Toy Week so far has had the kids practicing all kinds of intricate hand-skills as we have together taken up the lost art of repairs. In addition to now fully understanding the beauty of a Q-tip, the wonders of a Sharpie, and the miracle that is Gorilla Glue, both kids are gaining a deeper appreciation, and even a higher level of care for their toys.
Thanks for tuning in for Toy Week; getting playful with practical-life activities! If you missed our intro post with full itinerary + supply list, here it is:
I can barely watch the above scene from Toy Story 3, when the snotty-nosed, destructive hellion children descend upon the Caterpillar room. Watching toys being destroyed and defiled is beyond disgusting and disturbing. Of course, this is especially true when it’s captured in superb, colorful, 3D computer animation; complete with close-ups, and even portions in slow motion! Thanks, Pixar. Thanks for the nightmares. Thankfully, the toy destruction in *most* of our own homes is not nearly as extreme or . . . umm . . . explicit as in this Toy Story scene. But unfortunately, even under the loving, caring hands of our little angels . . . over time, toys tend to get seriously dirty, dusty, and dinged up!
When this happens, we are left with three options for our children’s playthings:
or . . .
All to often, we opt for that first option. Because, let’s face it, dumping the problem is by far the easiest thing to do. But I think most of us will agree that the second two options, donating or detailing, are by far the superior choices, at least whenever possible. Now, donating is pretty effortless as well . . . just toss in a box, drop off, and done. I’m personally a big fan of this option. But, of course, our kids are not often as thrilled about the idea of parting with their beloved playthings as we are. That’s where detailing comes in.
But detailing toys –cleaning, touch-ups, repairs–that’s got to be a lot of work, right? Maybe not as much as we think! I’ve been spiriting away dirty, dinged-up toys for months with this “Toy Chorey” week promised to tearful children looming over me.
“It’s ok, don’t cry . . . we’ll fix it. Here, let’s put Buzz in the Toy Hospital box.”
It’s been amazing for calming the kids down when a beloved toy has had an accident, but to be honest . . . I’ve been dreading actually putting glue to plastic because I had built up in my mind that cleaning and repairing toys would take a lot of time and effort. Well, to my surprise and welcome relief, it really hasn’t! In fact, if I had known how quick, easy, and fun it would be giving our kids’ beloved toys a lovely, heartening refresh, I would not have put it off half so long!
TOY SPA; Detailing Dirt, Dust, + Dings!
~Toy *Sorty* (for kids of all ages)~
Before you can start detailing or repairing toys, some initial sorting is helpful.
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- three or four cardboard boxes labeled as follows: DONATE, TOY HOSPITAL, TOY DETAILING/ MENDING (can be two separate boxes if you wish)
1.) Take your kids on a journey through the house seeking out toys that need a new home (DONATE), toys that need to be cleaned or touched-up (DETAILING), toys that need to be repaired (TOY HOSPITAL), and doll clothes, books, and toy accessories that need to be mended/sewn (MENDING).
2.) Drop off the donate box, and hold onto the others for this week’s activities!
~Q-tip Clean (for kids of all ages)~
Kids LOVE cleaning things with Q-tips. Maybe it’s the size that is intriguing to them, or maybe it is the fact that they are not allowed to stick them anywhere near their ears even though they really, really want to. But for whatever reason, Q-tips are magic for cleaning with kids!
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- a collection of dirty and/or dusty toys
- a small dish of water (we like to use container lids)
- headlamp (optional but extra fun)
1.) Set up a Toy Cleaning station with the above supplies.
2.) Help your child put on her headlamp. This will help her to see the dust and dirt easier and make her feel like this is a serious job.
3.) Encourage your child to select a toy and inspect it for dirt, dust, and grime.
4.) Show your child how he can dip a q-tip into the dish of water and use it to detail-clean his toys. Direct him to pay special attention to all those hard-to-get-to places that the grime has accumulated.
5.) Once a toy has been thoroughly cleaned, help your child inspect it to see if it also needs touch-ups. If so, place it in a “touch ups” pile, and if not, place it in a “finished” pile.
~TOUCH-UPS (for kids 6 and up)~
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- a collection of toys that need touch-ups
- a collection of sharpies and/or paints and brushes (acrylics work well for many toys, particularly wooden ones)
- a headlamp
1.) Set up a touch-up station with the above supplies.
2.) Help your child select a toy to start with and identify chips and dings.
3.) Help your child select paints or sharpie colors to address each touch-up. Please note: testing the effectiveness of an acrylic paint or sharpie on each toy is helpful. Some toys will be sharpie-resistant or will not hold the acrylic paint well. Oftentimes, super shiny plastic toys are the most difficult for touch-ups while wooden ones are usually very easy to touch up. All the more reason to opt for wooden toys!
4.) Assist your child in carefully touching up their toy, and teach him the saying that “less is more.”
*Before and after touch-ups to the dog’s nose:
*Before and after touch-ups to Thomas and Percy the trains’ eyebrows:
*Before and after touch-ups to baby burrow’s ears:
Tune in later this week for TOY HOSPITAL!
Thanks ever so much for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~