It didn’t take long for us to realize this was going to be an issue. By the time Hadley was one I was already overwhelmed with the amount of toys she had – and noticed she did not play with many of them. So we did a few things to limit toys in our home:
- Donations: We started a new tradition this last year that every Christmas, we will have our kids go through their toys and identify ones to donate to a local shelter, center, etc. This is a teachable moment for them, and gives us the opportunity to bless another child with something mine take for granted!
- No-gift birthday parties: This was also something we started last year. People are always so generous, but the reality is, our kids do not need more toys! Plus, this alleviates the pressure on people to bring a gift, which is an added bonus.
- Grandparent rule: This has worked really well for our family. If a grandparent wants to get Hadley or Audrey a gift for Christmas/or their birthday, they are more than welcome to, but we just ask that they purchase gifts that will stay at their house. This way, they still get the chance to give gifts to their grandbabies and they get to build their own toy-stash at their house!
- “Experience” toys: I’m not sure exactly what to call these types of “toys”, because they really aren’t toys. What I’m referring to are things that kids play with that encourage their independence and imagination. They typically may be more expensive than another doll or lego set, but the lasting value is much greater! Things like a play kitchen, or a ride-a-long toy car. Things that kids can play pretend with over and over again. These are worth every penny in my opinion!
- Gifts for the longterm: Shortly after Hadley was born, we opened a bank account specifically for her and saving for her college education. This is another great way for people who insist on giving something, to do so with lasting value!
What do you do to keep the toys from constantly multiplying and taking over your home? I would love to learn from you!