What Does Personal Property Rights And Organizing Family Life Have In Common?
Help for the other 90%
Incentives Matter...Especially With Kids
Three Simple Ways To Purge Toys After Christmas
January 7, 2016
This will be a timely post since we have just wrapped up Christmas (or rather unwrapped Christmas) and are entering a new year. The ‘Out with the Old and In with the New’ feeling always puts people in the mood to make changes….usually drastic changes. Today we are going to talk about all the toys that your children have and find a few creative ways to reclaim your space.
It is very likely that your children had way too many toys before Christmas and so now that they have been given many more toys for Christmas, there is a small chance that the toys will come to life and take over the house. Seriously, your kids have so many toys that it really could be a little midget army invading your space just waiting for the right time to attack. Oh wait, they already did attack. That mess in the toy room is the remains of the first all-out assault on their owners. The time has come for you to reclaim your space and conquer the invading masses.
One of the best ideas I know came from years ago when my kids were younger. I have no idea where I heard or read this. The plan was simple. After Christmas give your children one full month to play with all of their toys. At the end of the month, allow them to choose the top ten they want to keep. This allows them plenty of time to check out the new toys and decide if they really are as much fun as the advertisement indicated. This gives you only one month of avoiding the play room altogether, followed by 11 months of a reasonable number of toys to trip over. You can do anything for 30 days! I can see the wheels turning already in those little minds…what exactly do you mean by one? What counts as ‘one toy’? Of course ‘Legos’ counts as one toy. Perhaps ‘dolls’ counts as one toy, too. Part of the beauty of this plan is that you get to decide the parameters. Maybe you want them to have the opportunity to keep 15 or 20 toys or maybe only 8 will really work in your space. You choose.
Another way to do an faux purging of toys after Christmas is to allow them to keep all of their toys, however they may only keep out 10 toys out at any given time. This means every month they get to choose a new set of 10 toys, and the rest go into the attic or basement for safe storage. This still keeps chaos to a minimum and it really makes the toys that are accessible seem more fresh and fun to the children. since perhaps they haven’t seen them in a few months. In addition, this solution might be preferable to the parents over the first one suggested. It may make you less anxious thinking about all of the money you spent on toys only to be given away. Chances are likely that over time you will find that your kids are less interested in some of the toys and are ready to release them to a new home. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder and sometimes it makes the heart realize it doesn’t really need it after all.
Another perhaps less traumatic way to purge some toys is to schedule your child’s toy usage. This might seem rather intense, like an extreme micro manager mom, but hear me out. As your child has free time, require them to play with a certain toy for 15-30 minutes. At the end of that segment of time with that toy they are free to move to the next toy on your schedule or they may continue playing with that toy for another 15-30 minutes. Their response after the first 30 minutes will tell you a lot about if they have outgrown that toy (ready to donate) or if they just haven’t played with it in awhile so they lack creativity and imagination. So often the fast-paced excitement of TV and video games win out over some of the best imagination producing, mental stimulating, and classically wonderful toys. Turn off the TV and make use of those toys they begged for. Oh, and also, turn off that TV so you don’t let them miss out on the opportunity to use their brains!