If you all have an only child who is spoiled like crazy by aunts, uncles, grandparents, (yourself), you may be faced with an over-abundance of toys. I’m not talking about the nice educational toys like puzzles, dress up, wooden trains or legos. I’m talking about those crazy foot-tall characters that talk or all of the small plastic toys from restaurants, the $1 store, and goodie bag treats. I went crazy trying to pick up these toys daily, or coach Little One into doing something she hated. So I did my research and decided to start a seasonal toy rotation. I must add that I am not a teacher. I am not a child psychologist. This was just a parenting experiment that ended up working for my family. I hope it can help yours too!
I started by sorting out all of the “misc” toys. The small toys that didn’t coordinate with any other system or theme. These went into a box to donate to a local children’s charity. Once they were out of Little One’s playroom she didn’t even ask about them.
I bought four of the large, 20 gallon plastic bins from Target and used my label maker to label one for each season. So I would have bins for March through May, June through August, September through November, and December through February.
Then I looked through her toys, books and puzzles to find themes. First I had seasonal themes like Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I had holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas. I had themes like colors, shapes, numbers, letters. Then I figured out themes like home and family, transportation, dinosaurs. I divided these themes out in each of the four bins, putting the least in the summer bin due to outside play and the most in the winter bin for those cold wintery months.
I chose what toys would be out all the time for creative play. I chose things like musical instruments and kid’s music CDs, wooden trains and tracks, Play-Doh and accessories, play kitchen food and dishes, dress up, legos and her coloring books and coloring utensils. I would have left out her dolls and accessories too but she’s not really into them yet.
So after the first day, she didn’t miss any of the toys that were put up. She didn’t ask for them or look for them. I anticipate that she will be very excited when we put away her Spring things and pull out the summer things. How do you deal with the toy craziness?