We have too many toys. It’s really unbelievable how many we have accumulated in just over 7 years of having children in the house. And it seems no matter how many I purge, the amount of toys never seem to be at a manageable level. Last week, I bagged up probably 80% of the toys in our playroom, just to put away for awhile, or until one of the kids asks for a specific one. So far, they have not.
The thing is, they hardly play with the toys. They like little trinkets, and cardboard boxes, and art supplies. They build with their wooden blocks, and Magnatiles, and wear the dress-up clothes. The rest of the toys just get dumped and scattered, day after day.
With Christmas coming, I’ve been doing some serious thinking about how to give the kids a “magical” Christmas without adding more toys that won’t be played with once the novelty wears off.
This year, I am determined not to get overwhelmed by Christmas. The holiday season is definitely not my favorite, mostly because reality never measures up to expectations. The kids aspect of Christmas is incredibly stressful for me, because it seems like for most of the year, I am constantly trying to minimize/purge/organize and then it all falls apart with a haul of new toys. Of course, the actual opening of presents is exciting, and of course it’s fun for them to have new stuff, but then, the playroom fills up quickly and the purging process starts over again.
I think this year, we are going to try the Want/Need/Wear/Read strategy (I love how Kyla has implemented it for her family). I like the idea of just 4 gifts from Santa/Mom and Dad- it seems manageable on my end and I think the kids will still get to experience the excitement of Christmas morning. I also want to do some experience gifts- both C and N need swimming lessons and Charlotte wants to take karate.
So…talk to me about toys (especially for preschoolers)
- I’ve read several times that the less toys kids have in their playroom, the longer they will play. If you find this to be true, how many do you have and what are they?
- What are the best toys you have? Our go-tos are blocks/Magnatiles, dress up clothes, and art supplies. What am I missing?
- What are some good alternatives to toys that are actual tangible gifts that kids could open on Christmas? I love, love books, but we have a ton, and we get 20+ books at the library every week, so I’m not sure if spending money on a lot of books is what I want to do.
What is your kid gift giving strategy at Christmas? Do you struggle with too many toys that no one plays with?