We have a lot of toys. A LOT. It seems crazy to think about the volume of things we have been given during the course of Baby’s short life. Out of all the toys she has I can remember buying her just two of them, when I had a moment of weakness in our local Steiner toy shop. Everything else we have been given, minus a few random things I have bought from the op shop like the wooden bowl you can see in the picture above.
Over the last 18 months we have done a great deal of organising and learning, about the things that we want Baby to play with and be surrounded by, and the things that we don’t. The toys we decided we are happy for Baby to play with we had arranged on the bottom two shelves of the book shelf in our lounge room.
After a while though I could tell that Baby was bored and when she did have play time in the lounge she was just ripping things off the shelves one after the other. This equalled a huge mess for me but I also found it somewhat unsettling seeing her surrounded by millions of toys and not really engaging with any in particular because there were TOO MANY.
We get a weekly organic box of fruit and veg and since downsizing from the family box to the couples box we have been receiving the weekly food in a cute black cardboard box with a green labelled lid. I saved up some of the boxes instead of recycling them and covered their lids with part of an old sheet. I separated toys into categories (eg. soft toys, wooden toys, books, blocks, other) and then spread these out over the three boxes so there is a bit of everything in each box. There’s also a few out in the open as you can see, and a basket full of soft toys.
Now at playtime I just pull one box off the shelf and rotate through these. Much less mess for me and I appear to have a more content baby.