Saturday, 9 July 2011

The big toy crackdown, part two

Two weeks ago I came down hard on my boys and the disaster that is also known as the playroom. I removed every box of toys except one (I gave them the choice of which one - they chose Lego) and put them in the garage. I told them that if they could keep one box of toys tidy, then they could earn back another box. If those two were kept tidy, they could have a third, and so on and so on until they got all their toys back.

Two weeks in. They have yet to keep that box of Lego clean. They have also yet to miss or ask for their other toys.

I have come to realize that perhaps I was the one holding onto many of those toys. A friend of mine brought up the point that 100 years ago kids might have had two or three toys, not the ocean of stuff we drown our kids in today. Somehow, children back then were able to amuse themselves with a handful of toys and a heapful of imagination. It has also been said that too many toys actually hinder children's play and creativity, as they are overwhelmed by the amount of choices around them.

And so, I am thinking of a serious toy purge. Serious. The toys are great, and many in good condition (so if you are thinking of wanting some gently used toys for birthdays or Christmas, let me know!) but we've just got too many. And with three birthdays plus Christmas happening every year, and plenty of friends and family to spoil the boys with gifts, there will be no shortage of new and fun things for the boys to play with.

I have a feeling this will be much harder on me than it ever will be for the boys!


heather80 said...

We are crawling with toys too. What I often do with toys I know he likes, but just don't have the room for (especially big ones, like play kitchens, or his old tricycle) is donate them to his class at the daycare. That way, he still gets to play with them, but they don't take up room in my house (and daycare ALWAYS need more toys!)

Mom said...

You can also ask at local schools in the kindergarten classes if they need any toys - I know that some were donated to us at R.J. for use inside and outside and they were really appreciated (if they were gently used). I know, from when you girls grew up, how a family can have too many toys. I am guessing that if you keep the space toys and the kitchen, that the rest could possibly be given to others who might be able to use and enjoy them.

Mom said...

Oh, and of course, keep the train set - that is one toy that I think will last over the ages even as the boys get older.