Once children have celebrated a few birthdays and holidays, they may be drowning in a sea of brightly coloured plastic and plush animals. The problem: kids frequently pull out too many things at once and then are unable to focus on any one thing. Cleanup becomes one big dump into a frustrating jumble.
If this is your child, start by restoring some order to the area where toys are played with and put away. These tips may help end toy confusion before the next glut of toys arrives from Santa and generous doting relatives:
Use plenty of low shelving to display favourite toys and games with parts. Use large bins/boxes for big stuffed animals or larger simple toys.
Display collections of things like rocks or seashells in clear plastic jars so they can be enjoyed by the child.
Store art supplies like coloured pencils, crayons and markers in separate small bins on the shelves for easy access. Do the same for puzzles and toys with small parts. Label the containers. Self-stick labels work well.
Rotate toys if there are too many. After a toy is out of sight for a few weeks, your child may have renewed interest when it reappears.
Throw out broken or incomplete toys.
Encourage your child to sort through and donate good outgrown toys to a younger child or children’s charity. If you’re having a garage sale, your child may enjoy participating and pocketing the proceeds.
Buy fewer and higher quality toys that your child can treasure.
Teach your kids to put a toy back on the shelf before taking out another for play.
Consider a birthday party with donations to a charity of your child’s choice instead of presents. Don’t force this idea if your child isn’t ready. PC