Monday, June 15, 2009

An oldie, but a goodie...



Just wanting to revive my old toy whinge...

Dave and I have such very different ideas about toys, and the use of toys... Previously, I've lamented Dave's need for the boys to build their lego models according to the instructions in the pack then set them up on a high shelf (so small kids can't reach them and wreck them) and LEAVE them there to collect dust for all eternity. Better still, he insists the boys keep the original box AND the instructions, so he can "refer back to them in future if we need to"...

Argh!

The way I see things, toys are for PLAYING WITH not LOOKING AT.

Dave has this morbid fear of the boys toys being broken, or scratched, or misplaced, or anything that prevents them maintaining their "as new" condition.

This morning, I allowed Bryn to have one of the Erik and Luey's Thunderbirds ships. It is from a set we bought for E and L for their 6th and 4th birthday (they often get shared presents because their birthdays are 11 days apart). In all honesty, the big boys have played with this set maybe 1/2 dozen times, but then it's been put away on top of a cupboard because Dave felt their were too rough with it (because they swooshed the ships around in the air!)...

The set cost something like $120, so Dave has deemed it irreplaceable - which is fine, because it is, we couldn't afford to replace it if it was broken or lost. The problem is that we spend a decent amount of money on these toys then Dave won't let the boys play with them because they might break them...

I see two problems with this way of thinking...

1. The toys are designed to be played with by children, they're pretty hardy, they're NOT collectors items.

2. If the kids aren't allowed to play with the toys until they are "responsible enough" (by which time they mostly lose interest, anyway), what's the point of spending the money in the first place???

How to deal with this? Well, at the moment I'm going with the bulldozer approach because I've repeatedly tried the softly, softly approach to no avail. I'm getting some big clear tubs for the boys to store their lego sets in, so no longer displaying them on top of their shelves. The old boxes are going to be binned! If DAVE wants to COLLECT lego as a collector's item, he is more than welcome to spend his money on doing that for HIMSELF.

Bryn will be allowed to play with Tracy Island and all the Thunderbird stuff. I will supervise him (not too closely) and encourage him (as I always do anyway), to be respectful with his toys. If they do get broken though, at least they got used!

I don't know WHO Dave is saving the toys for. His parents kept his toys after he outgrew them (as pictured above). The toys are still in the house, sometimes Erik and Luey get to play with them, mostly they just sit in boxes, unused, it's such a shame, and imo a WASTE!

2 comments:

Stitch Sista said...

LOL, of course toys are to be played with, and shared too! It's so hard to NOT share toys.

I do understand his angst as a fellow only child - we didn't have to share and still struggle with the concept...but what a great lesson for our kids.

BTW I'm starting a blog for F for his legos...that way we take a photo of his creation and then he breaks it and makes something else. Instructions are also available online for things that go missing. We regularly print instructions and F makes do with the pieces he has even if they aren't from the original set.

Sif said...

Thanks for the tip on online instructions! Bryn needs his own lego, he is contantly into E and L's... There is a certain amount I expect them to share (read my latest blog, rofl)... They can have one or two little things to themselves, but I VERY resistant to the idea of four individual sets of toys...

Teenagers and the failing parent...