Are You a Toy Hoarder?
What to do With Too ManyToysCredit: flickr photo by AngryJulieMonday
One of the primary complaints common to parents is the frustration of toys taking over a household. Children have more toys today than ever before. Sure, when we all were growing up, we had our share of rag dolls, Barbies, G.I. Joe, and Matchboxes, cards, etc. But back then children didn't have so many toys that they couldn't keep track of them. A lot of factors contribute to the common trouble of traveling toys, but two grounds stick out the most: having an excess of toys and not restricting where kids play with and keep them.
Toy Hoarder Syndrome
If you're not convinced that your kids have too many toys, try going into their bedrooms and playroom when they're out. Start counting their stuffed animals and dolls. Next, count their arts and crafts supplies: crayons, paints, coloring books, project kits, construction paper, sewing kits, glues, and glitters. If you're still not convinced, count also their games, puzzles, and cards next. Add up their action figures, robots, plastic animals, and collectibles. Don't leave the freebie toys they have accumulated at birthday parties and in fast-food meals. Also keep in mind the structures: like carports, dollhouses, airports, and train stations. Outdoor toys can't be overlooked either, including plastic child-sized lawn chairs, swimming pools, wagons, buckets, bikes, rakes, trikes, shovels, Slip 'n Slides, and the like. You get the idea. Most of our accumulation on behalf of our children is slightly unconscious. Just being aware of the quantity you have can be a catalyst to cut back and avoid future surpluses.
We all want our kids to have the best in life. We wish them to have a memorable childhood, and we frequently think that has to do with the quantity of stuff we give them. The point is this: Yes, we all had some toys and electronics growing up, but not as much that we couldn't enjoy the outdoors and the simple pleasures of life. Which would you rather have for your children?
Children who have way too much stuff appear to get over-stimulated and don't value their belongings as much as kids who have fewer toys and are required to care for them. If you or your family members have been providing an overload of toys for your children, you can do numerous things to backtrack. Naturally, any approach you take should be suitable to your children's age and temperament.
First off, you could do a major pruning. You can cut back the superfluous games, toys, and whatnots that are overcrowding their playrooms and bedrooms. You might prefer to involve them; This could easily become a very positive activity, particularly when you get them excited about donating the overage to kids who don't have any toys. This approach raises your children's awareness of all their blessings and the fact that other kids have much less than they do.
You could also take up to half their toys and place them inside bins and store them away, rotating them seasonally. When you choose to reintroduce the toys, you may box up the current toys and store them away, preferably while your kids are out, and substitute them with the "forgotten" toys. This provides a new experience of "new" toys for them. (Naturally, you should leave their favorite stuffed animals or cherished treasures year-round to avoid causing trauma!)
Lastly, you may courteously ask family members for different types of gifts in the future, like adding to a special collection of books. As an alternative, Grandma and Grandpa can make a gift to their college savings. A great idea is to give experiences as gifts rather than stuff. Any loved one can give your child a "date day," like a special outing with them. Gift certificates for the movie store or ice cream are also more and more popular as your child ages.