You know it's bad when...

... you pull in the driveway and see your kid's tricycle and consider painting it. 




Or even getting another for Christmas...  



We found Christian's tricycle in the trash by the side of the road a couple of years ago (yes, I pick from the trash) and it's missing that cool thing in the back where we could have pushed him so it didn't get much use until he learned to pedal it on his own.  The colors are totally faded but the fact remains that it works and he loves it.   It's now parked in the front of the driveway (which is in front of our house) because he uses it so much and I have to be honest, it's irking me.  Not driving me crazy by any means, but every time I pull into the driveway and wonder if I should just spray paint the thing black or something, anything to get rid of the faded plastic and blue that just stands out like a sore thumb to me.  As much as I would love to say we could put it away in the shed every night, I know we won't.  Life just isn't like that for us right now.  

I know this is one of those things to let go, but it has my OCD-design head twitching.

We also have a toddler plastic slide/ gym thingy in our back yard...  it too makes me a little nutty and I can't wait to replace it.  

I know toys will be part of our lives for a while now...  and I have to say that I'm so much less bothered by the classic toys than the new plastic ones.  It's crazy that I care but seriously, I'm so much more okay with a bunch of cute little wooden cars on the ground than a bunch of plastic ones...

{Christian's trucks}

We try to limit the toys coming into our house...  When new stuff comes in, something else leaves.  There just isn't room and we don't want our kids to have a million toys they never use.  If something's not getting played with enough, we put it away and take it out a few months later. 

I know I sound like a freak.  What are your thoughts?   (Not on my freakishness, on toys ;)  And, any tips for spray painting a plastic bike?   Maybe just the blue parts???
 

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

56 comments:

Jemsmom said...

Before we moved, I actually had a winter tub, spring tub, summer and fall tubs that I divvied all the toys up. I actually discovered that we didn't have that many so my gazillion of children's books went into the tubs. Since moving the toys have seemed to accumulate. I am about to get more tubs and do some toys that way. She has so much stuff that she never plays with. We are fortunate to have a nice sized playroom, but it gets overwhelming and she doesn't even go in there. I just have to do it when she is gone or she gets upset!!!

Acquired Objects said...

I’m laughing with you about your “freakishness”, it’s cute. Can you spray paint plastic? I would think it would flake off after being baked by the sun. Hey if Christian loves it then why mess with it? He’s a little boy with a great toy to race about on I don’t think he cares what it looks like. I’m with you on limiting the toys most kids have to much and they never get played with. Rotating them is a great idea, besides how many toys does one need? Not like they’re shoes…:)

a little luxe said...

You are not a freak! I"m the same way! I try to get them "retro" toys or classic wood ones.... they just look better. Plus they last longer! My boys seem to like the more simple toys anyway than the ones that blink and make noise. I think it makes them more creative.

As far as spray paint - I spray painted some plastic woven bins once.... the can said the paint was for plastic, but the boys are so hard on things it literally chipped and rubbed off within an hour. Didn't work for me.

Good luck!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Hilarious, I can just see the scene of you looking at the tricycle...I can relate. :) Janell

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

I totally understand. I don't even have kids, but my neighbors do, and they have toys all over their yard. If it were me, I just know I'd want to paint it to spruce it up. :) Bonus points for rescuing it from the trash!!

Now I do think that the metal red/white ones would be easier to refinish, so to speak, but your plastic one was free, so why not give it a try?

And speaking of trash picking, I do it too. With that in mind, I thought you might appreciate my boyfriend's humorous blog post on the topic. (I let him take over my blog once every two weeks.)
http://theborrowedabode.com/2010/09/what-the-hell-a-psa/

Annie said...

Haha, I get it girlfriend. The exersaucer my son loves right now is the WORST. So ugly, but whatever gives me 5 minutes of peace is fine with me :) Any suggestions on great places to buy wooden toys? Love the cute trucks!

life, in small chunks said...

I think you're preaching to the choir, here :)! I, too, did not like the plastic toys my children had, and tried to keep many of their toys "vintage", but definitely considered painting the plastic crap! They both loved their "flintstones" car (you know what I'm talking about, right?), but I hated that yellow roof. If I had had the chance, I would've painted it!

Leslie said...

Just an fyi but you can get those things to push the car that is missing from the maker. Usually they sell all kinds of extra parts and stickers. I know little tykes does and the stick push thing we needed for our hand me down car was $8 plus shipping. Cheap considering the car was free!!

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

So funny...I can relate! When I was pregnant I remember saying we wouldn't have any plastic toys... they found the way here. We got the cool vintage style tryke for our daughter and it was so heavy she really never used it. Good luck!
Londen

A House and Home said...

