When the children grow out of their toys there is always the dilema - pass the toys on to jumble sales/charity shops/friends/school bazaars etc, or store them away in the loft in case they are ever wanted again. In the 1980s we did a bit of all of these, but there were some things that I couldn't bear to part with.
Now the grandchildren have arrived and I keep saying 'why did I throw so much out?' My children say the things we kept are now 'retro' and it is true that some are collectable, if you believe ebay.
I mainly kept the classic Fisher Price toys, like the stacking rings, circus train, telephone (the grandchildren have no idea what this could be), and the Duplo train. They are being played with all over again.
So now my spare bedroom is stacked with boxes of toys again! Oh well, I suppose they will all go one day.
The latest thing to come out of the loft was the huge collection of Lego. Beepthree did a fantastic job of sorting it out - Lego train to Beepone, Technical Lego for himself, then a rough division into three for the rest. I found that as it was stored in open boxes (for 30 years!) it was fairly dusty and grubby so set too with nail brush and a sink full of soapy water to give it a clean. There must be an easier way I thought. BRAINWAVE. I have several of those mesh bags that you use for lingerie in the washing machine, and even a big version that came with a washable mans suit. So I filled them up with Lego and put them in the dishwasher. Perfect! All sparkly clean with the minimum of effort. At least that is three boxes now gone.
The next boxes to sort out will be the Playmobil. It has already had a rough sort into three (no-one will forget that the pirate ship belongs to Beepthree, his best toy ever, after the Duplo train). It will be time to do the dishwasher thing again soon.
I have this theory, that about one in three lofts out of every house, in every street in the UK contains the following:
A big box of Lego*
Box games of Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble
At least one of those blue boxes with orange handles that say Sainsbury's on the side.
*Approx 36,000 bricks are manufactured every minute, it must go somewhere!