Oh, going to space from the back yard.

Every parent knows the lure of the cardboard box right?  My sons prove again and again that the box is always more valuable than the content when it comes to toys.  I am such a huge fan of Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.  Kids really thrive when I am intentional in giving then more simplicity, less choices, and more unstructured play time.

I try to enforce some simple toy rules.

1.  We edit constantly.  Toys are rotated so that there is never more in the toy cabinet than they can clean up easily at the end of the day.  We keep toys in canvas bins, and when one bin comes down to the accessible part of the toy closet, another goes up and out of reach.

2.  We try to be intentional with the toys we buy.  I like toys that are durable, don’t require batteries, and can be used in many different ways.  We have not gone plastic free by any means, although I do love wooden toys.

blog-46673.  Open ended toys rule.  We have always loved Lego around here – my son got his first box of duplo when he was nine months, and has no graduated to “big kid lego.”  Of course, his younger brother is still firmly in the duplo age, but refuses to be left behind.  In the last week, there has been lego fish (and sharks and whales, and a hermit crab).  Before that it was museums (with restaurants) – pictures above.

4.  Dress up is not for girls only.  We have a pretty large collection of halloween costumes (a few picked up after halloween on sale) and several mama made costumes, along with scarves, hats, swords and shields, and many of the other bits and pieces that make pretend play so much fun.