You are too funny! I say wait until he grows out of it and then get one you like. That's the great thing about kids' stuff...they grow out of it all eventually. I have a red plastic firetruck outside of our house that my son loves and it drives me crazy. But it makes him so happy, I can't bare to part with it. I don't think it would paint well.

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

This made me laugh. But I'm right there with you. Love wooden blocks and trucks for little boys.

And we'll be on the same page as you one day soon--- when something comes in... something needs to go out!

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

I am with you! I am over toys...especially plastic ones! I am struggling with how to contain them all now and what to pitch/ what not to pitch. I think every mom can relate ;)

Katie said...

Paint it! I've seen blog posts where plastic houses (you know, those huge ones that are actually kid-sized) were painted, so I feel like a tricycle is paintable too. Just find a spray paint that is intended for plastic and go to town!!

Shelly Van Rozeboom said...

Oh I am RIGHT there with you Lauren! The kids plastic stuff gets so icky and faded. We got the same metal tricycle but with a wagon attachment. My awesome father in law even repainted and repaired the old thing and it looks as good as new.

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

I felt this exact same way,, but one day, when they are stomping out the door without saying goodbye, you will wish for that little plastic trike - x

Liz Thompson said...

I know how you feel. When my kids were little I was always coming up with new ideas to disguise their uglier toys. Now they are 11 and 7 and don't have all of that plastic stuff. But I must say, every time I see a little plastic house or trike, my heart skips a beat. It truly is gone before you know it. Now I just have to tell them to pick up their ipods and phone;)

katiedid said...

Too funny! My husband would say "Let's go buy another hunk of plastic" whenever we were thinking of getting another kid toy...and we had lots: the Flintsone car like the other reader above, the green turtle sand box, the kitchen appliances and tea sets galore. If you can paint...go for it!

Red Door Home said...

I completely understand. I have been where you are but now my kids have out grown the "plasic."

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

You're soooo not a freak! It's actually refreshing, to see a mom who doesn't just presume their whole world must be consumed by their childrens' items.
My husband and I both detest all the new, plastic things, but unfortunately have had to give in on a few of them.
I go to playdates with my girls, and other kids have SO MANY toys - entire playrooms full, and I wonder if maybe we're the weird ones. In my heart, though, I know we're doing right by our children to NOT give them everything they see, and teach them to use their imaginations!

Oh...and I say try the Krylon spray that's made for plastic for his little trike!

Momma Rhyne said...

I'm soo with you. I am seriously considering painting the kids plastic play house to match our house, LOL.

Muffy said...

Oh the baby toys just drive me crazy. I actually considered recovering my daughters play gym & her bouncy seat. Ha! By the time I got that done, she would've outgrown them. But they are just so unattractive!

jeana said...

I'm with you on the toys. Last year I totally got rid of most of the "junk" plastic in our home and kept the good blocks, puzzles, games, cars, and trains. As far as bikes and such, we have the same faded problem and I've already been looking for replacements.

D.B. said...

I was just like you with my first two boys, now 20 and 18 (TODAY!). I love nostalgic toys but for some reason they favored battery operated things. I saved the good wooden blocks and wooden train set. I also saved a bin of assorted Play Mobile figures and Star Wars things (ugh)! Well, I suddenly found myself pregnant again at 42. My third baby boy is in Kindergarten this year and guess which of his inherited toys he prefers to play with. That's right, the plastic stuff. Do I care? Absolutely not. As an "elder mother" you realize their childhood doesn't need to be your idea of the perfect childhood. I know you've heard this but - it goes so fast. I also know from your blog that you celebrate and relish every day with your boys and husband. That is awesome. They will be 18 before you know it!

Amber B. said...

You are definitely not alone!! I say go for spray paint...they make a special one for plastic. Krylon, I think. Don't get the metal bike--it will rust sitting outside all the time!

I go through our toys pretty regularly (but while the 4 year old is at preschool b/c he freaks and won't let me organize/get rid of anything). Once it's been put away or donated, they don't even notice it's missing!

Morning T said...

Go for it Lauren, spray it with Krylon. I used it to paint my dark green plastic adirondack chairs white and the paint has lasted for quite some time now!

Kristi said...

Somewhere on blog land here I read about someone painting the plastic car black and making "headlights" etc. for the car. They even posted pictures and how to. You should totally do it.

Dharma said...

I so get this, as soon as my sons outgrew the playset, I had my husband haul into the yard behind us for our neighbours! LOL

I LOVE LOVE your blog, Lady. I even blogged about how much I dig your blog....over here

http://dharmainthefalls.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-favourite.html

Melissa said...

