If you’re having trouble making a connection with your child, this is a good one to try. Sometimes they are distracted, you are busy, we’re all going in different directions. In those times, pulling back in and connecting with each other calls for drastic measures. That’s when I make the announcement,“Tomorrow, each child can only play with one toy a piece.”
Each child chooses a toy and the rest of them are put away. For just a day they each just have one toy to play with, and they can’t trade. When they get bored, you can connect with them and try to help them think of creative ways to play with that one toy. They can go outside with no toys and see what they can find to do, you can spend time doing something besides playing with toys. But if they want to play, they have to just play with the one toy.
If you’re wondering what the purpose of this is, here’s my thought. Having only one toy creates a new environment. Our kids have so many toys, mine have way too many. They have no idea what it is like to only have one thing to play with. They can just switch to something else when they get bored with one thing. Having one toy teaches them to think outside of their comfort zone and get a little taste of how most children around the world live. It encourages conversation, teaches value, enhances creativity.
During the day you can ask them which toys they miss the most. Or talk to them about how many children in the world don’t have a lot of toys. Discuss which toys they think they can live without and maybe give those away. And if they are really complainy about it throughout the day then perhaps it’s a good opportunity for you to see that they are too attached to material things.
I hope you’ll try it. It will not only draw you closer, but build memories that will carry them into their future.
How are you doing so far? Have to tried any of the ideas from the series? I’d love to hear from you!