Too Many Toys











Spencer has too many toys!  He gets them from his parents, his friends, his Auntie Mim and Uncle Fred, Grandma Bobo, Poppy and Grandiddy.  He gets them at school, at the dentist, at the doctor, and at the drive-thru. 

The Spencer I’m talking about is the character in David Shannon’s fantastic read, Too Many Toys .  Though the similarities between the Spencer in the book and my own little guy with the same name is so eerie, there are times I wondered if David Shannon might have been in our home recently as part of an undercover research mission.  This might as well have been a custom-made book!

Spencer’s mom (both the real one and the fictional one) finally has had enough with all those toys!  But when she suggests getting rid of a few, Spencer (both the real one and the fictional one) resists, hesitates, and negotiates.  Finally, they whittle down the toy supply, which is when Spencer discovers that the very best toy he has is his own imagination.

I picked up this book as I was shopping for the “something to read” portion of our kids’ Christmas list.  Our family has been David Shannon fans for a while now, reveling in the David series as well as Alice the Fairy and the Trucktown series he collaborates on.  His stories are always clever, funny, and portray childhood in a way few can.  So the familiar cover illustrations staring up from the bookshelf were quick to catch my eye.  A few page flips in and I was sold!

It helped that just a few days before picking up this book, I was having a very serious discussion with my boys about why no one could actually get every single toy in the world for Christmas…even if they were the very most well-behaved children in the history of mankind.  Couple that with the main character’s name and the all-too-familiar request to thin out the toy collection, and this book buy was a no-brainer.  This one will certainly be sitting under the tree at our house this Christmas, and I’m quite sure it will be a frequent favorite at storytime as well. 

If you too can relate a little too well with Spencer’s mom and dad (both the real ones and the fictional ones)  Check out this guestpost by Mandi Ehman of Life…Your Way at Blissfully Domestic for Decluttering and Organizing Children’s ToysThinning the toys before Christmas can be helpful.  I have friends who have had great success with their children sorting out their toys to make donations to those less fortunate and others who finally had success only when they promised their children all procedes from their contributions to the family yard sale.  At my house….for now we operate on the “hide it in the trunk of the car for a few weeks, and if no one asks for it, drive it on down to the donation center” method.  It may not be perfect, but it seems to maintain everyone’s sanity.

How do you keep from having too many toys? 

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Filed under book activity, Building Readers

10 responses to “Too Many Toys

  1. I love this book! I, too, felt such a sisterhood with the mother 🙂

  2. How do we keep from having too many toys?
    1. We live in a small house.
    2. Two kids shared a room for their first 11 years.
    3. My husband is a teacher so money was/is tight.
    All three factors make it more difficult to bring toys into our home without thinking carefully ahead of time. And though at times, it’s made living challenging, it has definitely helped us not collect too many THINGS.

  3. well…I have one child and we have little money then we had to sell our house and move into a relative’s across the country so right now we have about 3 banker boxes of toys and they still seem like too much! this morning he played for almost an hour with about 12 legos – having me move them around to form different things – a plane, a tug boat, a train…as he was playing I was thinking “oh I should get him more legos he likes them so much” but before we moved, he had a table of them and NEVER played with them so… I have to remind myself, more is NOT better and to just let him create with what he has. its hard. I know often I purchase out of guilt (can’t tell you how guilty I feel for the many MANY toys he had to leave behind in our move) and that is not good for either of us. so I’m trying to recall that everytime I think “oh I should buy this for Asher”…

    by the by I got your ebook and love it…it is sooo soo good, I’m recommending it to everyone I know. I havent’ finished it yet, know I will go through it again and again. thank you! 🙂

  4. Great post! Can relate too…we just have to work at thinning the toy herd from time to time…luckily, the boys are used to having to do this and usually are happy to give away things that they no longer play with from their toy collection. there are some things they have attachments too, so those are keepers, but everything else has to be considered when we give away toys.

    Happy holidays:) Colleen

  5. fermaria

    I´ve had three crazy weeks here! I didn´t even get time to read your book yet. And precisely when I´m so busy you´re so inspired!…
    The Intentional Deficit Disorder concept is simply perfect and deserves more time from me for a comment, but I can briefly comment today´s post.
    I´ve been thinking about the too many toys issue a lot – obviously linked to Christmas. I´ll try to get this book in our local English Library. Thanks for the review.
    And the “hide it in the trunk of the car method” is a sanity revelation.
    I know reading you I´ll get a great insight and a laugh. Both things together are worth being your subscriber.

  6. I like the “get a toy, give a toy” mentality but have yet to actually put it into action since my kids are only 2 and 5 months.

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