I don’t know what it is about babies & toys. They don’t ask for them, they certainly don’t need them, they rarely play with them, and yet they are forever receiving them. Older kids go through toys as quickly as they do clean underwear. Something is forever breaking or no longer trendy, causing a constant desire to acquire more.
In our house, each child is expected to keep their toys in their own rooms. This helps the older ones establish what they really want to keep versus what simply takes up space. They didn’t mind holding onto every single fast food toy & NERF dart when they had a separate playroom. But now, space is precious. We have five kids in the house. The big boys have eliminated toys they no longer play with, and they proudly trade in their toys for ice cream at ChickFilA.
As for the younger ones, I’ve stumbled upon a miracle toy solution. I keep most of my toddler’s toys in his closet, rotating out a few each week. The kid never grows bored. Having only one or two to choose from keeps him from being over-stimulated, and he’s able to actually concentrate on one activity for an extended period of time.
Sometimes, he catches a glimpse of his secret stash while I’m dressing him. He squeals with delight and makes a beeline for the closet, pulling out one or two. I let him play for a few minutes, and then I say “all done” and clean up. He’s perfectly happy to leave that collection in exchange for the one or two items that await him downstairs.
Running a tight toy ship has saved us lots of money while teaching the kids responsibility and prudence. They have learned to appreciate and take better care of what they have. And in the meantime, we’re not tripping over toys with each step. Our house still allows for peace & order for everyone. Hallelujah!