This weekend I spent some time with my daughter assessing her toys and books pre- Christmas and birthday to make way for all the new presents, just like in all the Toy Story films. However, unlike the Toy Story films I am not a hoarder and will not keep her pre-school and other toys until she leaves to go to University and beyond. I am completely unlike my Mother-in-Law who kept all my husband’s toys for her grandchildren. Oh no, my rule of thumb is that if they are not played with more than once a month, then they are better off in a charity shop to a) get some much needed funds for the charity and b) give pleasure to another younger child who will enjoy them more.
Over the years my daughter has got used to this, to the point where now that she is nearly eight, she feels no need for toys at all. You will not believe the piles and piles of toys my daughter was willing to relinquish: her entire Barbie collection, her entire Sylvanian families collection – it all went. Not that she had played with any of it much in the 10 months or so she has had it. However, there was a part of me that was concerned she was growing up too quickly. My fears were soon laid to rest when we reviewed her book collection, she could barely part with any. Even the books with titles more suitable for 2 – 3 year olds, such as ‘Goodnight little bear’. I was actually pleased and relieved by this. I realised her willingness to let go of so many toys was not because of a sudden maturity but because her real passion lies with books and reading them or hearing them being read to her. She is not growing up too quick, she is just reaching the age where she is clearer about her likes and dislikes. I have to pinch myself to believe that she has chosen books over toys. Interestingly enough the only thing that I kept from my childhood to pass on to my children was the classic adventures book collection that my Dad bought for me when I was 10. All 50 books are patiently waiting on the bookshelf ready to be read and my daughter has already started with the Railway Children, a timeless classic.
My baby boy loves his books too and is often asking to sit on my lap so that he can be read to. The reality is I don’t think my children are unique. All children enjoy reading and being read to……..they just need the right book to get them started.
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Thanks for reading.