The Real Toy Story

Have you ever sat back and taken inventory of the toys that have been collected over the years?  Not only taken inventory, but then created a spreadsheet of the ones that are played with everyday, three times a week, once a week, a couple of times lately, and even the “I didn’t know we still had this one”? Well, okay – maybe we all aren’t quite that organized. But we can likely agree that many homes have simply too many unused toys!

What’s truly remarkable about these stacks of toys in bins, stuffed into closets or hidden away under couch cushions is that they simply can’t compete with the wonders of everyday objects your child discovers.  A used sour cream container filled with rocks and shaken about, for instance, didn’t stand a chance against a store bought rattle.  An old wooden spoon for a drumstick and a metal pot must sound more rock-ish than a play drum that makes ten different sounds and tells the child “you’re great at this”!

At times, we need to sit back and remember that children are amazing in what they discover, create and play all by themselves.  It doesn’t have to cost anything, and what’ s more – they’re using their minds to create something fun out of really very little.  So the next time your little one pleads with big puppy dog eyes running through the toy isle as you make your way to pick up a forty pack of diapers… remember how just days ago your child spent nearly a half hour lining up different leaves on the driveway. Smile as you cruise right passed the toys.  You just gave your child another pathway into accessing their own imagination.


Want to declutter and get rid of your unused toys? Try these simple tips:

-         Designate a bin to save for Toys for Tots and other holiday toy drives

-         Give them away to friends and family

-         Post a box full of toys on Craigslist and treat the family to dinner out with the money you made

-         Donate to Goodwill and other charities – your children will get to experience the joy of giving

-         Plan a toy swap party with another family and raid each others’ toy boxes


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