15 May The Toy Purge and Toys Worth Buying
I can be a little OTT about my space and keeping things organized, but one place I try stay clear of is the kids’ room, after all, it is THEIR room and despite the mess being more than I can manage, I want them to be responsible for it and everything it holds. But avoiding an entire room has very quickly turned into an episode of hoarders so it’s time I step in.
Sitting in the middle of yet another toy pile, I found myself thinking whether my kids need half of this stuff. There’s plastic animals that have been chewed up, cooking utensils resembling my container drawer with its missing lids, Nerf blasters with no foam darts, Hot wheels with missing track pieces, incomplete Happy Meal sets, and too many toys presumed useless because the batteries are flat but otherwise declared as too noisy. It was pretty clear that a toy purge was needed, but where do you even begin?
Over the last few months I have been thinking a lot about the toys we buy our kids; what’s worth buying, what’s better off in the bin and what should we keep to take along on our travels.
I have learnt that if a toy isn’t adding value to my child’s life in a positive way, played with regularly or missed when it can’t be found, it is likely not needed and can be donated.
When I started going through the pile, I was surprised by just how many toys we had kept that the boys had outgrown months ago, toys that were missing pieces and ones that I had collected in hopes of them liking but alas, they paid no attention to. From there, I started narrowing down the pile by eliminating things from lucky packets and happy meals, toys with pieces that are likely to break and become a choking hazard, and ones where the batteries were never changed and never missed.
This activity has made it so much easier to decide what should I be looking for from a toy before buying it for the boys. Nikki from We Are The Humans had put together a useful checklist that I reference quite often:
1] Is it versatile?
2] Does it grow with my child?
3] Is it classic?
4] Is it still fun without batteries?
5] Does it encourage problem-solving?
6] Is it in good working condition?
Whenever the toy in question gets a yes, we keep it and if there are noes, we dump, donate and give away whatever we can.
Recently, we were sent beautiful toys from Tooky Toys which inspired our Toy Purge in the first place. A bit ironic; throwing out toys to make space for new ones! But when we received our package, I immediately thought, “I want to replace all their toys with ones just like these!”
Tooky Toys offer an incredible range of brightly coloured wooden toys that are expertly made promising children hours of fun. Their range offers something for everyone with some toys encouraging imaginative play, while others challenge kids to problem solve and get creative.
I personally like that the range isn’t designed to be targeted at boys or girls but rather at all children, allowing kids to explore and have fun without a set of expectation of what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
When I first agreed to receive the press drop, nothing could have prepared me for just how well-made each item would be – it honestly stuns me that there are still toys made with the same excellence that I had as a kid. Pictures don’t adequately show it, but every toy can easily be preserved and passed on to the next child.
Most surprisingly is just how affordable the range is. Guys, toys have gotten so darn expensive! Some of the Hot Wheel tracks that Axl eyes out are more than R700, and for what? He watches the car go down the track a few times and then grows tired of it! But purchase this wonderful Police Station Play Set and he is caught up in hours of storytelling. Once Eli is older and can understand, they will both be acting out new scenarios, catching the bad guys, playing together, and all while being creative, imaginative and improving those ever-important social skills. And when the boys outgrow the play set it can be stored or kept for a younger family member – isn’t that amazing!?
Initially, when we were planning to travel South America, the plan was to leave our beloved Tooky Toys with the grannies so that whenever we visit home, the boys will have something to play with that doesn’t grow old, break or rely on batteries. If I am being honest, we could probably get rid of all of their toys and I would not be bothered, but there’s something truly special about the range from Tooky Toys that makes me want to hang on to all of them. Now that our plans have changed and we’ll be emigrating, I will most definitely be taking their Tooky Toys with!
I have even spotted a few toys that I am going to be buying before we leave to take with, in the boys’ carry-along, to keep them busy during layovers and giving them a sense of home no matter where we are. Which Tooky Toy do you love the most? Here are just some of our favourites, plus a few that I’ll be getting in time for Eli’s first birthday and our departure.
You can shop Tooky Toys online from Baby Womb World or Takealot. Their toys are priced from R135-R1,650.