I have had really good luck spray painting plastic- just use the plastic spray paint but also they make plastic primer. I have used those together with really good results with outdoor stuff. Try it!

Robyn said...

Maybe he needs a little garage to park his tri-cycle in when not in use. We purged the playroom in our house a month or so ago. There were soooo many unnecessary toys. We donated a lot of them and sold some in a garage sale. It's like our house took a deep breath due to the extra room. If you don't keep on top of the toys, it can get out of hand. Um, no I don't speak from experience ;)

www.imperfectnest.com

A-M said...

2 boys, 8 and 12.... primary colours have always irked me.. you are not alone. I still rotate toys... as they get older, life becomes simpler wrt toys... my two?... soccer balls (mad keen soccer players, soccer is their life), lego, books, origami, a few board games, scooters, nerf dart guns, pet bearded dragon lizards... that's it... made moving from house to apartment easy. A-M xx

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

I think about repainting/redoing everything I see! I can hardly live with myself sometimes...I'm past the toys stage, but trust me, after that, there's the teenage things!

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

I think about repainting/redoing everything I see! I can hardly live with myself sometimes...I'm past the toys stage, but trust me, after that, there's the teenage things!

La Petite Gallery said...

Listen, I painted my Husbands 4 wheeler with that plastic paint and rolled it to the drive and sold it the first day. Go for it


yvonne

Pat said...

The old classic Fisher Price things I saved are the favorite of my visiting 4yr old grandson.

But just wait: one word for you... Legos.

And you can never have too many. Just cleared a path to the bed for the twins.

traci zeller designs said...

L - I so relate!! Are you coming to High Point Market? I will totally give you one of my twins' red Sky King tricycles. Crazy expensive, I insisted we have it so that I wouldn't have to look at something ugly ... and it just does not fit them for some reason!

Windlost said...

Lauren, I am right there with you. God, I hate ugly stuff. We have a bunch of mismatched garden pots left by the previous owner and they are useful and practical and this summer I meant to paint them all one colour but never did it. I just think I'm a little OCD. Our house needs painted now, so bigger things to worry about but I notice little stuff like this. I want to paint our garage and furnace room concrete floors, repaint our faded iron mailbox, make everything FIT again. Toys and kids junk would make me happy but crazy I'm afraid. I also hate red for some reason in my house and imagine all the little red things kids would like. Ugh. How do you welcome the red? Oh well, when it is a beautiful little person you love and they love the red plastic, you gotta embrace it. Before long they will be teenagers and you will miss the little plastic crap on the floor...

Love u! Terri old man xo

nkp said...

You're hilarious! I think the toy chaos in my house would make your head explode. With three young boys I have given up on fighting that battle. As for the trikes, I have to tell you that we had one of each pictured and while I loved the retro look of the little red number the boys ALWAYS preferred the plastic monster. :0)

Jennifer said...

When my youngest was a toddler he wanted a kitchen so bad. Only at the time all the plastic kitches were cute and pink. So I picked up one at a thrift shop and sprayed it black. It worked just find and lasted a long time. I say go for it!

Erin Lang Norris said...

Oh it felt nice to read this. One of my biggest fears about having kids is that their toys wont match the house, and when things don't match the house, I tend to dwell on them until they do. I think in your case I'd get a new one that you like (and that he likes, too, which i know is obvious) rather than spray paint.

diane@onlinefabricstore said...

Lauren, If you are going to spray paint the bike black why not recover the seat in a stylish houndstooth check and add some tassels to the handlebars? Just joking and I know how you feel about toys but very quickly those toys will not be around and they will be replaced with ear phones in a surly teenager's ears and you will long for that beat up bike. I say, relax and enjoy.

Leah Kennelly said...

Couldn't agree more! Lauren, where did you get yours son's trucks and cars? I have a feeling my little guy will love those when he is a bit older! Thank you!

Gretchen O. said...

I am a big fan of classic toys, unfortunately my children go crazy for the small plastic yucky ones...I have sometimes thought to myself "what if I painted all of my daugher's Petshops (be happy you only have cars and trucks) one color?? White maybe" they would look cohesive, maybe even nice. A girl can dream can't she??? --Gretchen O.

Karen said...

When my boys were little I thought exactly the same way! Now, as I'm about to become a first time grandma I realize how fleeting the time these tykes even ride/play with their toys really is. That said, I'd spray paint a tricycle in a heartbeat if you think it will stick to the plastic. :-)

Danielle Sigwalt said...

