Tall Ships, Driftless style.

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

kids don't need toys. [Clean.]

Because, quite simply, kids don't need toys after all.


 ~ * ~ * ~ * ~


And because it's exceptionally hard for me to not talk more that just that, here are some follow-up thoughts!

1. Purchased toys are overrated.

Yes, we all have them. But no, we don't need any more.

Our kids have all they need right in their own amazing minds, if only we can support them and get out of the way.

2. When Minecraft or movies or games are not an option, magic happens.

Yes, we do screen time. But no, not a lot.

I think that's good for everyone involed.

3. You don't need giant feral zucchini and a spring-fed creek to let such goodness bloom.

Yes, I grew crazy squash. But no, you don't have to.

What do you have? Some mud? A bin of rice and some food coloring? Yarn and twigs? You get the idea. More inspiration in this department here and here.

4. Yes, I let my kids use knives.

Even when they were small.

Wondering why on earth that would be a good idea? I talk about it here.

That is all.


18 thoughts on “Tall Ships, Driftless style.

  1. Kendra says:

    You are right, kids don’t need toys. Love their project! Where I live, every August they have zucchini races at the farmers markets. Everyone tricks out their biggest zucchini into a race car and they have a race. I love the boat idea!

  2. Molly says:

    Ok. Yes I agree that natural materials are great and open ended. But kids can play open ended with toys too. Don’t make people feel bad because their kids have some toys. Screen time and toys are very different things. The kids did great work on the boats.

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    Were loaded with toys over here, Molly! Not setting out to make anyone feel bad about anything. Quite the opposite. As in: you dont need more money and fancier or more things to give your children what they need to thrive. Best to you.

  4. valerie says:

    Ah, can’t agree more! I’ve seen the comments above and I must say, at home my kids love to use Nature’s resources, as in twigs, stones, sand… but they also use all the toys they have in a very open ended way, changing the toys’ original destination and giving them many, many functions and roles. Same thing with shoes and clothes too! It’s amazing how creative and resourceful kids are. Finally, I share with you the opinion that less screen time is a real blessing, for the kids and their parents (watching kids at play and coming up with inventions and stories is such fun!).

  5. Rachel Wolf says:

    I echo your thoughts with a resounding yes! I think when kids have the time and materials to play as they wish they can run with what they have to use in any and all directions. Thanks for your words!

  6. KC says:

    I can attest to this. We got rid of all our kids toys but the handmade dolls and a few wooden toys. We took a 14 hour plane flight and they did not ask for the toys even once. they were able to make world of fun just from blankets and airline emergency instruction manuals.

  7. Shannon says:

    Zucchini boats! In our little village (Millbrook, ON) we have a zucchini festival every year. One of the highlights is having all the kids carve, and decorate zuke boats, then race them down the creek.

    This is my favourite day of the year. There is a zuke catapault, zuke bake off, zuke poetry. All sorts of shenanigans.

    So glad to see the inspiration has struck elsewhere.

    I’m also in the boat of believing kids are more than able to fashion their own fun. That being said, we are of course way loaded down with too many toys, books, clothes etc.

    Your blog is always inspiring me and reminding me to keep it cycling…

  8. Allison says:

    Dirt, and lots of it, for my boys. That’s their favorite toy, along with enough implements to dig it and scoop it and shovel it and…you get the idea. Have you ever read the book Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne? I think you would enjoy it, although you probably don’t “need” the lessons in it.

  9. marissa says:

    Such beauty & ingenuity. My eight (almost nine) year old boy has been taking a basket of odds and ends (yarn, clothespins, clips, bungees, etc.) out to our pear tree almost daily. It’s become an elevated object d’art (sorta). Now to find a giant zucchini…

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