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5 Simple Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter


A few weeks ago, I wrote a post sharing 5 Reasons I’m Glad We Don’t Have Many Toys. So many of you commented and said you’d love to cut down on toys but you don’t know where to start or how it’s really feasible when you constantly have friends and relatives giving you new toys.

5 Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

If you’re feeling like you wish you could have fewer toys, but you just don’t know how to pull that off — especially thanks to generous grandparents! — here are some suggestions:

1.  Set Boundaries

I’m a big believer in having a home for everything in your home. Meaning, everything has a place for it to reside — be a drawer, a cupboard, a basket, a tub, or a box. Not only does this help your house stay cleaner and more organized, it also allows you to place limits on what you have.

For instance, when we lived in a little basement apartment, we had almost zero room for toys, but I designated one of the end tables that had a cupboard door on it as the place where we kept Kathrynne’s toys. If it didn’t fit in there, we couldn’t keep it — otherwise we’d be stepping on or over it all day long!

Nowadays, we have a tub for LEGOs, a barrel in the garage for outdoor toys (balls, bats, etc.), a shelf in a closet where we keep games, and a few baskets in the kid’s closet for misc. toys (walkie-talkies, stuffed animals, etc.)

Need help getting started designating a place for your toys? Check out Five Steps for a Pared Down Playroom.

5 Practical Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

If you have more than one child, you could consider having assigned areas for each individual child’s toys and then a place for toys that everyone shares. You might consider having a tub or shelf labeled with each child’s name. Our rule at our house is that when the shelf or tub is full, you can’t get any new toys until you get rid of some that you already have.

Since my kids are really, really into LEGOs, we’ve had to put some measures in place to help them not take over a room or area of our house. The kids know they are expected to have them all picked up once per day when they clean up their room (where the LEGOs usually are).

If they bring the LEGOs into other parts of the house and don’t pick them up when they are done or if they leave them lying out in their room after they’ve been told to pick them up, the LEGOs are put up for 4-6 weeks — which is a pretty huge punishment for our LEGO-lovers. It’s happened a few times and it’s been enough to convince them to be very responsible in keeping them put away when they aren’t in use.

5 Practical Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

2. Only Keep What You Love

We love quality, versatile toys in our home: things like LEGOs, art supplies, craft supplies, outdoor toys, and educational toys. We try to have toys that encourage creativity rather than solely entertain.

And here’s the thing we’ve discovered: our kids would much rather play with cardboard boxes or build tents with old sheets, folding chairs and couch pillows than have the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. The few bells-and-whistle toys we’ve had in the last couple of years served to entertain for a short while and then were abandoned for LEGOs, puzzles, and creative play.

5 Practical Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

We try to go through our house very regularly and get rid of things we no longer love, use, or need. There’s no point in keeping something around if no one likes it or uses it on a regular basis. Is it sitting around untouched for weeks on end? Is it broken? Does it have parts which can’t be replaced? Get rid of it!

If you have toys that are in good condition that you no longer use or love, donate them to a daycare or children’s home, sell them in a garage sale or consignment sale, drop them off at Goodwill, sell them on a Facebook Yard Sale Groups or Craigslist, or even have a Toy Swap Party.

Here’s a creative idea from The Bargain Shopper Lady:

My boys started a “friend toy swap” which is their idea of giving to their friends. Anytime they have a friend over to play, they let their friend choose one toy to take home. I approve all toys before the friend leaves just in case they are trying to give something away, such as “their brother’s favorite toy” or something that they just got and is still pretty new.

This method is great for us! We have friends over often and it really helps with the clutter! My children are also learning that they really enjoy giving toys they don’t play with as often to their friends!

3. Ask For Consumable Gifts

One of the biggest reasons parents have told me that they can’t cut down on toy clutter is because of their well-meaning and generous relatives and grandparents who are constantly gifting various things to their kids.

First off, if this is the case for you, I just want to encourage you to remember that this is a blessing that you have grandparents who want to give to and bless their grandchildren. Not all families have this. So be grateful for it instead of resenting it.

