Too many toys? Here are some alternatives for this holiday
Today I want to share what to do when you already have too many toys and the holidays are coming. I will share some alternatives, and how you can talk to your family about what could be a sensitive conversation.
What conversations you are having with your family? Please let me know in the comments below what your suggestions are.
You probably think your kids already have too many toys. I want to give you some kind of strategies, and share some things we do to kind of help things from getting kind of crazy.
Have a place for everything
One thing we do is have a place for all toys. That can be a basket or a bin. We have those shelves from Ikea where you can slide bins into. And we put things like Legos and blocks in there. We also have containers for things like Play-Doh and cars.
One policy we try to keep in place is that when Erik, who's four, gets something out, he needs to pick up whatever he is playing with before getting something else out. We help him with that as well. And at the end of the day, we pick up anything that is left out.
Rotate toys out
Erik has a lot of stuff. So we only have a few things out at a time. Especially the big things. We only have one big thing out at a time, and we rotate other things. Other toys get packed up in big Rubbermaid containers, and then we put them out in the garage.
Every few weeks, we will pick out new thing to put out for him. There are things that we always leave out, like Legos and cars. But we rotate out puzzles, games, and other small toys.
Rotating toys out, helps keep toys fresh. And it helps kids not get bored with their toys. It also helps kids not get overstimulated by having fewer options to pick from. Kids also tend to engage more with the toys that are out.
You can also do the same thing with books. Rotate them out every couple of weeks.
Rotating out toys and books helps you decide what to get rid of
By rotating out toys and books, that will help you decide what to get rid of. If there is something you take out and your kid doesn't interact with it, you need to decide if the toy is still age appropriate.
To find out if it's something he/she is still interested in playing with, try rotating it out several times. And if at that point, he/she is not interested in it then you can decide to donate it to somebody else.
Too many toys? Might be time to donate some
Holidays are the perfect time to evaluate what toys to get rid of. Talk to you kids about blessing other children with their toys they no longer use. Show them that by blessing others, you are making room for new things.
In order to have those conversations, make sure to gauge you kid's maturity and empathy. Some kids aren't ready yet for discussing about giving things away. So make sure it's appropriate for your child.
If you do get too many toys in December, don't dump them all in their room or playroom in December. Now is the time to put some things away. That way there is some fresh, new things for them to play with later on in the year.
An alternative to toys for Christmas, is having experiences. So you can ask your family for season passes, or tickets to events.
If you already have season passes to things that interest you and your family, you can ask people to renew or extend your pass.
There are many different options to toys:
- Movie tickets
- Gift cards
- Magazine subscriptions
- Subscription boxes
- Art supplies
- Coloring books
- Board games
Take an inventory of what you already have
Now is a really good time to go through and take inventory of what you have. Maybe your paints or Play-Doh is dried out. This is the perfect time to ask for those types of things.
Gift giving can be expensive. So having these conversations with your family can be very beneficial. I found this website where everybody puts their name in and it matches people up randomly. That way, you are buying gifts for one person, instead of many. This website is called Elfster.
Don't be afraid to have those types of conversations. Many people don't like to have money conversations. You can say, "Hey, I understand that it's been a tough year. How can we make the holiday fun without putting everybody into debt." I think most families would appreciate having that conversation.
How are you looking for alternatives for the holidays? I would love to know what your family is doing. What has worked for your family? Do you have any type of gift giving techniques that have worked to help keep down the stuff and help everybody's budgets. Please leave a comment below.