment below or send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will make me feel so much better to know I’m not alone!
In the meantime, I’m going to take solace in the words of frugal dad:
I’m not unlike any other parent. I want my kids to have things better than I did. I want them to have more. I want them to have the best. But I also want them to grasp the connection between having nice things and the sacrifice required to earn them. I want them to be able to say “no” to themselves; to avoid the trappings of debt and consumerism as they grow older. Maybe they will avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way, or at least be prepared to learn from the ones they are bound to make themselves.
Well said, don’t you think?
What I tossed today: 65 pieces of Thomas the Train (craigslist), 30+ pieces of various Diego sets (craigslist), one infant sheepskin (craigslist), and a handful of miscellaneous toy parts (garbage)