Always remember that the relatives are likely buying things for your children because they love them. In almost every case, they aren’t purposefully seeking to annoy or irritate you.

My Completely Honest Review of Kiwi Crate

That said, I encourage you to graciously and lovingly communicate your preferences to your relatives. Perhaps they don’t know you are short on space or really would love it if they spent less money. Maybe they feel obligated for some reason. Whatever it is, come up with a plan to talk about the issues in a calm and loving manner.

However, don’t just go to Grandma and say, “Sorry, we don’t have room for your toys. Please don’t ever buy another toy again.” Give your relatives some options.

Here are some consumable/no-clutter gift ideas you could suggest:

  • Bubble bath, crayons, & sidewalk chalk
  • A special outing with the grandparents
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Subscription to craft kit boxes — like Doodle Crate, Kiwi Crate, and Tinker Crate — our kids got these for Christmas/their birthdays and love, love, loved them!
  • Subscriptions to LEGO’s Pley membership — Kathrynne got this for her birthday and has loved it!
  • Craft supplies
  • Crayons, paper, coloring books, and other craft supplies
  • Gift cards for restaurants/treats
  • Memberships to Local Attractions

Check out the comments on this post here for many, many more ideas.

You could also ask for clothes, books, educational toys, outdoor toys, LEGOs, gift cards, or even for them to donate money to your child’s college fund!

At the end of the day, though, be sure you don’t deprive the grandparents of getting the joy that comes from giving. Just as you would like to see change on their part, be willing to meet them halfway–or more! It might never be perfect or ideal, by openly communicating in a loving manner and presenting some options and being willing to listen and show appreciation to them, you just might be able to come to a happy medium.

5 Ways to Cut Down on Toy Clutter

4. Rotate Toy Collections

If you feel like you have too many toys, but you don’t want to part with what you have, consider a rotational toy system. Put away half the toys for a month. After a month, put away the toys you currently have and get out the toys which were put away. You could even do this on a quarterly basis.

This method can help you to see what toys your children really like and use. It also might help encourage more contentment with you already have since your children will probably feel like they are getting “new” toys quite often — when really it’s just the same old toys they’ve always had being presented in a new way!

Day of the Week Tubs{See Stephanie’s Day of the Week Tub System here.}

One toy rotation system we’ve used in our home when our kids were little was the Day of the Week Tub System. This idea has so many variations, but the basic gist is to divide most of the toys in your home into seven groups and put them in seven different tubs labeled with the days of the week.

Your children can then play with the appropriate tub each day. It keeps things rotated and fresh, while creating less mess.

5. Don’t Shop for Toys at Garage Sales or Dollar Store

I know, I know! There are so many supposedly “good deals” to be found at garage sales and dollar stores when it comes to kid’s toys. But like I often say, if you don’t need it and it’s just going to be cluttering up your home, it’s not a good deal for you — no matter how inexpensive the price is.

So unless it’s something you really need, it’s consumable, or you’re planning to get rid of it after they play with it for a few weeks, just don’t buy it. Because there’s no point it filling up your house with stuff that you then have to pick up, clean up, care for, organize, and (maybe even) get frustrated by!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 6.17.07 PM

What ideas and suggestions would you add to my list? How do YOU cut down on toy clutter at your house?

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  • I would add #5B which would be simply, don’t shop for toys. Between gifts from family for Christmas and Birthdays, my kids just don’t need any more toys from Mom and Dad during the year, aside from any cardboard boxes from our Amazon shipments. 🙂 Also, simply going to the library is great. They get the pleasure of getting limitless ‘new’ books without completely filling up the house!

    We limit the toys to a few small baskets, and once they’re full we start donating. My kids are still little though, and I have had other parents warn me that it will only get harder to enforce as the kids get older and have a longer memory for their beloved trinkets. We shall see! 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    Such great ways to keep the toy clutter down. We talked to our kid’s grandparents. They are so great at giving the kids toys and books on a regular basis but it was overwhelming our home. They were great and now ask what the kids can use. I also agree that purchasing cheap toys is not good. Anytime I’ve given in and let them get a cheap toy, it hasn’t lasted long and then we have to deal with the disappointment.

