Monday, 11 April 2016

Second Hand Toys vs Eco Toys and Minimalism

So with a baby on the way we are now finding people have all sorts of things they are happy to pass on to us.  

One of the things we have decided is that we do not want to have a child who has excessive number of toys and grows up to be an excessive consumer.  We would also like to avoid plastic toys and lots of baby/child paraphernalia focusing on timber toys and environmentally friendly products.

But what about babies who have no concept of ownership, wants or consuming?  Babies need stimulation to develop and many toys are designed to help develop a babies sight, hearing and sense of touch.  So do we relax a bit for the first 12 months and allow some plastic as well as new and second hand toys that may not meet our eco friendly criteria?  I am hoping we can borrow a baby gym (a play mat with a frame over the top with things hanging from it) or get one second hand as I think it will have a fairly limited lifespan.

Yesterday my brother in law and sister in law came to visit and they brought with them a large tub of excess toys from their now 2 year old son.

They were happy for us to take anything we wanted and pass the rest on to a charity shop and coincidentally just last week saw the delivery of a charity bag to be collected on Wednesday.  This meant we had to do a quick sort through and pack up the rest ready for collection on Wednesday.

A stack of foam tiles

A pile of toys to give away and a few we are keeping at the front.

After sorting through everything we decided to keep just 7 items.  A junior gardening box that we will put away for much later, a soft rattle, a wrist rattle (goes around the babies wrist), a hanging decoration that I suspect came from oxfam and is hand made, a toy that hangs on a baby gym. a ball with a bell rattle inside and a little truck that moves when you push down on the driver.
These are the items we chose for now but whether we end up keeping them all is another thing.

I am also not sure about all the foam clip together tiles.  Will we use them? Will they just be a pain to pick up and put away?  We have tile floors in the kitchen dining area so would these make a nice soft buffer between baby and floor if I need to have the baby in sight on the floor when I am in this part of the house?  If anyone has used these happily let me know. 

Toys all packed up ready for charity.

I suspect this parenting thing will be loaded with decisions like this where our values will be challenged and we will just have to work our way through it.  I am hoping that we can get others to support us in our decision to not have lots of plastic and overload us with stuff but only time will tell.


  1. It is a good idea. My kid also has excess amount of toys. We used to give some to the needy near by our place...

    1. We are giving away most of them but I am sure we will continue to have others turn up.

  2. I can remember countless hours rummaging through Mother's button bag as a little kid whilst she sewed. I can also remember a very small collection of trucks and cars made from wood. When I was older I lived on my old secondhand scooter and then progressed to an old bike.

    1. Phil we really want our child to have just a few toys that they value and treasure not so many that they are treated as a throw away item. Plus we like the idea of limited plastic for so many reasons.

  3. My boy's grandparents gave him a loving made wooden train. It was new "to them" but with some sanding and finishing from his Poppy, each carriage shone with the grains of the different timbers that had been used to make it. It cost next to nothing, salvaged as it was, but it is a real treasure!

    1. That sounds lovely. My grandad made trains for my brothers and they are now at my parents for all the grandkids to enjoy.

  4. The foam things are so annoying, get rid of the ASAP.


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