My daughter’s second birthday is coming up and it is a perfect time to re-evaluate the toys in our house. Many of the toys she played with as a newborn are not developmentally appropriate now. Plus, it is a good time to clean the clutter too!
Since a birthday is a clear milestone, it is a perfect time to evaluate and eliminate. Here are some tips to do a toytervention in your house to organize your playroom and extend the play value and opportunities for your kids!
1. Open-Ended Toys: Stock your playroom with toys that can grow with your child. Things like blocks, cars, trucks, dress up costumes and accessories, play sets such as a pretend kitchen and doctors’ bags, doll houses, dolls, and puzzles. It suits children of all ages so if you have more than one child, each will be able to enjoy the toys and enjoy them together. While each will have a different approach to the toy, they will be able to play with the same toy. It is also fun to watch the growth. For example, from just rolling the car on the floor to imaginative races!
2. Rotate Toys: Not all toys have to be available at all times. Find a closet in the house dedicated to toys. Then, once a week, select a few to put in the closet and a few to take out. It keeps toys fresh and fun.
3. Evaluate Toys: Ones that are not open-ended should be evaluated. Is it new? Do they still love it? Is there still play value and multiple play value (meaning a child can get two play opportunities out of it)? Is it broken or recalled? Is it safe? Once you have a pile to discard, head to your local recycling center to dispose of the toys in an environmentally sound manner.
4. Donate Toys: For those that still work but your child has outgrown, put them on the curb with a free sign to enable those in your community to stock up. Or contact your local consignment shop to donate.
5. Clean Up. Once the playroom is weeded out, its time to organize and clean. Clean the toys with soap and water or with a disinfecting wipe. Then organize toys in storage bins, Either label them with words or consider taking a picture and taping it to the front for other kids who don’t yet read, to know what toys to reach for (and where to put them back!)
So Happy Birthday to my growing girl and my growing toy collection. At least we can start a new year with lots of fun, clean, organized, appropriate toys to play with!