Stop Buying Your Kids So Many Toys!
Being a parent could be synonymous with over-consumption. The moment we see that second line on the pregnancy test, we start shopping. The day I found out I was having a boy I took the day off of work to go buy everything I possibly could for a little human I hadn’t even met. The shopping was a pregnancy side-effect and I kicked it to the curb along with my third trimester addiction to Pop Tarts soon after my son was born. But it wasn’t until he became a toddler that I realized, he enjoyed adventures so much more than things.
Stop buying so many toys and try to implement these activities into your routine instead:
1) Don’t go to the same park every weekend. Thanks to Yelp, I’ve made park-hopping a weekly tradition with my son. Throughout our first year together in Miami and even now as newbie Angelenos, I’ve found that searching and visiting different playgrounds makes outdoor outings so much less monotonous for us mommies and more exciting for little ones.
2) Get lost (figuratively) in a book store. Libraries still exist, guys. And most of them have some very decent kids sections that you can spend an hour or two at skimming through the classics. If you don’t want to relive your elementary school days, look for a locally-owned bookstore with a kids section. I’ve found at least two local book shops that have puzzles, games and free books for kids to read while parents shop around.
3) Wander around art murals. Art districts aren’t just for cute Instagram pics! Kids can learn so much just by wandering around looking at wall art. Murals are popping up all over our neighborhood and I take my two-year-old walking around to learn the different colors.
4) Visit a farm or a local farmer’s market. I use to take my son to a local farm in Homestead when we were still east coast living but now that we’re out in L.A. our access to farms isn’t quite what it use to be. Farmer’s markets are still a great place to entertain kids: picking out their favorite colored flowers, learning the names of fruits and veggies and even taking a break to grab their favorite snack could be an entertaining (and educational) afternoon.
5) Plan a day trip. Mini road trips are a great way to get a little one used to travelling and exploring. Plan a day trip every few months to not only expose your child to something new but create memories as a family.
I think we automatically assume that “kids will be kids” and all they want are cars and dolls and blocks and rings and all of those things that girl at Buy Buy Baby told you to put on your registry while you were pregnant. But moments adventuring are the ones your baby will remember. Go out, explore, experience and enjoy all moments that are already all around you. Your kids (and maybe your wallet) will appreciate it.
*DISCLAIMER: Yes, my kid has toys.
Previously published on https://www.lorenaobvious.com/single-post/2017/10/16/Stop-buying-your-kid-so-many-toys