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A Toy Story

We are, as you know, in the midst of purging some of Little L's toys. She had a whole bunch of them that were sold on Varage Sale, and several more that are currently being prepped for sale. While her stuffies all remain untouched (due to sentimental value according to her, or Hubbs, or myself), her other toys hold far less meaning and have thus been ruthlessly offered up for public sale.

And it has been interesting to note: when she has fewer things, her imagination explodes. While I'm sure you knew that truth already, it bears repeating because I knew it too. But somehow, in the fray of parenthood, I forgot about this. I got sucked up into the hype that certain shiny, loud, colourful toys would help aid her pretend play, or bring about a more satisfying playtime experience.

This has not proven true. If anything, the opposite has occurred. All of the toys I bought her stifled her imagination for that particular kind of play, but in removing those toys, her imagination has returned with a flourish.

For example, she has a pretend play kitchen. It has a phone, a stovetop that makes sounds with certain pots, and an under-counter light. It comes with food and cups and plates and cutlery. I totally thought she would love that toy. Nope. I can probably count on one hand the number of times she plays with it in a year. She might play with the food and pretend to cook with me on the floor, or use some of the pots as drums on her little table, but the kitchen holds no appeal for her. This one's going on sale in the next couple of days since it is a total space hog.

And then there's her camera. It's a totally basic Fisher-Price digital cam with a very low dpi and limited capacity, but it does have a digital screen to see your images, and you can take and delete pics as well as download them. She thought she wanted the thing two years ago when she saw it on an ad. Has she taken any pictures with it? Nope. However, Little L also has an imaginary camera which she has recently taken to using on a daily basis. She is often "showing me" the images and telling me what is happening in the videos. She loves that camera, and it is among her most prized possessions, along with her "bladder X-ray." The best part? These toys can never get lost. :)

Likewise, her singing teapot and tea cups, which she begged us to buy, sit unused in a box. Those cups aren't functional for tea so she can't use them "for real," and she doesn't like the music so it has to be turned off at all times. That toy set is also going on sale, since Little L far prefers having a "real" tea party with me using my espresso cups as teacups, and wine glasses and plates to form makeshift serving platters.

So why did I even bother spending the money on all of these toys? I'm forgetful and foolish, that's why. Learn from my mistakes, and resist the urge to buy more toys. Honestly, your kids might think they're missing out by not having these things, but in reality they won't benefit from them or derive any satisfaction from playing with them anyway, so be judicious! You won't regret it.

What toys have you found to be utterly useless in your household? 


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