Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting rid of those "MAINSTREAM" toys!

Well, thinking back, to when I had my first child we really didn't know which toys were the best to have. Plastic, mainstream characters like Blues Clues,etc where all the rage. After discovering the true importance of toys did I finally realize we needed a change. By the time my second child had come we were on our journey to getting ourselves "free" from plastics!
So here I am now finally plastic free with a few exceptions like Legos and Playmobil figures which are used for school mostly. So a few months ago I helped a friend go cold turkey and we helped her Magically  change her children's playroom. This is by far the best way to do this if you are going to do it cold turkey.
With great planning, invite a visitor to come to the house. This visitor will know what to do ahead of time (with some planning and discussion in advance.) The mother and children leave the house and the visitor stays, pretending to be taking a nap, or staying over to work in the garden...
While they are gone, have the visitor LITERALLY empty out their whole room of the toys! Of course, if they did have a "favorite" that they would be absolutely traumatized without, have the children take it with them...)
Have the visitor remodel and transform the room. Ideas could be: to hang silks, set up a play stands (or a make-shift play stand) corner, little seasonal table, a few of the new and improved wooden toys, blocks, costumes,play kitchen,wall cards, baskets of stones, pinecones, the room. In other words, LITERALLY re-decorate, completely.
When you return with the children, have the visitor greet you; "Oh my goodness... you missed it! I was just napping when I heard a noise and went to see what it was. As I walked towards your room, I saw the most wonderful sight I have ever seen!! The magical toy fairy came and created magic in your room!!! Hurry, come and see!"
If they don't look excited at this point... and this NEVER happened to me, my guess would be to continue to play up the "magic" and "wonder" of it all drawing attention to the special little hiding places, baskets, shiny stones or whatever. This method worked for me, every time... and being the magical toy fairy who left with 3-4 large garbage bags in the back of the car full of that plastic junk... I felt great. For those of you wondering what I did with it, it all went to the Salvation Army.
The secret is, if "you" are not responsible.... and a fairy (or elf, or gnome) did it... then it MUST be best! Children never question when magic is afoot!

For more inspiration take a peek at some great waldorf rooms here on Flickr


  1. We are in the process of moving from California to the NEK, VT and I am rally enjoying the toy purge! We have been pretty much plastic free for a while, but it sure is nice to simplify. I was especially happy to see some of our toys go to a new Charter Waldorf school :-). Thanks for posting the link to pictures of playrooms, I am looking forward to getting resettled with less toys and more nature.

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  3. Love it. What a wonderful way to simplify without tears.

    I am linking to your blog as a new must read find.

    I am also adding you to educational resources on my learning blog:


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