    We rotate toys in and out on a seasonal basis. I also have the kids do a big purge before birthdays and Christmas. We give the purged toys to neighbors with kids younger than ours and have room for the new items.

  • Anna says:

    Our kids grandparents give a lot of toys, but are also happy to give necessary items (clothes, shoes, things we can use for homeschool, etc.), consumable items, books, and other things as well. We try to give them a variety of gift ideas (if they ask) so they can choose some things that are more useful and somethings that are just for fun. They are really great about combining fun and useful items for each holiday.

    And like you said gift giving is an important way that they show love to our kids.

    Since we do have more toys than we need out at once now, I rotate them quarterly(ish), sometimes more often. Sometimes I do this around holidays (it’s like getting new toys without buying new ones!) and sometimes just when we need a change of pace.

  • shannon says:

    Great post…
    another good consumable gift, if the giver lives close, is homemade coupons for outings…..a trip for ice cream, outing to library and fun snack, etc.

    I noticed the drawings…..looks like Kathrynne drew those? Very impressed! A talented artist!

    • Oh, such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

      Those are Kaitlynn’s drawings… she’s always drawing and usually does at least 3-5 pages’ worth of drawings and notes every day! 🙂

      • Ashley says:

        Your daughter is very talented! My 5 yo daughter loves to draw, too. How do you prevent your daughter’s 3-5 drawings per day from becoming clutter? I’m drowning in arts and crafts and she gets very upset if I throw anything away!

        • Cathy says:

          I know I’m a little late to the party, but you can scan your daughters art and throw out the clutter. Or buy an album and keep one favorite from the week in that album.

  • Bonnie jones says:

    My daughters birthday is in March. After her brothers birthday in November and Christmas we had a huge pile of toys toys toys!!!!!! I text both sides of the family and said no toys!!!! Instead maybe a bed set (sheets and blanket), an adventure out ( watermark, museum) books, gift cards for clothes or craft stuff! I received no toys 🙂 she got some great stuff and it was all stuff that was useful!

  • This past year was the first time I convinced my parents to give our kids an experience gift, and it has been wonderful! They gave us a family membership to our local children’s museum. I send my mom pictures each time that we go so that she can see how much fun the kids are having. It was such a hit that my parents gave the kids a subscription to National Geographic Little Kids magazine for Easter. Hurray!

  • Rachelle Anderson says:

    My inlaws go CRAZY at Christmas. There are so many toys, that I hide away about 1/2 of them and the kids don’t even notice. Then throughout the year when friend’s birthday parties come up, I regift them. Unfortunately, my daughter is getting old enough that she remembers them pretty well, so I don’t think this will fly this Christmas!

  • melanie says:

    I love that you do emphasize allowing the grandparents and relatives the gift of being able to give. I was just taking to my sister about this and my husband’s aunt. I want to give to my nieces and nephews and see their faces get excited, but as a mom of three myself, I totally understand the “no more toys!!!!!!!!” cry of desperation. The blogger at a slob comes clean is who first introduced me to the container concept (if it doesn’t fit within the limits of the container, then something has to go). I’m still wrapping my head around that though.

  • The Tidy Mom says:

    These are great tips! I’d like to add that for the child (and parents) who want to hang on to more than what is needed, it often helps to have a purpose for purging.

    For example, cleaning out a room to create white space in the home and keeping in mind that, “The less there is, the less there is to clean” can be great inspiration to let go of some items.

    Another thing that seems to be getting popular – at least in my area – is for adoptive families to have a giant yard sale in order to raise money for adoption funds. Knowing their old toys and books can help bring an orphan home to a family helps my children to give, give, give when we’re filling bags with items to donate to the yard sales.

