When speaking to Moms, I typically hear the same complaint over and over again. They complain that they don’t know how to declutter their kids’ toys. I mean, I get it. We allow them to accumulate an insane amount of toys, then they struggle with how to play with their toys and we struggle with how to trim them back successfully. It’s a vicious cycle.
Before you start going through your child’s toys, I want you to first observe what your child actually plays with. Observation is crucial before you ever cull through your child’s toys because watching what your child chooses to play with is key to ensuring that you aren’t getting rid of items that they actually use.
I find this to be most enlightening as you will probably discover that your children only play with a small fraction of the items they own.
Questions to Ask:
Does the item have a large monetary value?
This is a question I often ask as I attempt to go through my children’s items. Toys that have a larger monetary value typically get held on to longer than something like a trinket from The Dollar Store, even if my children don’t actively play with it.
Who plays with the toy?
Obviously, when you have a favorite kid you allow them to keep anything and everything they touch.
I’m just kidding. There shall be no favorite children.
It is important to see who plays with a toy that other children may like as they get older. For example, my oldest use to love Magnetic Blocks. She played with them all the time. In turn, we kept them around for the other two children to enjoy as time went on as well.
If the youngest child is done playing with something it is a sure sign that it is time for it to go. Now, this doesn’t go with all the items. It only pertains to the ones that I’m going to discuss in the next section.
Does it support open-ended play?
When looking at toys that offer open-ended play, you are looking for a plaything that presents a child with limitless possibilities. Examples of open-ended playthings are:
- Stuffed Animals
- Playsets (such as kitchens, storefronts)
- Cardboard Boxes
- Colors and Paper
Is this a prized position?
Often times our children have a prized object. Rather it’s a stuffed animal, game or trinket, there is probably something that your child holds near and dear to their heart. Please take into consideration your child’s’ love for the item before donating or tossing it out.
What to do you with the old toys?
There are a lot of good possibilities for old toys, all depending on the quality of the item. When we started our journey we held a massive garage sale and sold toys there. Now, I find places to donate them. Places to call to donate toys:
- Ronald McDonald Houses
- Safe Houses
- Your local donation store
- Day Cares