Is your house bursting with toys? Get your kids involved in the decluttering process. With these five simple steps get them to willingly donate toys.
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Christmas is a little more than a month away. My house is about to get bombarded with toys. I swear the toys magically multiply in the night.
Does this happen at your house, too?
Every year no matter how hard we try to focus on giving experiences, I feel like our house is going to burst at the seams each time a gift box is opened.
Before the holidays, try proactively resolving toy chaos WITH your kids.
5 Steps to Getting Your Kids To Willingly Donate Toys
Here are five steps for getting kids to willingly donate toys:
1. Get the book Too Many Toys by David Shannon.
Reserve the book Too Many Toys from your local library or order it on Amazon right now. This book is a great ice-breaker to help your children understand why you want to donate some of their toys. Shannon's stories are always humorous, the watercolor illustrations are lovely, and his books are written in a way that both you and your child will enjoy.
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2. Talk with your kids about your family's many blessings.
Tell your child how excited you are that the holidays are coming. Talk about how lucky you are to have people in your lives who love you.
3. Encourage your child to look forward.
Ask your kiddo, "Who do you think is going to give you Christmas presents this year?" Let them ramble on for a bit.
4. Shift to empathy.
I'd tell my ladies, "That's a lot of presents for two little girls. You're pretty lucky. Not all kids get that many gifts."
5. Give your kids control over their belongings.
Resistance to donating items (or even sharing in general) is usually more about feeling a lack of control than actually wanting the item. Try giving your child a sense of power over his belongings.
Have them pick how many toys to donate. Ask him, "How many toys would you like to donate today?" If they immediately reply, "None." Try not to come across as strong-handing the conversation. Laugh and lightheartedly say, "Would you rather donate five or ten items?"
Once you're moving forward, here are two tried and true tricks on keeping this rolling:
Associate a toy with a specific age group.
Find a toy geared for a younger age group and ask your little one, "Do you remember when you were a kindergartener and you used to play with this all the time? Should we give it to another four-year-old to enjoy?"
When all else fails, default to ice-cream.
It might not be the best parenting tactic, but let's be honest. Ice-cream is always a default bribe in our house.
Every season my husband and I attempt to complete a "Get Rid of 100 Things" weekend. There have been times when we've promised the girls ice-cream if they filled a box with toys they no longer wanted. It may not be a glamorous tip, but it works.
*Can you tell which of my kids has reached her daily photo limit?
Teaching children the power of donation and empathy are important, but sometimes you just need to get rid of stuff WITHOUT having to involve the kids.
Have you ever tried toy rotation? It can be helpful when trying to tame toys in your home. Pop on over for five great resources on toy rotation.