The Theme Game: Play

The Theme Game: Play

My children have everything. They have a wardrobe bursting with clothes, more toys to play with than an average toy shop, and enough books to half fill a library. I cook meals from scratch for them and bake them cakes, cookies and biscuits. Yet, when I mentioned to Bunny that there might be a nice surprise for them this weekend, she immediately assumed it would be a new toy to play with.  Instead it was her grandparents visiting from France, 6 weeks earlier than expected. But four year old Bunny was disappointed. “I wanted the surprise to be a new toy. I’m bored of all my toys!” she complained.

Happyland play

And it got me thinking.

Is it time to teach her a very important life lesson? I want her to appreciate what she has and just how lucky she is. I don’t like this spoilt, petulant child that she’s becoming and I know that it is partly my fault as I want so much for her to have a wonderful life full of everything she could ever ask for, that I rarely say no to her.

train set play

So I think it may be time to try an experiment. Not to be cruel or mean, but to help her understand the true value of things, and maybe get back to basics a little bit too. She plays so well with just about anything she can find and her imagination is wonderful, so does she really need all of these toys? What would she actually miss if I took everything away? Will it encourage her to be more creative in her play, and more adaptable? Will there be more drawing, more reading, more dancing? I often wonder if it is actually possible to have too many toys, too much choice? Can it be overwhelming for young children?

I started by clearing up all of the toys into boxes and bags. I left her books and art bits, but anything that came under the toy umbrella (and isn’t too large for easy storage) is going away for a little while.


Today, she came home from school, ran upstairs and got changed. And didn’t mention a thing about all the fancy dress clothes or dolls or teddies being gone. Perhaps she didn’t notice, but I was surprised. When she came downstairs, she read her school book with me and then went off to do some colouring, cutting and sticking. She even played Kerplunk with her sister and her mum until it was TV time (while I make dinner). Not a word, no complaints.

morning fancy dress

I will see if it’s the same in the morning when she usually gets up and puts her fancy dress clothes on, but hopefully, she will gain something positive from this and we will be able to focus better on the things she really does enjoy playing with and value, rather than cluttering up our house with every toy under the sun!

This is my entry into the new Theme Game hosted by The Reading Residence. 

Click on the image below to read all about it or any of the links to read other entries.

The Reading Residence
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8 comments on “The Theme Game: Play
  1. This is an interesting experiment. It can be hard to get that balance, as you want them to have a great childhood, but don’t want to ‘spoil’. I find having my time and outings are my kids favourite things, closely followed by books, anything crafty/creative and then toys. Oh, and food. They’re anyone’s if there’s a cheesecake offered… ;-)! Thanks for joining in with #TheThemeGame and best of luck with your beautiful Bunny x

  2. Ooh! very interesting. Sadly I’ve tried this but my daughter has the eyes of a hawk and the instincts of a predatory shark when it cones to toys. She notices everything! Will be interesting to see how you get on though. Thanks so much for sharing with #TheThemeGame

  3. I often put toys away as Monkey has so many, he never seems to notice, unless it’s his tractors or trains!

  4. Ohhhhh great idea!!! My two have hundreds and hundreds of toys. Every time we go out she wants another. Great stuff #thethemegame xxx

  5. Mummy Bear says:

    It’s very difficult to say no, especially when, like you say, you just want your children to be fulfilled. Our little bear has got very, very attached to some of her very small baby toys. She quite simply doesn’t NEED them anymore but then one day out of the blue, she will start playing with them, role playing them using the as toys for her dollies. We were desperate to get her off her dummy too, then one night, out of the blue she told me that dummies were for babies and has never ever asked for one again. I’m convinced the same will happen with her baby toys… Very interesting and I’ll look forward to a future post to see how you’re getting on. Maybe another #TheThemeGame !

  6. Mama H says:

    An interesting experiment.

    E isn’t yet 2 and she KNOWS if something is missing… I wonder what would happen if I took everything away? Meltdown I imagine!

    Popping over from The Theme Game.

  7. We have tried this, when the boys have been particularly messy – removing everything left on the floor of their room… There are now two big boxes in the attic! It does make you realise how little they need though 🙂 #TheThemeGame

  8. I’d love to know how this works out! Great idea. #TheTheme Game x

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