In the last couple of years we’ve adopted the rule of one in and one out. With every new piece of clothing that gets placed in a drawer one old item must be taken out. This also applies to toys. I buy probably about one to four toys per year total and somehow the house is completely filled with them. This is all down to the generosity of family and friends, but as I look around at the toys that are in every room I can only think, is all of this necessary?? Will my children feel less loved by having fewer toys??
Here’s a few reasons I like to keep toys to a minimum in our house.
1. It encourages more interactive play with each other.
2. It help them play better with the toys they do have.
3. It’s less work to tidy up.
4. They learn to take care of the toys they do have.
I have created a new rule for my girls as they are getting a little order now and are in charge of keeping their room tidy. The rule is if they don’t put it away it gets thrown away. Now that may seem really harsh to you, but it has certainly motivated my girls to make sure that everything is picked up before bed time. And yes, I have literally taken in a bin bag while they were watching and picked up head bands, teddy bears and toys and thrown them out because they didn’t take care of their things. This was a tough lesson, but my girls shed no tears and instead learned to pick everything up before bed time. If you want to teach your kids to put away their own toys then here’s a few things you need to keep in mind.
1. Teach them how to put their toys away – no throwing the toys into a box or hiding them all under your bed.
2. Tidy up every time they finish playing with toys.
3. Have a container or ‘home’ for all the toys that the children can reach.
4. Create a game out of tidying up to keep them motivated. We play a song and they race to have all their toys put away by the end of the song.
5. Always praise them when they’ve finished the job.
I know that a lot of mum’s are incredibly tidy, but forget to pass this great skill on to their kids because they’re quicker and better at it. But unless you want to be picking up after them for the rest of your lives I suggest you start teaching your child to put their own toys away once they’re old enough to play with them. Teaching our kids responsibility for their own belongings is a great lesson in value.
How do you get your kids to tidy up their toys?
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