Among the most common complaints of parents is the frustration of toy invasion in the home.
flickr photo by AngryJulieMonday
Children nowadays have more toys than ever before. It is true that during our childhood years, we had our share of our own version of playthings. But back then, kids didn’t have too many toys that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them. Numerous factors contribute to the familiar hassle of tripping over toys, but two reasons stand out the most: 1) having excessive amount of toys and 2) not limiting the boundaries where children play with and keep them.
Are You Becoming a Toy Hoarder?
If you’re not sure if your kids have too much toys, try entering their bedrooms and den or playroom while they’re out. Begin by counting the stuffed animals and/or dolls. Next, count their crafts and art supplies: paints, crayons, project kits, coloring books, sewing kits, construction paper, glues, and glitters. Still not convinced? Count their board games, puzzles, and playing cards next. Add up the robots, action figures, plastic animals, plastic model kits, and other collectibles. Don’t forget to include the freebie toys they gathered from goodie bags at parties and in fast food meals. Look around, there might be structures: like carports, airports, train stations, or dollhouses. Outdoor toys musn’t be left out either, including plastic child-sized garden chairs, swimming pools, buckets, wagons, bikes, trikes, rakes, shovels, and similar items. You get the idea. Nearly all of our accumulation for the sake of our kids is somewhat unconscious. Just being cognizant of the amount you have gathered can be a catalyst to cut back and thus prevent future excesses.
We all wish our kids to have the best things life could offer. We want their childhood to be memorable, and we may often consider that it has something to do with the amount of materials we give them. The point is, yes, we all had some playthings and gadgets growing up, but not so much that we won’t go out and enjoy the outdoors and the simple joys of life. Which would we rather have for our kids?
Children with too much stuff tend to be over-stimulated and soon don’t value their possessions as much as those who have fewer toys and are expected to care for them. If you or your family members have been supplying a ton of toys for your children, you can do several things to address this. Naturally, any approach you take on should be suited to your children’s age and temperament.
First, you may do a major pruning. You could reduce the extra games, toys, and whatnots that are congesting their game rooms and bedrooms. It would best to involve them. This might be a very positive activity, especially when you get them excited towards donating the unwanted toys to kids who do not have any toys. This approach elevates your children’s awareness of all their blessings and the reality that there are kids who are materially less fortunate.
Second, you could also gather half the toys and place them inside bins to be stored away, rotating them seasonally. When the time comes that you have to reintroduce the toys, box up the current playthings and stack them away, preferably when your kids are out, and replace these with the “forgotten” toys. This allows for a refreshed experience with their “new” toys. (Of course, you should leave their favored stuffed toy or cherished treasures year-round to avoid inducing trauma!)
Lastly, you may politely ask family members for various types of presents in the future, like adding to a particular collection of books. Alternatively, Grandma and Grandpa can give a gift in the form of an addition to their college savings fund. An excellent idea is to give gifts of experiences rather than material items. Any loved one can give a child a “date day,” like a special field trip with them. Gift certificates or coupons for a favored store or theme park are becoming popular as your child matures.
Published in: Personal Organization