    Another thought-provoking toy article, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic, Crystal!

  • Aubrey says:

    One thing we love to do is check out toys from our local library. They have a ton of high-quality, educational toys (Melissa and Doug, lots of puzzles, games, etc.) that you can check out just like books. We can get new-to-us toys, play with them for 3 weeks, return them to the library, and then get some new toys. The kids don’t tire of the toys this way as they’re always getting new ones (or old favorites!) to play with. And, if I know we’re having company over or something else happening where I can’t have excess toy clutter in the house we just return all of the library toys.
    I don’t know if all libraries do this (we actually live in a fairly small town with a fairly small library) but I’d highly recommend looking into it!

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    Good points! I pinned this to refer to the consumable gift list later…thanks, Crystal!

  • adrienne says:

    For the summer, we have gone to only duplo, Lego, and babies. Its so fast to clean up and the kids are happy with the limited selection.

    My initial plan was to bring the playmobile, doll house, etc back out in winter (when we are inside more) but I am getting tempted to just keep it this way. I may also make those other toys for special times like when it is below zero and icy for weeks at a time.

  • Felisha says:

    This has been a big topic of conversation in our house lately. So cool that you wrote about it! We have ONE child, but enough toys for five! He’s a lot like I was as a child, and he gets emotionally attached to toys, so I have a hard time getting rid of anything. My husband says he doesn’t feel bad and we should just get rid of toys (we are constantly minimizing our own possessions). If our son legitimately plays with them, how do I get rid of his things? I wouldn’t want someone coming in and deciding what I keep and what I give away. Any ideas???

    • I think getting rid of toys without a kid’s permission really sends the wrong message — that he can’t be secure in his home and his parents are not to be trusted. He’ll probably grow out of certain things and want to be rid of baby toys in time, so the clutter won’t last forever.

      • Felisha says:

        Thank you! That’s what I thought! I will show this to my husband haha

      • Jaime says:

        My mom had very few toys as a child, yet her step-father continued to pare them down without her present. She was deeply hurt when he passed along her Barbie to a friend-of-the-family younger child. She carries resentment to this day.

      • Meg says:

        I agree. I would be really, really, REALLY angry if somebody threw something of mine out and I still wanted it/was using it. I get annoyed when DH decides I’m done with the grocery ad before I’ve made a list, or throws out a catalog I have post-its hanging out of! I’m not “attached” to them, but I still have a need/want for them. It’s one thing to throw out the remaining pieces of something already broken, or to say to kiddo, “We need to pare down, pick your top ten favorites to keep,” (or twenty or whatever you can fit), or to say “Ok, you’re six now, and we’re going to go through your toys together and share the things that is labeled for kids under 3 with another family,” etc., but I agree that it’s wrong to just decide “You don’t need this, it’s going.” It’s not yours, it’s your child’s. What makes that any different than somebody *stealing* your car, or taking your phone? After all, the thief could just say he decided you didn’t need it any longer, so he was getting rid of it for you. To just arbitrarily toss something because you think it’s not needed doesn’t sit right with me.

    • Felisha: I think it depends upon the child, but setting boundaries has worked well for us. They have a big tub for LEGOs or special things or a drawer to keep their drawings/craft supplies, etc. As long as it fits in there, they can keep it. If it doesn’t fit any longer, then they have to pare down. This gives them the personal responsibility/ownership of their things while also helping them not develop hoarder tendencies.

      As they’ve gotten older, we’ve also worked hard to implement the “One in, One out” rule — where when you get one new item, you also have to get rid of one old item (be it shoes, a book, a pair of pants, etc.) We don’t always do this, depending upon the item and situation, but since it’s a practice Jesse and I also try to adhere to, they’ve slowly picked it up and made it part of their life, too.

