If I went back to my extremely organised 30 year old self and explained that one day my house would be bursting at the seams with childrens’ plastic toys, I would never have believed myself.
My pre-kids self always said, ‘I’m not going to be one of those parents who has hideously, plastic toys cluttering up the living room.’ Ha! I now say, ’embrace it.’ It doesn’t matter how hard you try but your toddler would rather play with the plastic Peppa Pig boat than the wonderfully crafted wooden shape sorter. Also, when you see their little faces light up at the sight of these toys your heart will melt.
I have spent a small fortune on toys but you can never predict which ones your toddler will want to play with. In our home it all began with a hot pink, giant, plastic car that she got when she was only six months old; the car I nearly threw up at the sight of but now love. ‘That’s never going in our house,’ I explained, ‘it doesn’t work with my decor’. Ha! It now (1 1/2 years later) has pride of place in our lounge and children fight over who gets to play with it first, even the cat loves to curl up inside the damn thing.
In every corner of my house there is a toy; there are plastic animals in my handbag, in the lounge the bookcase is covered with jigsaws and musical instruments, my daughter rides her skuttlebug in the kitchen and there is always a stuffed animal or book lurking beneath my duvet.
My daughter’s toys are not confined to her bedroom like I always thought they would. The world, where I truly believed, we would have adult areas that she wouldn’t get to play in does not exist. She has so many toys now that I can even rotate them; I hide some away so that when I bring them back out it’s like having a new toy all over again.
But the strange part is that the current me doesn’t mind. I could enforce a strict rule where the lounge is toy free but actually I enjoy pulling out a jigsaw she hasn’t seen for a few weeks or a book that used to be her favourite.
So how many is too many? The truth is that they will always have too many toys and sadly most of ours are plastic. Even when my second child was born, people would buy my first born gifts so that she would not feel left out. Yes she has too many, my house looks more like a nursery than a home but I love it. I even love her plastic, pink car and watching her pretend to drive to Grandma and Grandad’s house. I have embraced the plastic because I see its potential.
My tip is just make sure that you have a lovely mix of toys that help your toddler develop all their motor skills and embrace the plastic, it will be everywhere.