The Joys of Toys

Joys.  Toys.  Boys.  Oys.  What do these words have in common?  Other than rhyming, what’s the link? (Remember, I am an English teacher.)

Toys have a purpose to serve:  to engage young minds in creative play, build cognitive skills, and/or have fun.  This is the joy of toys.  Boys and girls enjoy playtime.  The ‘oys’ come when there are simply too many toys to manage.

I have embraced Marie Kondo’s philosophy “if it doesn’t spark joy, don’t keep it’.  This applies to all things, toys included.  An observant parent will know what her children play with and what they don’t.  The toys that get played with are the ones that spark joy and should be kept.  Those that are forlorn on the shelf should be removed.  This sounds harsh, I know.  I can hear your arguments:  “I paid good money for it”,  “It’s a classic”,  “It was a gift”,  “He/she plays with it once in a while”,  “I’m saving it for my grandkids”.

On an emotional level, I can see the point of these arguments.  On a practical level, do you really have the storage space? Do you enjoy cleaning up tons of toys?  Is it really worth your time and energy to have so much ‘stuff’ to manage?

A few years ago my family and I made an international move.  Prior to the move, we had to take a very realistic look at which items were going to join us and which items were not.  If an item got the rating of “it’s a great game to play on Shabbos”, but currently was never being used, the chances of it being used in the future were slim.  Goodbye game.  It got blessed to someone else.

We had some classic Lincoln Logs.  I have very fond memories of playing for hours with them.  My eldest child enjoyed them.  Unfortunately, the younger siblings did not.  I held out hope that maybe they would.  I took them out on occasion and the only thing that happened was they got dumped on the floor and left for me to clean up.  How could they not want to play with Lincoln Logs–it’s such a great toy?  After pushing the emotional component aside, I came to the realization that this toy was clutter in my home.  I posted in the local list serve ‘Lincoln Logs for sale’, and off they went to a new home.

Once I lived in a city that had a toy consignment shop.  I loved going there.  I could drop off my unloved or outgrown toys and could also find something new.  Since most items weren’t in boxes, the kids could ‘test drive’ the toys in the shop.  It was interesting to see what they would gravitate to.  It was a win-win situation.  Economically, it was a great deal.  Of course, if you don’t want any new toys, then by all means, don’t buy something.

So, those are my Pearls of Wisdom regarding toys.  I bless you with positive vibes of happy memories of your children playing with toys with very few ‘oys’ for you in the toy management department.

Thanks for reading.

-Karen, The Klutter Koach

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