So, here's your first one.
Oh, toys. Toys have always been the death of my mood. Simply put - most children have TOO MANY TOYS. Period. And, as we all know - too many toys = lots of messes, a stressed out Momma and overstimulated, distracted children. And then there's a fight to clean up all of them! This is how we avoid the fight.
So, this Summer I've been on a mission to make most of them disappear. We have a "Garage Sale" closet. Most battery operated silly kind of toys, plastic, duplicate, doesn't have a theme type of toy goes in there. Or, if I'm picking up and everything is driving me crazy - it goes in there! :) It's a glorious feeling. If they don't ask about it for a few months, it's out of the house. The big, nice stuff, we'll sell. They rest of it will go to Goodwill.
The author of Simplicity Parenting suggested gathering ALL of the toys in the entire house and piling them all into 1 big pile in the center of a room. Can you imagine?! Start by taking out the broken stuff and trash it. Then allow each child to pull out a few favorite items. Then when they're not looking, bag up the rest of it. Hang onto it for a bit. If no one asks for it... :) Can you imagine how peaceful your home would feel!?
So, we've been doing that throughout the Summer - 1 room at a time - but not 1 big mountain. I don't think my personality could take that! :)
What do I keep? A variety of items that encourage thinking and creativity.
- dress up items
- electronics - laptop, Leapster, Tag reader
- building items - blocks, legos
- a variety of art items - crafting, coloring, drawing, painting, play doh
- hands on - stringing beads, sewing (I just got a sewing machine!), lacing cards
- games - board games, cards, puzzles
- play kitchen
- a barn and animals
- easy bake oven
- stuffed animals
- trucks, cars
- bikes, scooters, 4wheeler
- outdoor play - chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, playset, trampoline
- and more...
It feels good. The kids have not asked for 1 single thing in that closet and the house still has too many toys.
But, like I always say, "This life is a journey. One baby step at a time."
What are some of your toy tips?!