No matter how conscious and mindful we are during the holiday giving season, undoubtedly new toys have arrived adding their charms and claiming space. Decluttering after the holidays is the perfect time to reevaluate your children’s toy space. As new toys enter, you can help your children make room for them while reinvigorating or repurposing toys they have outgrown.
Decluttering with your child has many rewards but can also have some challenges. Teaching your child to let go of things is an enduring and valuable lifelong skill. And creating a beautiful, uncluttered, nourishing space for them to play in is the best reward of all.
But where do you begin, especially if you have a child who holds on to every toy they have ever had? There are several ways to help your child get into the decluttering spirit. Watching your child willingly partake in letting go of things that no longer serve them is a beautiful thing and making them an active part of the decision encourages even more engagement in their play.
Before you get started with the decluttering, there are several questions to ask yourself. When was the last time your child played with that toy? Can it be played with in a variety of different ways? Is it pleasing to the senses? Is it promoting new learning or imaginative leaps?
Next, as your child looks around their space, invite them into the process by asking questions to guide their decisions. Do you still use this toy? Why do you want to keep it? Is there someone who would really love this toy? Then start thinking of friends, families, or charities that could be a good fit for the toys that they have outgrown. Giving away a toy your child has dearly loved to someone else helps teach them generosity.
Once your child has gone through and made some big decisions and there is a bit more breathing room, it is time for you to make some overarching decisions about the space.
Best Toys To Always Keep Available
There are certain toys that can always be kept out because they work with every kind of play, are open ended and beautiful. Things like rainbow tunnels, loose parts, blocks, and rocker boards have a variety of uses and grow with your child.
Create Thematic Toy Categories
Having areas for different types of play things and activities is a great way to create a system. Can you create an art corner or a building area or a dress up spot? By putting toys into categories, you can begin to create a toy library of sorts so that you can begin to follow the next process.
Apply Seasonal Rotations
After your toy collection has been decluttered and organized, you can now pull away anything that doesn’t speak to the season at hand. Toy rotation is one of the most satisfying ways to extend the life and play value of your toys and curate your collection so that it always feels fresh and inspiring to your child. And the beauty of it is, if it doesn’t spark anything when you pull the toy back out, then it can be passed along!
Avoid Toy Boxes
At all costs, try to avoid toy boxes! Although they are convenient when you are trying to put away toys, the toys get thrown on top of each other and sometimes get broken in the process. The poor toys on the bottom get forgotten, not to mention a little beat up!
Create A Display and PLAY!
Once you have decluttered and pulled toys out for a rotation, it’s time to create a display on open shelving so that the toys are accessible and placed in an enticing way that encourages play.
Making a playroom and toy collection feel alive and cared for by tending and decluttering is an on-going process as your child grows and throughout each season. There are some toys that will be forever on the shelf and others that make passing visits. The play space is a living and breathing manifestation of your child’s imaginative life. And allowing for a calm and inviting space will encourage the spirit of play to truly thrive.