I often talk about the concept of “functional decor.” With the planet suffering from the effects of our overconsumption and staggering waste, it’s more important than ever that we cut back in general. I aim to avoid purchasing new, mass produced, unsentimental, decorative tchotchkes for the sake of decor. Instead, I try to enrich our home with sustainable, ethically-produced, practical goods that can serve a function while delighting our senses.
When it comes to toys, I usually prefer hand-me-downs— particularly with items such as LEGOs, things-that-go, and magnetic tiles. They cost very little (if anything), and since they’ve already been produced, transported and purchased, there’s no point in dooming them to a landfill or storage after they’ve been used by a single household. We might as well pass these items down the line as long as possible, especially since most are made of plastic that won’t biodegrade.
West’s toy collection is also largely made up of handmade wooden designs that we enjoy using (and seeing… and stepping over) throughout our home and garden.
Thanks to library books and interactions with friends, there’s no lack of “new” games and activities for our son to experience. But some months have passed since we got him anything more permanent, so I decided to invest in a beautiful, playful, wooden perpetual calendar I found on Etsy.
A perpetual calendar is a handy, lower-waste item for spaces of any size, and I found this one to be the perfect tool-meets-toy for our tiny home/office.
At 2 ½ years old, West is creating his own daily rhythm, and understands that particular days of the week mean that set activities will be taking place. I figured that a functional, updatable, interactive calendar would be useful to him for years to come.
So far, he loves it, even though he doesn’t fully understand it... and even though he insists the weather tiles be stored in his wheelbarrow.