1. I spend too much on disinfectant spray
My son is at the age where he sucks on toys (and everything else). I thought this was a teething thing, but its not. I teach Sunday School for 3-5 year old kids and they put everything in their mouth too. This appears to be a weird and lasting phase. As a result, I have to spray down all of his toys and other non-toy objects that he puts into his mouth with Lysol. Ergo, I spend too much money on Lysol to possibly buy him new toys.
2. Finders Keepers
Speaking of Lysol, it's important to Lysol the abundance of toys that my small child has a knack for finding. In the last week, he has found a free toy every single time I've taken him out. A deflated ball, a small dinosaur, two frisbees (both broken), and a matchbox car. We've only gone to the grocery store, a church playground (twice), and our neighborhood playground (twice), and on every adventure he drags some new toy home. I let him keep these because he seems very attached at least initially. I throw them out as soon as he gets sick of them, but it still leads to some toy accumulation. My husband also loves to fix these broken cast offs. The car at the left is a light up car from McDonald's that my son found at the park 3 weeks ago. My husband removed the batteries from a laser pointer and put them into the car. Ever since then my son has walked around saying, "On. Off. Help you. On. Off. Help You." This means that he would like me to help him turn the car on and off.
3. We need more creativity
Every parent knows that its important to encourage creativity. I'm just also really lazy, so I encourage creativity by not providing toys to my son. #winning.
My son has done just fine so far. See look to the right, my son is creatively wearing a strainer as a hat. He said, "Hat, helmet, bike," many times before throwing the strainer on the ground and playing with a spatula.
Also, by allowing my son to use everyday objects as toys, I find that I must either creatively take those objects back (so as to accomplish my tasks while not inciting a tantrum), or find other tools to accomplish my own tasks. Creativity is important for adults too.
5. His favorite toy is always some free crap anyways.
If you don't know very many small children, you may have forgotten that they always have a favorite toy. It's the object that they drag with them everywhere. For some kids its a doll, for others a blanket. For my son, it's some free plastic crap. It changes, but it's always some free plastic crap. Last week he was sick, and at the Doctor's office, they gave him this motorcycle toy. Which he has with him at daycare, and has slept with since that doctor's visit. Before this, it was that McDonald's car and before that a balloon. If he didn't like free crap so much, it might be satisfying to buy him toys, but I've (thankfully) struck out on that front.
But isn't he cute with the one toy we bought him :)
Okay, I'll admit. We have bought him toys. $23 dollars worth of toys to be exact. We spent $3 at a garage sale last year, and I bought him this balance bike off of Craigslist, and he loves it!
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.