I had a lovely reminder this week.
A beautiful small business Happy Hands Happy Heart sent the kids some play dough, simple scented play dough.
We already have normal play dough, and a box full of about a million cutters and moulds and things that you push it through to turn it into spaghetti. It's too full, some of the stuff is broken, it spills out everywhere and it doesn't hold their attention at all because it's crap.
And I should have realised this, too many toys can overwhelm kids, stunt creativity and encourages carelessness. Some kids thrive amongst chaos but mine don't. AND I KNOW THIS but I just kept putting all the crap in the play dough box because we keep all of that stuff on a high shelf and it rarely comes down (because it's crap and they don't care about it) so I don't have to deal with it.
They were actually 'playing' with said box when the package arrives. And by 'playing' I mean; making a mess and not actually engaging at all.
As soon as I opened the box and saw the gorgeous fresh dough, all smelling like lavender I just knew that I needed to ditch the box of plastic crap and give them something beautiful that would hold their attention.