    • Autumn says:

      I definitely don’t think its a good idea to force a child to get rid of anything; it will only cause distress. However, schedule some time (at least an hour) at least a few times per year to go through each item one by one and ask for each item.. “Keep or get rid of?” Have a keep pile, a trash pile for broken toys, and a donate pile. When they hesitate or can’t seem to decide, remind them to only keep toys they love. When they are younger they tend to want to keep everything. But celebrate any small success and reward them for thinking of other children who can enjoy the toys. Do this a few times per year and I promise over time the keep pile will grow smaller and smaller.

  • I have four kids, so we have a lot of toys. When I lived in a 2-bedroom apartment it bothered me to always have the clutter because I could see it and step on it. Then we moved to a house with a basement, and the toys just all go down there. Problem solved! I can have some spaces that are neat, and the kids have their spaces with their stuff. I know that’s not exactly a feasible solution in many cases, but we were busting at the seams for many reasons, and it certainly reduced my stress.

    • I think tiny houses with small kids are HARD… because no matter how neat and organized you are, you still are basically going to be stepping over anything that’s not put away in a cupboard! 🙂

      So glad you were able to move to a bigger house. Also, your new book came yesterday and I’m just SO excited about getting to read it!

    • Anne says:

      I agree. Our toddler plays with all the toys she has and we live in a 1900 sq ft house. I don’t like the clutter so we have a place in the family room (baskets in an IKEA shelf) for almost all her toys except Mega Bloks wagon and the Little People dollhouse and farm.

  • Becky says:

    This is great– I’ll admit that we’re already having trouble resisting temptation to check out toys at the thrift store, and our first baby isn’t even due for another 3+ weeks! (I’ll also admit that I’m not sorry about the wooden blocks, and the bin of K’Nex I found for $7, even though we’ll have to store the K’Nex for awhile–my husband and I had fun playing with them one evening to try to figure out if I’d found an actual kit! Which I had, mostly. We’re both still keeping an eye out for Legos, too. But I am trying to limit myself to that type of thing.) I love the ideas for grandparents, too–I think my parents would be on board with things like books/art supplies/educational toys. Hopefully my in-laws would be receptive to some of these ideas, too, since we’re already having some difficulty with my MIL buying random toys for us that we don’t necessarily need/want!

  • kariane says:

    These are great suggestions. We do many of them, including communicating the types of gifts we would like to see come into our house. When other things arrive (and inevitably they do, though our families — for the most part — understand our preferences), we generally keep them around until the novelty wears off (a week or two) and then donate or Freecycle them [].

  • Vanessa says:

    We currently only have one kid, but have found that grandparents love Amazon wishlists! This way, if toys are coming into our home, they can know that they are toys that we think our daughter will enjoy. We add things that we think will be educational, are high quality, not battery operated, etc. We also keep clothing needs and book ideas on her list – this way, when grandparents want to spoil her, they spoil her with things that Mama and Daddy wanted in our home! It’s worked great for us!!

  • Lynn L says:

    Hi, While I think it’s great to limit (we all need limits in our lives), I feel that if you can purchase a few very inexpensive toys at yard sales or clearance every so often, and learn to rotate those toys out on a monthly or weekly basis, it’s a win-win scenario on a few levels. Like with their clothing which they generally outgrow quickly, children often “move on” to another type of toy fairly quick, and then the toys can be given away or resold or donated. I always had a variety of toys, paper dolls and other items which called for creativity for my now adult children, and I believe that they always had a fun time “seeing what Momma” brought home after a Saturday of yard sales (I didn’t bring home toys weekly though). It was good for my soul to have some “Mom time” and they loved occasionally getting new toys or activities. I suppose this is a “to each his own” way of living. 🙂

    • I think this is great perspective! And the last point was for people who feel like they are overwhelmed with toy clutter. If you don’t have that problem and you’ve got a great system for rotating toys, I’m all for doing what works for you!

  • We just put all our boys toys away for a week (except Lego) because of all the fighting that had been going on. And the week was amazing! They did really well and got so creative. It was the perfect thing to do right before our garage sale – we just went through last night and figured out what we really wanted to keep of their toys and which we really didn’t need.

