Today we are going to tackle those toys. Have a look around your house and the places that your children play most; how do you feel? Do you feel inspired to play, to tinker, to explore, to linger a little longer? Or do you feel a little overwhelmed and would rather spend time elsewhere?
Typically our children have a lot of toys. And quite often a lot of tiny pieces to all those toys. Imagine your kitchen. If it is bursting at the seams with pots and pans and the benches are covered with old mail and assorted junk, then we don’t really feel inspired to cook and create in that space, do we?
Our children’s play areas are much the same. And it all starts with the toys and materials we choose to put into that space.
Today, and over the next few days, we are going to sort and cull those toys. Last week I asked you take note of all the toys your child chose to play with in their free time. Keep those. Put them to the side. Now let’s tackle the rest.
- sort through all your children’s toys
- decide which one’s you are going to keep, donate and trash
- be ruthless! The money has already been spent. You are not going to get any more value out of a toy if you keep it in the house and your children do not play with it. It is better to be moved on to a charity or local preschool
- put aside any toys with sentimental value. Put them into storage if your children have outgrown them.
- get some plastic containers (that way you can easily see the contents inside) and sort all the toys into sets or theme; superheroes, farm toys, train toys, math, language, science and so on
- if you have any of those cheap junky toys which sometimes find their way into our homes; trash them. Best not to clutter up other people’s homes (or charity stores) with them
Jack and Sarah’s toys are sorted into these identical clear 10L containers that I bought from Bunnings. We have a small house with very limited storage. These containers are stacked in our small laundry cupboard. Having the toys sorted this way means I know exactly what we have and where it is. I try to keep each theme to one container. Even if I see something on sale that I know Jack and Sarah would love, if that container is full then I don’t get it. Something would need to be donated first.
This is a big task. I know. And one that can and most probably will feel very overwhelming about half an hour into starting. But stick with it. Just think of it as making space for new kinds of play to flourish; new levels of creativity and deeper levels of concentration.
You are going to feel so much better after sorting through and culling your children’s toys. This one change will make a dramatic difference to how your children play. Just the new empty space you have created will have a very positive effect on your and your children’s psyche.