by Danielle Hines
How much is too much stuff? As we enter the holiday season (yes, it’s coming!), it is a wonderful time to reevaluate our homes and all the collections of legos, board games, TV character figurines, and tablet apps. We know it is extremely hard to limit the things in our household in regards to things your children love or gifts from family and friends–but there is a very simple solution to keeping both your child happy and your home happy. For those children ranging in age from one to six, rotating toys and books is a wonderful solution. But before doing that, let’s reevaluate what you already own.
- Revaluate current toys and books and donate what is no longer being used. This is also a good time to reevaluate apps on the tablet.
- Create a closet space for storage of toys, books, and activities. Labeling or organizing by activity tremendously helps with rotations.
- Ask your child to pick their five favorite toys and five favorite books that they would like to live outside of the closet (or for Toddlers, parents can pick five toys–try to pick those that are different and your child enjoys daily). For tablets, let your child choose one educational app and one “fun” app. Delete the others or store them in a folder (don’t worry, if you paid for them, they stay in your iCloud!).
- Pack the other toys away in the storage closet. Place the wanted toys on a shelf in the playroom/living room/child’s bedroom (whenever your child enjoys playtime). Make sure your child knows, “everything has a place.”
- Rotate the toys every week/two weeks. Involve your child–you will be surprised at how excited they will be to see their own stored toys and the opportunity to use them again!
Rotating toys help with so many things—growth in focus and concentration, growth in responsibility (easiness to clean up after playing), and sanity for the entire family! Continue to go through the motions of reevaluating toys and donating every season and involve your child in this process.