In times past, children were lucky if they had one or two favorite toys. The only times they would ever get a new one would be on holidays or perhaps their birthday. Even then, the gifted toy would be relatively inexpensive. Today, most kids have crates full of pricey toys that that are rarely used and parents get frustrated with the clutter. According to child psychologist Oliver James when he was quoted on BBC.com, children do not need that many toys. What can be done with all those extra play things? Here are three creative ways of dealing with the toy tornado:
1. Neighborhood Swap:
No matter how much your children beg for the latest toy, they will soon be bored with it. Such boredom is probably a pattern in your community. Instead of letting that gotta-have-it game get buried in the closet, why not trade it for something else they will enjoy?
It is easy to organize a neighborhood toy swap. You can send invitations by mail or email to friends in your community. Explain that you are trying to sort through your kids’ toys and want to organize a toy swap. The event can take place in your home or another community place. The plan is simple. People bring in their gently-used toys and trade them in for different ones. You can make it a party with simple finger foods. As a group, you can decide on how often to meet and who will be hosting. Everyone leaves with some new toys and can look forward to happy kids…at least for a while.
2. GODO: Get One, Donate One
One of the most frustrating times of the year for clutter is around the holidays. With so many relatives buying for your children, you end up with a plethora of new toys to add to the mountain of older ones. To reduce the playroom clutter, agree with your children that when they get new toys, they can donate to charity ones that they do not play with as often. It is a wonderful chance to teach your kids the value of giving to others. Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army accept donations of gently-used toys and games to give to underprivileged children.
3. Toy Auction
Most areas have special Facebook pages for local auctions and give-aways. They allow you to post pictures of items you want to sell. According to what the rules are, other members of the group can either bid on the items or pay one price. When the time limit is expired, you meet your customers in a public place and make the exchange. You may get your kids motivated to weed through their toys if they can earn money for other things.