Hello earthly passionate people,
I'm doing a bit of Spring cleaning and making sure we are only holding on to what we actually need. My son’s room is still a den of crap. I think the older he gets the worse the mess gets. He is a hoarder of toys, collector cards, books and bits ‘n’ pieces. Although we go through the same ritual every 6 months getting rid of things, he still likes to gather a lot of stuff. Now you may be thinking where does everything go? Surely not into the rubbish bin? Actually a lot of it is being recycled or reused. As long as the toys weren’t broken and had all their parts, some are going to our local op shop, along with five bagful’s of clothes (please stop growing kids!) and old tools. Others are going to homes with younger kids for a second chance of having fun with another child.
When my kids were much younger I was getting rid of small gimmicky and often plastic toys, the type you get at kids parties and McDonalds. I have always tried to avoid getting these items, but when our children were with their friends it is a little hard to be the mean Mummy after the event. But it made me think how much of these toys and other things do our kids collect? And do they really play with them? Not only do they create waste for the environment, but often they don’t contribute to kid’s activities. I’m sure I am not the only Mum that gets frustrated with these toys floating around the house.
So how do we avoid them? As my kids have got older it is easier to avoid these toys and also to explain to them why they don’t need them. But I do know how hard it is to explain to younger children, like a three-year-old, why they shouldn’t have the latest my little pony keyring or mini star wars figurine. You could avoid going to the likes of Macca’s (aussie slang for McDonalds) or Hungry Jacks (Burger King elsewhere), but as I said this can be hard when kids are invited to other children's parties at these venues. Instead, you could influence others to make a change by being creative at your own kids’ parties. Involve the kids in coming up with novel ideas for bits and pieces to go into their lolly/party bags. Most people talk about adding healthy snacks, but here a few other things you could to the recyclable lolly/gift bags:
Create puzzles or a game
A book (miniature books can be inexpensive and encourages reading)
Drawing pad and crayons
Craft set (wooden model set, knitting set, etc.)
Cooking set (prepare small portions of ingredients and cooking instructions)
Woolen, hemp or bamboo puppets
Pack of playing cards (Snap, Neighbour or Go Fish)
Handcrafted wooden bracelet
And much more.
When we have introduced these to kids at our parties, they have been a real hit because they are different from the normal treats and kids find they have something show once they have completed the activity. Something they can be proud of.
I’m sure you have lots more ideas that you could share with everyone. We would love to hear your suggestions.
Anyway, I better be off. Lots more cleaning to do (groan!).
Have an earthly passionate party.
Attracta & the team