Spare the tears with these tips to help you re-organize the playroom drama-free!
Does your home look like a toy store? With three small children, our home often looked like a Target toy aisle after Christmas. Sometimes it was a challenge to talk our children into letting go of the older toys they loved, but what helped was knowing where their toys were going. It seems they just wanted to know that someone would enjoy the toys as much as they did. Here are some great tips for parents who want to purge the old to make room for the new in your child’s bedroom:
Use the three-box method to help your child make decisions. One box for keeping, one for donating, and one to throw away. Help your child understand that there needs to be space and storage for the toys they want to keep.
Ask your child intentional questions. “What toy do you think another little girl or boy would like?” is a better question than, “What toys do you want to get rid of?” Questions like this can create an “others-oriented“ focus in your child.
Find someone your child knows to donate the toys to. Or donate them to your church or a thrift store! That brings the idea of generosity closer to home for children. Many of our CCA families bring in toys or equipment their child has outgrown. Their children love seeing other children play with the toys they used have.
Hold a toy swap in your neighborhood. My Administrative Assistant, Cheryl Bramos, has a “Swap ‘till you Drop” event at her church each year. The ladies bring in their slightly used clothing, shoes, purses, and jewelry, and they exchange for “new” things. It’s a lot of fun, and everyone wins. Consider doing that with the neighborhood families and your excess toys one year!
Although we’re out of that season now, I always loved going through our children’s toy boxes with them after Christmas each year, determining what we could give to a child who might not have many toys. It really is more joyful to give, rather than receive!
Jan Lashbrook is the Early Childhood Program Director at Calvary Christian Academy. She and her husband are “empty-nesters,” having raised three children who are all grown and married. Their youngest attended CCA for 12 years, graduating in 2016.