Monday, 17 November 2008

New toys!

Today I saw the fruits of a great mom trick I heard a while back. The growing trend of children's inability to focus and concentrate is sometimes linked to the toy overload in our houses. With hundreds of different options, kids bounce from one thing to the next, never stopping to really explore and enjoy one specific toy.

I like to cull our toy collection often. There are some that are favourites, some that hold a certain appeal, and some that just don't seem to attract my kids. I pass these neglected toys onto friends or Goodwill stores, hoping that some other child will find pleasure in them.

And yet, even after a good purge, I found the toy room still cluttered and bursting. So I bought four Rubbermaid bins, and started sorting. I set out the larger items against one wall of the room. I put all the cars into a bucket. I found all the pieces to toy sets and collected them in a pile. Then I started filing my bins, with a good variety of large toys, small toys, cars and toy sets. Once this was done, I lined up three bins in the play room, and put one bin into the basement.

That was six months ago. This morning, I did another clean of the playroom, tidied all the toys into the three bins, then swapped out one of the bins for the one downstairs. It was like Christmas morning for the boys! Toys that had gone unused in days gone by were suddenly being rediscovered. Fresh delight filled their faces as they dug through the new bin. You know what? They didn't ever realize some of their other toys had mysteriously disappeared!

This is a practice I will definitely keep up. My plan is to rotate every 2-3 months (it was only 6 months this time because the "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" bin in the basement went forgotten for that long!). Be sure when you choose toys to "disappear", they aren't the current favourites, or you might be found out. But this toy tip worked like a charm for us.

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