Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

I really want to teach my children to be good stewards of their things and that we don't need six of everything to function. :) This has been much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. I believe that play is how kids learn and I want my kids to have toys that teach...not just entertain.

I spent a few days playing with the boys trying to evaluate what needed to happen. I realized that we had so much stuff they couldn't maintain the room themselves. We were missing pieces to at least half of our favorite toys.....which I did end up finding. The boys were not all that innovative with their play...i.e. The Little One just liked dumping out all of the toys looking for missing pieces. He was doing this last week and I ran over to him after he dumped over six baskets and pushed every toy off the window ledge.....I said, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

His response, "looking for my friend Nemo!" and he held up a little orange fish.

So, I sat some parameters for the BIG CLEAN.

1. Does the toy have all the parts?
2. Is it something that develops an age appropriate skill?
3. Is it something they love or the giver had special meaning?

Give Away
1. Are most of the parts there?
2. Is it something others would enjoy?
3. Is it a toy that I would approve of in a childcare area my children attend?

If the answer was yes we kept it or gave it away accordingly.

Before I do not buy the boys toys for anything other than birthday and Christmas, but this is where our playroom was last week. Note: I pick it up everyday and this is really not even "that bad". I have seen worse, much worse.

During (I filled six tubs of give away toys).

What I learned:
1. We have done a pretty good job keeping pieces together. I only had to throw away a small bag of toys that were too broken or too few pieces.
2. The boys can pick up their own playroom if it is not too overwhelming.
3. They get along better when the toys are organized in a way that encourages cooperation and learning.
4. They have not noticed anything missing!!!!

Where did the toys go?
1. To a local community group that allows kids that participate to bring can goods in exchange for Christmas gifts to give their parents and siblings.
2. My sisters daycare that is in need of some fresh toys.

Other ideas:
Infant Crisis Services
Local Church Nurseries
YMCA/YWCA Programs

1 comment:

ck said...

I couldn't agree more! Another idea that has been successful around here, is that I keep half of the toys in plastic tubs in a closet - then every few months, I rotate them out, so it is like having new toys. And I must say, I LOVE your playroom! What a beautiful space to play/learn/grow in!