It’s post-Christmas. The kids have tummy aches from eating way too many sweets and you can’t see the floor in your house… there are toys EVERYWHERE. Now what? Do you just keep everything and live in total chaos until Christmas next year rolls around and add more to it? Personally, I’m going to challenge you to do the exercise I’m currently working on and I hope it gives you the sense of organization ( AKA joy!) that it gives me. Read on to learn what my strategy was for getting the toy situation under control.
Is it just me or does it seem like my child would much rather play with a wooden spoon and pot rather than his toys? Generally, his attention span with a toy is about five minutes which is why we don’t buy him toys. We figure the toys that he gets for his birthday and Christmas from our awesome friends and family will be enough to cover the year. In my mind, there is such a thing as too many toys. Here’s what I’ve read about and learned from other moms.
When kids have too many toys, they don’t play as well. It’s almost over stimulating and distracting to them. I tested this theory and found it to absolutely be true. We have an empty room in our house so one day I took a book, a puzzle, and a shape sorter into the room with my son Jonas and closed the door. The result? He actually played with them for twenty minutes. It was amazing! So here’s what I’m doing post-Christmas to get the toy situation under control and keep Jonas entertained!
- Be strategic about which toys you keep and which you return. If you have a toy that’s similar to a new one, don’t keep the new one. If you want to focus on toys that are not electronic, return the new toys that are. The main goal with this is to not just keep a toy to keep it. Make sure it’s something you think your child will actually play with and that it holds value of some sort (educational, creative, etc.). Focus on having a variety of different options within your toy collection.
- Create multiple play spaces in your home. They don’t need to be big and elaborate. This has been something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now. Our kitchen, dining area, and living room all flow together (open concept) so we’ve just always had all of the toys in this one big area. The problem with this is that when we’re home playing, we stay in the same spot. I think a change of scenery within the house is important for both Jonas and I. It also allows for less toys in each space which will allow him to be more interactive with the toys he has access to. So even though the basement creeps me out, I’m creating a play area down there and will create another play space in the empty bedroom.
- Get excited about toy storage and organization! I know, this one seems a bit silly, but if you love the things you are storing the toys in and try to view it as home decor, keeping things organized will be more fun! I want to show you the little play space I created in our living room that I absolutely love:
As you can see, I matched the components to the colors and theme of our house. I also focused on giving it a more sophisticated rather than childish look so it was a space I was excited about too.
- Create a toy rotation: My new toy strategy is that every few months, I’ll switch out the toys in each play space to introduce ones Jonas hasn’t seen in awhile. The reasoning behind this is that these toys will seem new and exciting to him upon rotation! Rotating toys can be really helpful to keep your child’s play experience engaging.
Do you feel like your house is constantly a toy war zone? What are your strategies for keeping it under control?