I believe that as a parent, I probably have as many downfalls as I do good pointers. I think one of my major downfall areas is toys. My boys have heaps. It is ridiculous. They certainly don't need that amount. I like to call it variety, but it is also basically clutter and mess. So when my guest blogger for this article, Nicole contacted me and wanted me to feature this article, I was definitely intrigued by it. Perhaps, we could go on this toy de-clutter together? As part of our parenting journey in life. Let me know what you think and how you get on! So without further a do, I will hand over to Nicole below.
The sooner you realise that your child does not need many toys to be entertained the sooner you will find an easy way to limit the toy clutter and spend less time cleaning. Little kids have a really short attention span, like a gnat. Not only too much toys can be bad for you, because of the clutter they cause, but they can also be bad for your child. The huge varieties of toys can confuse your child, cause over-excitement and even provoke tantrums. There isn’t a right number for how many toys your child should have. Every family decides for themselves, but just keep in mind that “the less, the better” is surprisingly helpful here.
Keep giving your child new toys and they will enjoy them, but that does not mean it is good for them. You, as a grownup, should know that very often good things are bad. Of course, toys can also be educational and play more than a role in the development of the child, but there should always be a limit- to toys, to fun, to everything.
1. Do not buy so much toys.
Most kids do not buy toys themselves- the parents or other people do. One of the best ways to limit the toy clutter is to buy fewer toys. Small children have no clue about how many toys they should have- they will play and enjoy anything you give them. It is very important that you do not introduce them to a world of endless toys, they can make do with the little they have and spoiling them by offering them more toys results in toy clutter and possible tantrums from over-caring. You should also think about the kind of toys you are buying. Avoid the low-quality toys that brake fast and only serve as clutter later. Buy your child toys with better quality and purpose- having too much unpurposeful toys will only distract them from the real good toys in their collection and you would have to spend more time cleaning and collecting them from the floor.
2. Teach your child to re-purpose used, broken and old toys.
Every month or so you should have your child pick out the toys they no longer need and put them in designated basket. There are plenty of good, helpful ways to get rid of toys and give them to somebody who needs them even more- you can always donate them, give to a kid a few blocks away or take them straight to the trash. If your child cannot make the decision of what to keep and let go- you should be the one to do it. Pick out the broken toys, or the ones your child has already outgrown, take note of the toys they prefer and get rid of the rest.
3. Design a special place for toys. Let your child know that this is the only space available for toys and it should never exceed its limit.
A container thoughtfully located in their room, a shelf or a closet will do the trick. Have your child know that this is the place for toys and once he is done playing with them, they should go right back in. Including your child in the cleaning/decluttering process will be of great help later in life, as it teaches them compassion, empathy and to care about others. Set clear boundaries on the container and let your child know that if it wants to add more toys to the pile, then it should get rid of some old ones and replace them.
Teaching your children simple cleaning, organizing and life principles from an early age can only be good for you and them. By setting up limitations and denying them things you are making more good than bad, even if it doesn’t seem so at that time, it will certainly have a beneficial side later on.