You walk into your kid's room and toys are scattered over every single space – a play kitchen in one corner, a basketball hoop the other, dozens of LEGOs dumped out on the floor, piles of dolls on the bed, dress up clothes strewn about, and baskets and baskets of little treasures. Sound familiar? Toy overload is far too common – especially after the holidays, when kids tend to get more gifts than they know what to do with. Toy overload isn't just bad for clutter reasons; it can also negatively impact a kid's development. Here's how to deal with too many toys after the holidays (or birthdays, or any time of year)!
Photo source: Flickr
1. Purge Beforehand
The trick with this tip is to get it out of the way before the holidays start to take over your house. Ask your kids to go through their toys and set aside anything they don't play with anymore. You will need to help younger kids and those who aren't yet willing to part with their beloved possessions. Donate gently used toys to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or another charity. Then, you'll have more room to add new toys once the holidays come around. Plus, your kids will learn the lesson of giving to those less fortunate than them.
2. Ration Toys
Instead of giving your kids all of their new play things at once after the holidays are over, ask them to pick a few (think three or four) favorites and put away the other toys away in a closet, the attic, or the garage for another time. You might have to sneak this step in for younger kids who don't yet understand the concept of later. Some parents even choose to put away the presents before their little ones unwrap them. This approach limits tantrums and helps to completely re-create the feeling of the holidays at a later date. Wait until your kids grow tired of the limited number of new toys they have and then bring out the other gifts one-by-one.
3. Rotate Toys
Once all the new toys are out of your storage area, you can still use it as a "pool" where you temporarily store and rotate toys. Put a certain number of playthings away and rotate the toys every month or so. When your kids get bored with their current toys, bring the toys out of storage and put others away in their place. To kids, toys that they haven't played with in a few weeks are as good as new, giving the toys more meaning.
Photo source: Flickr
4. Send Toys to Grandma's
If you still have too many toys or your storage is overflowing, send some toys to grandparents or other frequently visited relatives, like aunts and uncles. This will make the toys seem special when your kids visit their loved ones. Plus, you won't need to pack any (or as many) toys when you go to visit.
You might think when it comes to toys, more is better. However, the opposite seems to be true. The fewer toys kids have, the more they care for and appreciate them.