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Simplify-What Toys to Keep

It seems like I have been talking a lot about getting rid of stuff.  I do love that, but what should be kept?  I have had a few people comment on childrens toys being hard to deal with and hard to sort, so I decided to do a post on what toys to keep… then it should be pretty easy to figure out what to get rid of.

Suprizingly science hasn’t done much research on the topic, but kids toys multiply… like crazy, seemingly on their own.  Plastic pieces of millions of shapes and sizes inhabit the land of the childrens bedroom, under all the furnature, the backseat of the car, and during the night, every square inch of the floor. 

This is a new problem.  It wasn’t that many years ago that kids had a doll or a car and several shared the same room.  Now, it isn’t only birthdays and Christmas that kids deserve a toy, it is every shoping trip, and every activity they get to participate in. 

To start with I wanted to review what kids really need:

  1.  Safety
  2. Love
  3. Chance for creativity and development
  4. Exercise

All 4 of these (along with other reasons) all seem to come in the form of toys.  When we were downsizing we kept the top toys in all of these areas.

  1. Safety-Life jackets, bike helments
  2. Love-Some of their favorite gifts
  3. Creativity and development-Largest area we kept favorite Barbies, baby dolls, block set, puzzles, crayons, playdoh
  4. Exercies-bikes, a few sports balls, camping and hiking stuff

When deciding what to keep we looked hard at how well items fit into these areas and how often they were used.  Often there were several things that fit, but we just kept the best and favorite things.   Everything that was incomplete or broken we got rid of. 

Things also need to be worth their size.  A small set of blocks can be fun and new everyday depending on what Ian builds, but a kitchen set with the shopping carts and the full plastic kitchen was not worth its size.  I would have kept the dishes, but the kids wanted to sell them.  With the baby doll stuff there was a crib and a few strollers that didn’t make the cut.  The baby is just as fun to tuck into another play bed or Lily’s bed as it was into the crib. 

Hope that helps a bit.  One thing I have learned is that kids need space to think, play and be creative.  They play better in clean rooms and with clean surfaces and floors and are confused and agitated with confusion.  Less toys… way less toys have helped my kids be happier playing and much more able to keep their room clean. 

A note on helping kids part with their toys.  They do better not thinking of them as leaving altogether.  We chose toys to sell (they kept the money) give to other kids (goodwill), or put away in storage. 

Here is what we have in their room.   There is the toy box in the corner and a basket of books beside it.

Here is the closet.  Dress up cloths, baby doll stuff and school stuff on the upper shelves.