If your family is anything like ours, your home might be overflowing with more toys than you’d care to own. I suppose this is the effect of our daughter’s first Christmas quickly followed by her first birthday. She is the first grandchild on both sides of the family and everyone arrived at the party bearing gifts for our sweet girl. I don’t blame them! It is so fun to shop for little ones!
Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful. Quite the opposite – we love giving and receiving gifts! I’m thankful for our family and friends’ generosity and the love they show toward our girl. I would never forbid our family and friends from showing love to her! We are so appreciative of the gifts, support, and caring actions shown to us. We couldn’t survive parenthood without this village.
However, as parents, we still have the responsibility of managing the toys that are kindly gifted to our children. Otherwise, the toys will take over our home!
Let’s chat about some strategies to manage excessive amounts of toys. I’ve compiled a couple tips from this first-time mom’s perspective. (We’ll have to ask Moms with more than one child how they manage toys! Yikes. I get anxious just thinking about it…)
Toy Strategies for Survival
- Save some gifts for later. Stash a few gifts in the closet to pull out at a later date. This works especially if you have younger children who won’t remember every gift they open. I have a couple toys stored in the closet from my one-year-old’s birthday party because: (1) She received a lot of toys and (2) Some of the toys have tiny pieces that will be better suited for when she is older. She will be so excited when we pull out a new toy in a few months.
- Get a decorative toy box. If you don’t have a designated playroom (that would be us!), it is helpful to have a decorative box to serve as a toy box when you are having guests over or things just need cleaned up. I have a nice, wooden box that matches my living room décor but serves as a toy box.
- Store toys in different places. I enjoy spreading out the toys throughout my home. I know some might find this stressful, but I like having different rooms to play. This is a “divide and conquer” strategy so every toy is not in one big pile.
- Ask for practical items. Before a gift giving event takes place, ask for practical items for your child(ren) or ask for experiences. (Here are 20 non-toy gift ideas.) Also, I have found it very helpful when my daughter receives clothes as a gift. A tip to gift-givers: always ask what size of clothes to buy!
- Donate. When my daughter outgrows her childhood toys, we can teach her the lesson of giving to others by donating her old toys.
As our family grows, it will be even more important to implement toy management strategies. We’re bound to add new strategies too because I’m a first-time mom who is still learning. What toy management strategies do you use in your family?