Friday, October 12, 2007

What to do when you have too many toys...

Let me start by explaining this is not a punishment to my children. This is to help us determine how many toys they can realistically play with and put away. I have worked very hard in the last year to whittle down the massive number of toys we own. It's a daunting task with young children. The youngers will eventually play with everything the olders have. What to do?
I have tried putting toys in bins in the garage, but the rotating becomes it's own chore. I have sorted and organized to make putting the toys away very very easy. Alas, my children just seem to have too many toys. So... I had an epiphany of sorts....

I took all their toys away. Not all, actually. All but one. Rhys chose to keep his Legos. Kjersten chose her baby doll with a few accessories. George kept his bin of Rescue Heroes. I took all the other toys and put them in Kjersten's unfinished (pink) bedroom downstairs. I kept all the books out and all of Cael's toys. Besides those, the family room is empty. Rhys' bedroom? Empty. Kjersten's room? Empty.

The deal is: When they can manage to keep their toy picked up, their clothes off the floor (down the laundry chute or in the dresser), and their beds made for the week, they can choose another toy from the pink room. When that toy is kept picked up along with the previous requirements, they can add another. And so on... until the toys aren't being kept picked up. Then we'll work backward. Eventually, we should hit on each child's personal quota of toy tolerance. I think this is a good thing to work out BEFORE the holidays. Don't you think?

Here's the "pink" room from the doorway and then from the corner by the wire shelving.

Doesn't look like many toys, does it? It is, I promise! It helps that, as the kiddos get older, the toys get smaller. Magnets, legos, puzzles, etc... don't take up as much space as baby dolls, Little People, and play kitchens!

3 comments:

Cynthia said...

I LOVE this idea, Karen! You were serious this morning when you said you were going to clean up! (LOL). Did you just do that today?
I think we need to whittle our toys down again!! Hmmm... I just might try this idea!

Colleen said...

It's so funny, I was just complaining to Rob that Linlee has too many toys and I can't keep them organized! Your idea is fabulous, but I'm going to have to wait until Linlee is a bit older to try it out. She wouldn't understand yet about keeping her toy(s) picked up. Ugh.

Kathy in WA said...

This is a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if it would work in our house. Please keep us updated as to hwo it turns out.