Does your playroom look like this? Are there heaps of unused, impartial, or broken toys? Is it too much to organize?
I grew up with the notion that every day was children’s day, at least that’s what my parents always told me. For many children, birthdays and holidays aren’t the only time to get presents. Truth be told, when I became a parent myself, I understood this to be embarrassingly true.
This is what I’ve discovered. Parents take great pleasure in spoiling their kids, and interesting to note, I’ve seen this tendency cross over every financial bracket. The levels may vary but the indulgence is the same. Here’s the way the cycle goes; Kids love toys…toys make kids happy…parents love kids, and so parents continue to buy their kids toys. Happy kids equals happy parents. But as parents, we must tread a fine line between appropriate rewards and over-acquiring. We could be doing our children a great injustice if we don’t set limits. Children grow older and will need parameters to guide them as they mature.
Long before our children have the opportunity to lose interest with a toy, there is a new incoming one, or even one on the way, after being lured into the latest and greater one as seen on TV. Some parents are better at self-control than others and can execute the power of a simple “No.” And for the others that struggle and succumb to consumerism and popular demand? Uh oh….the cycle just repeats itself. They keep asking and we keep on giving. So what does a parent to do?
If your playroom is beginning to look a lot more like Toys R Us than a home, then it’s time to talk about how much is too much. Here’s the thing, if it’s overwhelming to YOU, chances are it is more confusing for them. Having too many choices can be overkill. Sensory overload can block a child’s ability to focus on one task at a time. It always seems to come back to less is more. In fact, less stuff is less to clean up.
Let’s consider some solutions. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to remove some toys and re-introduce them at a later date. as ready. Or better yet, when the kids are of age to understand, teach them to donate to other less privileged. Recycle their toys. Imagine a poor child who cherishes a toy or book because it is indeed his or her only toy. Giving back is an invaluable and powerful lesson that will carry through into adulthood.
Holidays and birthdays are great opportunities to re-organize the inventory. Together with your kids, clean out the toys that rarely get played with, and donate to a charity. If they have outgrown them, pass them on to another child that will appreciate it. Teach them to honor, respect and care for their toys. Practice the “one in, one out” strategy before you purchase a new toy. No need to buy a new toy when they’re not even playing with the old ones they already have.
Playrooms piled high with toy clutter can’t be that fun. Clean out often and create more space so their creative minds can flourish. Toys are meant to play with, so let the children play.