Hey Lauren...I TOTALLY understand and have the same problem. I really dislike anything plastic for that matter. Just the other day we got into a cab that was covered in plastic seating and my son turned to me with big eyes and said "you aren't going to like this mom" and I was a tad embarrassed that my son totally called me out. He'll always says stuff like you won't get me that toy b/c it's plastic right? And it's the truth...too much ugly stuff, stuff with batteries overwhelms me. But, I will give in for Lego's...

Kim said...

Can certainly relate to preferring the classic toys over the newer plastic ones. We also limited the toys coming into our house and almost always bought from cool educational toy catalogues (Timberdoodle was our favorite) or a local independent toy store that had an awesome assortment of educational toys. Forget the plastic junk that breaks in a day. We wanted toys that would (1) still be around in a few years, and (2) teach our kids something. For our son we loved Timberdoodle for their construction kits -- way beyond Legos -- as well as kits to make things like rockets and beyond cool puzzles. For our artistic daughter we loved their assortment of art supplies. Have to admit I look forward to one day having grandkids so I can shop their catalog again :)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Ok...I think Fisher Price just made it easier for you....they just recalled millions of those trikes! Now get a good ole fashioned one!

I can relate...being very visualy minded overlaps into EVERY category of life!Including kids toys! I also was of the less is more philosophy...and said I would die before I bought any of that plastic crap...like those big plastic houses and all...dramatic...perhaps. But consequentlly My kids played outside alot. Built their own forts inside and out. Made their own stuff. Usually as they were wearing capes and mudpuddle boots. We always had a big suitcase of dress-up clothes...that fueled their imagination. Wooden blocks were some that I have kept through the years...and playmobile people...and little britians.

But the all time fave was the HUGE dirt pile(thanks to our neighbors that brought it over with their tractor) and their John deer tractors and digger loaders...Man that lasted for YEARS!

happy memories!

Lori at EFlairHome.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori at EFlairHome.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori at EFlairHome.com said...

Hi Lauran,

I am an interior designer and mother of two boys. I took pictures of my playroom/classroom today for you because I am an OCD mother and designer!

http://gallery.me.com/lorigarrison#100008

I have the boys constantly go through their toys and then they pack them up and we venture to the Rescue Mission and they donate them to other children.

I paneled the walls and made the bi-fold doors to match the paneling. I put the display ledge around the room to handle the trophies and art that begin to accumulate. The boys love to decorate the ledges with their "stuff!" Also, I have the baskets tagged and when they learned to read, clean up became a snap! They keep their toys pretty well organized.

Also, leather ottomans are on casters and comfy for me, but extremely durable for them!

I put the boys in the same bedroom when my youngest was 2 and ready for a big bed. They are 19 months apart and I keep the sleeping bedroom clear of toys and everything else is in the classroom/playroom!

Best of luck and enjoy life and learning with your darling little ones!

pve design said...

Why has no one designed toys for a designer in mind?
I agree with you - Do you have a rope swing? Horse shoes, bean bag toss, tinker toys?
I too limited too many plastic toys....I love classic items - wooden and good quality over quantity.
pve

pamela said...

Lauren - My son is now 13 and I wish that all I had ever bought him was classic toys. They really only play with the classics - Legos, Playmobils, wooden castles, wooden blocks, cars and trucks, marble mazes, balls, bikes, scooters and the big outdoor stuff. I've had tons of kids in my house over the years and this is the stuff they always ended up playing with no matter how old. Stay strong, limit the stuff. Teach your son that life is about experiences and not stuff. He'll thank you someday.

Megan {Honey We're Home} said...

I can so relate to this and my son is only almost 7 months old. He doesn't have that many toys, but they are all bright primary colors. I can only imagine the scene as he grows and gets those outdoor toys.

Leigh said...

Thanks fo asking this question! I've been trying to figure out how to spruce up my little girl's trike.
Oh, and just wait till they're a little bigger - I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate the thousands of LEGOs in my living room - some sort of modern art installation?

Capital Spice said...

I totally have the same mindset. One of my worries when I was pregnant was how crappy our home was going to look with all the bright plastic kid stuff strewn about.

We don't have a big home so a room dedicated to just toys is not an option for us.

My daughter is still a baby (4 months tomorrow!) but I'm already drawn to the retro looking toys. I figure if I have to look at it too, it may as well be easy on the eye.

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

I have the "Flintstones" blue police car in front of my house. Puts a smile on my face. He's my third and only young once.

kayce hughes said...

Children have way too much stuff these days. I love to have a lot of a few things. We have a large antique box in the kitchen filled with classic wooden building blocks. I also love playmobile 123.