Sometimes my husband and I wonder why our kids have so many toys. And the answer is simple: we either bought them or our children received them as gifts from family and friends. Our kids are lucky to be able to have so many toys, but as parents, we have to draw the line somewhere.
When I feel overwhelmed by the toys that we have, I reorganize them, throwing and donating some in the process. Now that my daughter is not a baby anymore I am trying to get rid of as many toys for younger children as possible.
Last year we made a rule that for each toy received as a present two old ones have to leave our house. And we remember this rule most of the time and act accordingly. Another rule that we made was to not buy too many toys for Christmas and birthdays.
For example, this past Christmas, the kids received presents from their Canadian and Romanian grand-parents and from their uncle, aunt, and their respective spouses. I also did a gift exchange for kids with three of my friends. In addition, Santa brought presents for their stockings and we gave one present to each of them. So they received two new toys each only from us. Plus the other toys… and you know what? They had PLENTY of toys.
I confess that I took away three of my daughter’s new presents (craft supplies) right after she received them and put them in the storage room. I will give them to her when she is a little bit older and will be able to play with and enjoy them properly. My daughter did not even notice that there were presents missing. She was 2 and a half years old at Christmas and she had plenty of toys (that day and the following days) that her and her brother played with.
On this note, I would like to share with you a site that I just discovered: Living Well Spending Less The site was founded by Ruth Soukup. She has two young girls and lives in Florida with her family. She blogs about organization, time management, cleaning, budgeting and money saving, DIY projects, and easy recipes.
Once I discovered Ruth’s site it was hard to stop reading her posts as I found many useful articles:
One of the articles that resonated the most with me (from the ones I read so far) is the one entitled “Why I took all my kids’ toys away and why they won’t get them back”. This article is complementary with my thoughts about my children having too many toys and I completely agree with Ruth’s approach.
Here is the article. After you read it, please make sure to read the comments as well.
My husband I talked about this and we decided that starting with the month of March (so in less than one month) we will do a similar experiment with our two children who will be 3 years old and 6 years old in June.
The kids and us will organize the toys together at the beginning of March. We will donate or throw the ones they outgrew. We will not buy any new toys until the end of the year, except one for each of them for each of the following: Easter, their birthday, start of school in September, and Christmas.
Also, all of us will organize the toys again in September and remove the ones the children outgrew. Hopefully we should be able to also continue in 2016 spending less money on toys and organize them twice a year. Together, as a family.
I think this experiment will do us good. The kids will learn to organize toys and to let some of them go to other homes that will enjoy them as much as we did.
And in the end will have less stuff. Which will make room for more love 🙂 .
What about you, do you think your kids have too many, enough, or too little toys? What did you think about this article? Would you try something similar with your kids?
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