Presents from parents, grandparents, birthdays, holidays.....sometimes the number of toys can overwhelm the most organized of homes. What to do?
I'll share with you an idea from my daughter that not only worked, but was fun, taught some excellent lessons and was done without too much time, work and money.
Step 1. In a kind and gentle way talk with your family. Point out that we have many things we have outgrown, no longer use or just don't like. Suggest that everyone go through their belongings (including toys) and choose anything that is no longer wanted or needed. Have everyone bring the items together in one place. This is a great time for parents to choose some of their own belongings they no longer need or want.
Step 2. Choose a charity to donate the items, explaining that another family will be able to use these, then pack them up and take to the donation site. Make it a fun trip and talk about how happy this will make someone. Make sure your child goes along and helps carry the items. This will make them feel a part of the gift to others.
Step 3. Purchase a large cabinet to be kept in an out of the way place. The garage is great, or an unused closet will work.
Step 4. Tell the child "This going to be your toy store." Then let the child choose from their toys (with your help) to go into the cabinet. Make sure the remaining toys are neatly arranged on shelves or in boxes in their room or where ever they keep their toys. A sign on the cabinet door "Tom's Toy Store", using your child's name of course, is a great touch.
Step 5. Arrange the chosen toys in the cabinet by category (puzzles, games, dolls, trucks, etc.)
Step 6. Tell the child that the store is open once a week (or two weeks) and they can visit then and purchase a toy by returning one of the toys they have kept out.
This is fun, keeps the number of toys manageable, and teaches the child to make good choices. Another benefit is that the toys are used more and are cared for more carefully.
A little planning and effort can make a big difference! Enjoy!