If you are like my wife and me, you had or currently have a lot of toys for your children, and if you are anything like us you have felt overwhelmed at times from the sheer amount of items the little ones have to play with or the number of toys you have to clean up.
We all have a reason as to why we have accumulated so many toys; some of our children may have been the first grandchild, and maybe they were just showered with surplus amounts of gifts. Perhaps you were like me, and didn’t have the greatest childhood and wanted to ensure your child had everything he or she could ever want.
If and when you get to this point its, what do I do with all these toys, how many are too many, when should I get rid of them, or should I only get rid of some, and many other questions. Whatever the reason is, you are here now, but if you aren’t yet, and are trying to prevent it, I have few tips on that as well.
DAD TIP: I can tell you it’s not easy to get rid of toys, but I have done it, and once you have it is a great feeling. In the photo below the kids just dumped all the bins out, and yes I realized we had to do something (Side note the room is much better looking now, I don’t know what we were thinking with that color).
Is It Bad To Have Too Many
Well, it has been proven, or at least several studies have been compiled that show having excess toys can be bad for your children’s overall mental development. In short, the fewer number of toys the longer your child’s attention span will be, and the better he or she will focus, and be more creative, to read more about that check out a study completed by the University of Toledo, here at Science Direct.
How Do I Prevent Acquiring So Many
Don’t Make Impulse Purchases:
We all do this too often, we are out at the store with our child, and they see something like, and if it’s not too over the top (in price) we toss it in the cart and add it to the collection. I have learned that it is much better to leave it at the store and head home. Almost all of the time I have done that, my child has forgotten about the toy.
Talk to Family Members and Friends:
I am going, to be honest here, this doesn’t always work with the grandparents, especially if its the only grandchild, but you should talk to family and let them know you are trying to reduce the number of toys your child is receiving, may it be for space, or if you agree with the study above. Getting your family and friends to understand can help. Instead of toys for parties, and holidays, ask for stocks, bonds, or other items that your child may need in this stage of his or her life.
DAD TIP: Ask your family to pay for dance lessons; for us, it was a month of private wrestling classes. If you know you have enough toys already ask for something outside of toys, like books. If we do get toys, I prefer legos, erector s
Listen To Your Child:
I mean you did right? That’s why you have 6000 toys you don’t need. That’s not what I’m telling you to do; what I am saying is listen. Remember that toy they asked for in the store; I am sure they probably already forgot about it. However, something that they want, you will hear it over and over again, that is how you know its something they want vs. something that is in front of them right now.
Don’t Do Get Things Because It’s A Fad:
Anyone remember Razor Scooters. I do, and I bought two of them because my older two boys needed them. Why? Only because the kids down the street had them. So, I kept hearing dad please we want one all of our friends have it, and everything else that makes you feel like your children are left out. Fast forward about 2-3 months after we purchased the scooters, and they were in the garage next to the bikes that never get used. I wish I would have read my blog post on this topic.
DAD TIP: If your child wants something like the scooter above, but doesn’t ride his or her bike, they probably aren’t going to use the scooter for long either.
What To Do If I Have too Many
I believe this is the first step of sorting out what you need and what you don’t. It will also help you to understand you have way too many toys. As you can see from the photo below, we went with a stackable cube storage system, with cloth bins. Once we started to organize, we began to realize and were overwhelmed with all of the toys we had. We also noticed that all of the toys which were placed in the toy box were rarely played with. Which leads me to the next tip. (We used ClosetMaid Shelves, but we didn’t put the backings on).
Pack Them Away:
If you plan to have other little ones, or you want to keep some toys, purchase some storage bins, and start putting the extra toys in those bins. We stored our extra toys in the attic.
DAD TIP: We didn’t do it often but once or twice through the year we would bring a bin down and swap toys. I also recommend Clear Storage Bins. We started with gray and eventually switched to clear as its easier to see what toys are inside.
Have A Yard Sale:
This is something we did with our older boys. We had them pick some toys they didn’t care for any longer, and we put them up for sale. Any toy that sold they split the profit. The first time we did it, they were a little apprehensive about it, but after they made a few bucks (the first time it was about $28.00), they couldn’t wait to sell more toys.
A lot of people forget about this and tend to throw toys away first. There are kids all over that are not fortunate enough to have toys. We take many of our toys, some even brand new and donate them to places all over, you can donate to places like your local church, school, goodwill. Its also a tax write off, so not only are you doing good, but you are also getting money back for it as well.
Throw Them Away:
Last but not least, throw them out. Especially the ones that are broken, my wife and I spent several hours going through the toys we had and tossed out the badly broken that we had found.
Thanks, I hope it helps. Feel free to share and help your friends.