  • anonymous says:

    One thing we’ve done with kids who are old enough to understand (somewhat at least) the value of money is to “buy back” the toy at a discounted price. Like those random happy meal type toys, we will buy it from them for like 2/.25. Nice toys may get .50 or something like that. They are happy to have money for their piggy bank, and I am happy that they relinquish some of the “junk” toys they like to have on hand. This also allows them to pick which ones to sell and be involved in the process. We’ve even had some really nice toys that they just didn’t play with as much as they thought and we’ve sold them on ebay for them and given them the money. This also helps when we can remind them next time they want to buy something that is shiny and new how little they played with the _________ and then had to sell it for less. This has helped our 7 year old avoid some disappointing purchases.

    • Lori says:

      I also do this w/ my older children. It works very well, and I strongly recommend it. It also saves me from having to store the items for a garage sale (as some moms do, who would have one anyway), since I have no intention of having a garage sale.

  • MB says:

    I tried to suggest to my girls (4 & 7) that we pack up some blocks to donate to a local rummage sale. I haven’t seen them touch them in ages and ages. Suddenly they were their favorite toys and they acted like I was threatening to throw away their favorite lovies, so I caved and they kept the blocks. They are still sitting in the tub in the living room, completely untouched, since they refused to let me take them and it’s been a month now. I’ve got to figure out how to introduce the limits without the girls taking it so personally.

  • Pamela says:

    Our kids get too many toys from loving family as well. My husband calls the day after Christmas the saddest day of the year because it is the day when I get rid of half of their toys. But we also have 2 November birthdays and it is overwhelming.

    This past Christmas, instead of giving gifts from Mom & Dad, we made a calendar on Shutterfly. Each moth we put a family activity on it. The kids have been so excited to turn the page each month to see what we are going to do. This works well for us because we don’t go out too much with a 5, 3 and less than 1 year old.

    Some of the activities we have used are:
    Sleep over with cousins
    Family water fight
    Go to a baseball game

  • noelle says:

    We’re about to do a big purge here. In the past it’s helped to propose taking a photo of my child with the item that is leaving. This way she can keep the memory of it without having to keep the actual item, and most of the time this is enough for her.

  • Kelli says:

    Maybe I missed this in the post but can you tell us what you do with everything from the subscription boxes once the activities are built and made? Do you let your kids keep everything and put it all somewhere specific or do you make them throw it out before the next box comes in? I was curios because I’d love to get a subscription to the tinker box for my daughter but I think after awhile I’d be battling a pile on her desk after awhile. Thoughts?

  • Julie says:

    Toys from grandparents (mostly my mom) were starting to take over my house. Literally. So, the last few years we have begun asking grandparents to chip in to a yearly membership to somewhere local. We live near Atlanta and for the last few years we have done a zoo membership and this year since the kids are a little older we did Stone Mountain Park. They love the experiences and we love that we are making memories instead of clutter. It’s been a hard transition for my mom and she still sends more toys than are needed, but it’s much better than it used to be.

  • JJ says:

    I am in the minority here, but I’m a big kid at heart and love toys. There, I said it! However, since both of my kids’ birthdays are close to Christmas, I either save some of the money for half birthdays or get some things that they’ll use later in the year(something they’d grow into age-wise). As my kids outgrow toys, we will donate to the church nursery or sell. The best thing we did to organize was to use a shelf with 9 cubbies and get storage bins. The cleaning up is so easy, and it doesn’t look cluttered. Each bedroom has a similar setup(less bins in each). We used some Christmas gift money they received to purchase the bins. I used to teach at the elementary level, so I may be guilty of using their toys as learning manipulatives on occasion. 😀 The best advice I received to keep toys at a minimum was to buy gender neutral toys as much as possible. My daughter plays with most of my son’s toys anyway, so we don’t buy as many toys. Of course she has some girly toys, but buying gender neutral toys has saved money and space.

