30 April 2010
Thanks to Suzette's post today (click here) to read about her tips on de-cluttering, I was given a great idea of a post. I wanted to share with you what I do to keep my kids "playing" with their toys and not "ignoring" their toys!
I don't know about you, but my house sometimes feels like Toys R Us. During playtime, toys can be found spread out in the basement, living room, or family room (thank goodness for that Clean-Up song!) Now that I have two beautiful children, our toy drama has doubled! And Marky is about to turn one, which means after inviting about 120 guests, we are in for a huge dilemma, where do you put all of the toys, and how do you get your kids to actually play with the toys?
Here's what we do, and what I've learned. By watching Julia, I notice that she does pretty much the same thing with her toys every day. She pushes her babies in their carriage, she has a tea party, we color, we do puzzles, we read, we play with Mr/Mrs Potato head (thank you again Suzette, for that great idea), we blow bubbles, she and Mark climb through the princess tent and chase eachother, etc. So, what do we do with all the other toys, that really get ignored throughout the day? And what do you do when you see that there are just some toys/books that your child/children are just not interested in?
This is what I do, every Friday evening (John doesn't get home til late because he does both jobs, nyc and the taekwondo school) After the kids are bathed and tucked in. I do a toy sweep! Now, the house is already clean, Julia is very good about helping me, but what I mean is, I grab a white kitchen bag or an empty large diaper box and I go throughout our three main toy rooms, the basement, the family room and the living room and I take out stuffed animals, books, puzzles, etc. that I didn't remember seeing them play with at all througout the week. Then, I put that bag or box in the garage off to the side (I had to explain this to John because he was wondering what this was, LOL).
Then I go throughout those three rooms and I now re-position the toys. I may move the doll carriages, the tea set, the tent. I spruce things up to look somehow different. Not only does this de-clutter, but it makes the room appear different and new, which to a toddler means, FUN! I add a few re-cycled items from a previous week here and there, and it is as if new toys were dropped off.
Saturday mornings are fun, because I get to see how the kids react, and if they even noticed. I had extra time during naptime yesterday, so I did it before my friend and her kids came over. Well, when Julia woke up she was so excited to see the rooms rearranged, and new things added, even our 3 year old friend Brenna noticed the change!
So I call it "recycle" and "reposition"! And if there are repeat items in your bag or box that the kids are just done with, DONATE! We did this before and after Christmas because we are just overwhelmed with gifts and there's only so much we can do with toys. We save super sentimental items, but toys we want to pass on we donate to Pepsi's closet at my friend's Bianca's church. Pepsi is a woman who takes your used items and finds a family that can use them. She's awesome! She just took a bunch of books I donated to a little 2 year old boy that has barely anything. What a blessing to be able to share!
Hope that helps!!!
Thanks Suzette for sparking my writing!!!