Tuesday, October 02, 2007

WFMW Backwards Day- TOY CHAOS!

Today Shannon, hostess of WFMW, has declared it Backwards Day. So, instead of sharing with y'all a tip that works for us, I'm asking for help. You get to give me a tip that works for you in this area that I need help.

How do you keep toys/books from getting out of control?

Do you tell grandparents to PLEASE stop sending them?

Do you not give your children presents on birthdays and Christmas?

Do you ask your children to donate toys/books before each big receiving occasion?

Do you donate their toys/books and hope they don't notice?

Would you like to join Works-For-Me-Wednesday? Read the guidelines by clicking here and then join everyone Wednesdays at Rocks In My Dryer.

1. I just write my post about what works for me and publish it here on my blog.

2. Copy the link to that direct post (not the front page of my blog).

3. Go to Rocks In My Dryer and enter my name and a three-word description in parenthesis on the first line of the Mr. Linky ie. Nikki (bread kits), and copy my link on the second line.

Then you can also read about a hundred other people's ideas. Well, you can read them anyway even if you don't contribute. But it's a fun carnival to belong to. Every week I come away with at least a handful of new ideas and new readers. ;)


At A Hen's Pace said...

We periodically comb through their toys and ask them to pick out things we can either throw away because it's broken or parts are missing, or donate because--they have too many toys!

We also say: Having too many toys makes it hard to clean up your room. What toys could we store up in the attic, "just for now"? If it's something they really, really like, they'll ask for it again soon. If not, they'll forget all about it and I'll have a box of stuff all ready to pull out and donate.

As for gifts, with little ones, if it's a toy I don't think we need or really want, I am not above just "not opening this right now" and later sneaking it away to re-gift.

Oh, I also use the attic for storing toys that I fully intend to keep. When I do bring them down later on, they enjoy them so much more because they haven't seen them in a while!

Heather said...

This year for Christmas we're (my husband and I) are not giving toys to our little girl. The grandparents have that covered (so fewer toys coming in) Also about 2 months ago I set aside some of her existing toys, and I'm going to wrap those for Christmas. She's only two so she's not going to catch on that these were her toys already. They will be "new" to her and she will get to unwrap them (which is the fun part anyway).

Hope this is helpful!

Amy said...

My friends used to do a "toy audit" every month or so with their girls (even when they were all under age 5). The dad would put a box in the middle of the living room and the girls would have to fill the box with toys of their choice. Those toys then went to charity. I like that kids had a choice on which toys. It teaches you to be objective about what you have and sets you up for being able to purge when you are older.

You could also do a "get a toy, give a toy" rule where everytime a new toy comes in the house a toy is given up in replacement.

Janelle said...

For us, any toys not picked up before they go to bed get taken away. I then use that opportunity to get rid of broken toys they think they can't part with. We put them in the attic and cycle the toys back in too. Before Christmas I determine a number of toys or stuffed animals to get rid of and let them pick. We also let them give some things away that they just don't play with anymore, either to Goodwill or to a friend that they know likes that kind of toy. It does help when they make the decision. Hope that helps!

Six in the Mix said...

I posted a solution to this problem for a WFMW a while back. Hope it helps.

Kara said...

At birthdays and Christmas when I get asked what to get the boys I tell people we DO NOT need more toys, and give them suggestions of non-toy things they could get like clothes or art stuff. Every few months I go through my boys toys and filter out the ones that are getting the least use and put them in the storage room in a box. I actually have on my to-do list to go through all the boxed toys and give some to the thrift store or freecycle. You can rotate out the boxed toys when they get tired of the ones they have been using. Most of my boys toys can fit on one small bookshelf, except for things like playtable, balls, dump trucks, etc that are bigger.

texastanya said...

You have already received some great ideas. I'll add another idea that might help. Try toy rotation.

Every couple of months, when I notice the boys getting tired of the toys they have, we pack up some toys and move them to the closet. Once they go in the closet I bring out the box that we put away several months ago, so it's like Christmas all over again. They seem to enjoy the toys more, and it helps to control the clutter.

And one more...a couple of weeks ago, I posted what "worked for me" in our effort to organize toys. You can check it out at:

Hope this helps!

Amy said...

Well, when the occassion arises amoungst "gift givers" I try and talk about the toys that we do like. Quality, non-plastic, etc... And refer to toys that I've sold or donated (obviously not if it was their toy). Then we get less, or at least less toys that will be on their way out the next day.

We either freecycle or sell off toys. I don't like to keep too many, especially ones that do all the thinking for them, so off they go. My oldest is the only one who would notice or care, but she is so into preten play that she mainly likes to play with things like dolls, puppets, etc, that she can make talk.

Birthdays we usually give one big nice gift or just a few small gifts. Christmas, well, we aren't big on Christmas so we usually don't do gifts then, or let family know they don't "have" to get us or hte kids anything. But you know they can't pass up the kids so they get toys then. :)

And now that my oldest is old enough, we talked last year about choosing toys they'd like to give to less fortunate children, and then we'd go take them down. She was very into this. We didn't do it last year, but intend on doing so this year and forward.

The chaos in general? Considering I'm a neat freak, our play area has cupboards all along one wall that we use only for toys. They are in bins or drawers and the girls have sort of caught on to put them back there. or I just go around picking them up as I step on them. :P But books and board games are the main things out in sight, so the toys don't get pulled out as often.

HotMama said...

The top pick on 3 of my kids Christmas lists last year: socks. seriously.

I try to give 1 toy (usually something basic or creative: doll, loom, knitting machine, rc car).

We keep things pretty simple - no video games, a crappy 20" t.v. to make viewing as unappealing as possible, and lots and lots of books!!!

My favorite gifts to give kids: a new beach towel, a ball, a shovel, - one item, no parts!!! (and yet, we still have too much stuff).

Leslie said...

I frequently purge stuff and only ask Christian his opinion if it's specifically his. For the girls, it's gone if I get tired of it, if it breaks or loses pieces, isn't played with for a while, etc. Besides board games, the toys we own fit in 12 medium size rubbermaid bins. (4 of those are legos, 2 are stuffed animals, and the other 6 are mixed bins of toys. If we get more than that when birthdays and holidays come around, we usually purge enough to stay in those 12 bins.

Jo said...

When you guys were little the only toys you had were what I bought, so I didn't have as big a problem, and I still purged periodically. I would say to people, don't buy, and be specific as to what NOT to buy if you chooose--you have that right! As for me, I'd rather NOT buy, and then have it purged a short time afterwards, when I could have sent a book, or something you could use. Let people know! Me included in there. Mom

Mrs. Morty said...

We do the bin system, and they are small. One for transformers (which I can't stand since the pieces come off so much) one for trains, one for baby doll items...etc. We have 8 total plus a stuffed animal laundry basket. They all fit in the closet and they have to clean up every night (most nights). The bins are on the shelf at the top of the closet and each child gets to choose one to play with. If they want another they have to clean up the one they are playing with.
If its broken or from a fast food restaurant it goes and we buy one small toy for Chirstmas and Birthdays because Grandparents go crazy sometimes and what they give is plenty. If they don't fit in the bins we have to get rid of some.


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