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Cutting down on plastic and electronic toys

Before frog was born I had some pretty strong ideas about what kind of parent I would be. I wasn't going to allow my son to watch television or play on baby apps, and he definitely wasn't going to be allow electronic toys. As a new born he was mainly interested in mirrors and contrasting colours.  I indulged my need to splurge on books and yarn.
But then Christmas happened.

Wantneed, wearread. .

This Christmas we started  want, need, wear, read gifting.
Our Son got  set of hand percussion instruments, a bundle of second hand ladybird books I won cheap on ebay, a winter coat and a small wooden bath time boat.
I have to admit I was feeling pretty darn smug on Christmas morning.Unfortunately our success was short lived. Our little boy has lots of loving family. We're not talking average size family either. My Mum is one of 11 and my husbands mother is one of 6. I too am the oldest of six, and little frog has eight sets of Grandma's (Yep we're freaky). So Although our Christmas gifts were modest and small in quantity, with wholistic long term learning prospects. His other gifts, whilst bought in love, were anything but small in quantity.

Quality over quantity

Despite getting buckets full of toys for some reason, my son,   at four months old,  was already bored of them.
My days became a constant barrage of entertaining him and trying to engage him with his vast collection of plastic stuff.  I wasn't getting any me time. So I started introducing the tv and baby apps I so desperately wanted to avoid.

Magda Gerber-infant advocate

In her research child activist Magda Gerber discussed the issue.She said "active toys make passive children" and "the best toys aren't toys".She argued if we wanted to raise well developed autonomous and independent kids, then we needed to offer them play with real world objects. Free from adult intervention and active toys.
The problem is active toys only offer one dimension of entertainment. They do what they do and leave the child bored. They then seek further input. Which leads to exhausted parents either to needing more toys or introducing screen time far earlier than recommended (no screen time till two,  then 1-2 hours a day).
After reading some of Magda Gerber's articles I decided to bite the bullet and edit my son's toy collection.

Frog's toy cupboard now is made up of:

-Wooden blocks & wooden baby walker
-Heuristic Treasure basket
-Play mat
-Selection of wooden toys
-Selection of hand percussion instruments
-Lots and lots of books
- A handful of soft toys- I mixed them up to offer a selection of textures.

I'm really pleased we reduced the number of toys.  Now I'm able to leave my son to play independently whilst I am free to blog of clean the house or knit. I'm feeling so confident that I'm ready to remove all of the active toys from my home.

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