Why less toys = more independent play & which toys to let go

This is part 2 of 3 in a series of posts about simplicity and fostering independent play. Check out part 1: “Do this one thing now and your summer self with thank you” here.

Here’s the WHY:

Our kids can play more deeply, more richly with less stuff. I’m a ‘simplicity’ minded parent (next post in this series reveals my favorite parenting guides and what I’m digging into this season). In short, your kids will be calmer and happier with less choices. Calm, happy kids = more independent play. 

Not sure what do get rid of? I’m going to give you the Cliff’s Notes to a section of one of my favorite books: 

“Checklist of Toys Without Staying Power”

i.e. toys to let go. Source: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M.Ed.

  1. Broken Toys – my note – trash, recycle, or add to your art/creation station supplies for future projects.
  2. Developmentally Inappropriate Toys – my note: set aside for donations – either to friends or orgs that serve the wider community. In Nashville, ‘Book Em is planning to pick up books once the shelter at home restrictions are lifted and last I heard Gideon’s Army is accepting donations for kids who lost everything in the tornado (check before you drop!).
  3. Conceptually ‘Fixed’ Toys – my note: toys that can only be played with in one way
  4. Toys that Do Too Much and Break Too Easily
  5. Very high-Stimulation Toys
  6. Annoying or Offensive Toys
  7. Toys that Claim to Give Your Child a Developmental Edge 
  8. Toys You are Pressured to Buy
  9. Toys that Inspire Corrosive Play – my note: things that glorify violence)
  10. Toy Multiples – my note: give or donate! Details in #2.

To round out this series – stay tuned for my next post featuring my favorite parenting guides and what I’m digging into this season!

Full disclosure: I’m including Amazon Affiliate links in this email for two reasons: convenience for you and bonus for me (your purchases give me a kickback – thanks for supporting my work!). That said, I highly suggest you source books and supplies through local book shops like the Bookshop!

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