  • Victoria says:

    Ways I have encouraged my five year old to pare down her toys- we talk about Sharing with younger friends when she’s outgrown it and she know the younger girl it’s going to.
    Also, we have several amazing childrens re sale shops (local shops not chains). She’s agrees to take what she doesn’t play with anymore to the shop. And she gets to use the store credit for “new” stuff. (Which I encourage to be smaller toys!)

  • Wanda says:

    As grandparents we stopped giving gifts at Christmas and Birthday’s. Now our gift is during the grand-kids school break at Christmas time we do an over night in a hotel with a indoor pool (we live in the North) and we order take out for dinner.
    In the summertime we take the grand kids for a 2 night camping trip to an outdoor amusement park with water park. To celebrate everyone’s Birthdays.
    Our grand children just love doing this and cannot wait for the next memory building trip.

  • Heather says:

    You partially addressed this in #2 when you said you like toys that encourage creativity. But I would say aim for open-ended toys! These are classics that your kids don’t grow out of quickly and that can be played with multiple ways!
    One example is instead of a Frozen size 4T Elsa play dress, opt for play-silks! They can be dress up clothes for any character, any size, but they can also be landscape, a tent, a doll blanket, etc.
    In our home we stay away from tv character toys, gender specific (we have one boy one girl) and anything battery operated (there are exceptions).
    Great post!

  • Alicia says:

    I have 5 bins of toys that I rotate out weekly. Every Friday night after the kids are in bed I pack up the toys, decide what should be tossed, sold, or donated, and bring up the next tub. A new tub of toys every Saturday morning means new and exciting play for the kids and a good hour of peace and quiet for mom and dad.

  • Allison says:

    I am SUPER selective when it comes to buying toys because I want them to last a long time and contribute to my kids’ growth in one way or another. Here are some toy shopping tips I use…

  • Amy says:

    I am currently going through my kids toys as I have 3 kids; 2 girls (6 and 3) and 1 boy (18 months). The one thing I notice is that we have a lot of toys that have multiples or pieces such as Legos, Duplos, Barbies, Fisher Price Little People, Lincoln Logs, etc. So, my question is how do you limit the number of these types of toys that are out at one time? How do you decide how many is enough especially with like Legos, Duplos and Lincoln Logs? We have a cube organizer in my girls’ room and 1 in my son’s room with cubes in some holes and books in others. The cubes are fairly good size, so limiting what fits in a cube isn’t very helpful cuz a ton fits in the cube. And the usual dump of the cube or container or whatever the toys are in is inevitable.

  • Jeanine says:

    Crystal, I love that you pointed out to us that grandparents and other well meaning gift givers are usually not trying to annoy us on purpose. 🙂 I struggle with this a lot, but it has helped me to remember that some people’s love language is giving gifts. Mine is quality time, so I have to work hard to understand that what may seem to me as being materialistic, is really important to others as a way to show love. Also, we have to realize that most of today’s grandparents were raised in a time when parents did not play with children in the same way we do today, and they may have been given toys and other material items by their own parents to show love. As I said, I still struggle with trying to understand the grandparents point of view, but when I can do it, it helps.

  • Rakel says:

    Love this post! We just downsized from a 3000 sq foot house in Washibgton DC to a 1200 sq ft apartment in Taiwan and I’ve tried my hardest to downsize in toys. That’s why for Christmas we only gave them one gift plus new Pjamas and a gift from Santa. It was our best Christmas ever because the kids weren’t overly stimulated with all these new toys, plus my wallet was happy.

    As we moved just before Christmas grandparents sent us money for gifts. I thought long and hard about what to get them and knew deep down I should get them something that would keep on giving all year long and not take up room in our small apartment – so I got them a sibling subscription to Kiwi Crate and we love it!

  • Jennifer says:

    When they were overloaded with toys, we’d let them choose one to open and start playing with and the rest were left sealed, then donated to Toys For Tots or another charity seeking new gifts. Some gifts weren’t age appropriate, so those were the first to go, some were similar to what they already had, also the first to go.

    Memberships to local museums or zoos are were my favorite gifts.

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