Toys, Toys, and More Toys... - Cincinnati,OH

Updated on October 11, 2011
C.M. asks from Cincinnati, OH
15 answers

My son is about 4 1/2 yrs and is an only child. He is also an only grandchild on my side and the youngest (the second youngest being 18 yrs) on my husbands side. To top that off, I have a very large extended family that gets together regularly. While he does get some non-material gifts (zoo passes, swim lessons) and clothes, every Christmas and birthday he gets a mountain of toys.

His toy box is overflowing and Christmas, then his birthday, will be here before we know it. We are trying to clean out his toy box and get rid of a bunch of stuff. So far we have removed a few things that he has obviously outgrown and all the kid meals and $1 toys. There are not any toys that are broken or missing pieces to get rid of. Everything that is left is still in great shape and he likes and plays with them. Yet, there are still way too many. We have tried asking out son which ones he wants to give away, but we are not sure that he understands what we are asking. How do we decide what to give away/sell? What do you do?

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answers from Portland on

I store toys in tote containers with other similar toys then we get out a few containers at a time for the kids to play with. If I find that there is one particular tote that is ignored multiple times when rotating toys, I get rid of it.

For b-day and holiday gifts, we request things that compliment the toys we already have. Legos, Imaginext DC Heroes, dress up, etc. When he recieves the new toys, they just get added to the group they go with so it doesn't create more mess.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

It has been proven in studies, that the more toys a child has, the less of an attention span they get, because they are always buzzing from one toy to the next without the need to use imaginative play with one item for extended periods of time b/c they are too overwhelmed with all the selection.

Our children have understood donating toys since they were about 3. We would go through the boxes together, pick out ones they no longer play with and put them in a box to get rid of. Very rarely did they beg for a toy, and when they did we let them keep it until it made the next round to donate. If it's a small happy meal toy or something they hardly play with, it goes in the donation (or sell) box.

Some toys we rotate, but most we totally get rid of. Really, my kids prefer leggos, blocks and their cars over most toys.

I once put a box of really nice and clean toys on craiglist and sold it for $40. Then, I had a talk with my family about my children not needing to receive so many toys. They would go overboard with toy gifts and it has greatly improved now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Good question. I usually wait until I know they don't play with them anymore. I just live with the clutter. That's probably not the right answer but that's what I do. =) I figure that they'll either break or they'll out grow them soon enough. Now my kids are old enough that only one of mine gets toys.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I suggested to a few of our relatives (the ones I thought might be open to the suggestion) that our kids would be just as happy with a small token item (like stickers or a book) and money for their education funds. We used to get masses of trinkets for every holiday, and our house was overflowing with big gifts on birthdays and Christmas, and now their education funds are growing, the kids are excited when they receive little items and we don't have to wade through a knee deep playroom/cluttered house. Win/win/win!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

if it hasn't been played with in a year, it's gone... or rotated. We keep a bin in the garage for toys and we rotate them out about every six months to a year. If it looks like my kid is only playing with a fraction of her things, we pick out the stuff she stopped playing with and take it out to the garage. Then we go through the bin IN the garage and bring in some "new" things for her to play with. While going through the bin we'll also find a lot of stuff she'll have outgrown and donate.

So the toys start out in the house, then if they don't get played with move out into the bin. The bin gets revisited every six months to a year to clear it out or swap things from inside the house. It's been working ok so far and keeps the house from overflowing with toys.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Rotate them. Get some of those cheap big buckets and put them in the basement. Then rotate them every few weeks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Rotate, or just bless a daycare in your area regularly. He can't keep everything forever! No O. can!
As the name implies, I feel your pain--exactly!

Do you know a family with LOTS of kids? Bless them with some stuff that's in great shape and gently loved!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I find the toys that it does not seem my child plays with, then donate them. I go through them before each birthday and christmas. If he has mountains of toys he probably does not really play with ALL of them. Or you can get them all out and maybe see which ones he goes to first and then donate the rest of them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

I have been in this same situation. I didn't know what to do with so many either so I ended up splitting the toys in half and put half in their room and the other half in the garage. My garage is nice and clean so sometimes they will go and play in there. I didn't want to sell them because they are good toys and much less dump them. So maybe you could leave some in his room and some in the garage or even a closet so they would still be available to him when he wants to play!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We rotate them out for awhile. Take at least half of the toys away and put them somewhere where he can't get to them. They a month later, rotate some in and some out.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Make is a character learning activity. Explain to him that other children don't have any toys and that he should share with others. (he's young, but I have a almost 4 year old that understands sharing). Have him choose 5 toys to give to a child in need and help him deliver it (or take it to your local donation center, or maybe you know a family that isn't as well off) . Have him do it every month. This will be good for his character as well as de clutter your house. 8-)


answers from San Antonio on

I used to rotate, now I talk to my 3.5 yr old son about "giving these toys to another boy or girl to play with." He doesn't want to get rid of much of course, so I have to just take (when he's not looking) a few toys away. I will put them away for a week or two hidden in my close. If he doesn't ask for them in those two weeks of 'holding period' then he doesn't care/doesn't remember them and I give them away. If I had a ton like you do, I might consider a consignment. I just went to a consignment sale that was all baby/kid stuff related You pay only $10 to put your items in the sale (price may vary from region to region). I didn't sell b/c I give so much of my stuff to friends with younger kids. But after we're done with kids and have noone to give it to, then we may do this consignment sale. They are in our area twice a year.



answers from Columbus on

He might not understand but it is never to ealry to start. What about every time he gets a new toy, he has to donate another. That way you are never over loaded with them and he learns to give. Great lesson!!



answers from Cincinnati on

Instead of a toy box, put up low shelves. Select favorite toys and put them in their 'space' on the shelf--so it's obvious when one toy is in use there is an opening for where it will be stored at the end of the day. Put al extra toys in a box in a closet and then rotate toys on the shelf, taking some out of storage and putting others away.

For toys with pieces, keep them in open baskets or small boxes. Do the same with craft items -- markers in a box or basket, scissors, scotch tape, glue, etc, in another, lined up on the shelf.

Organizing the toys on shelves helps the child 'respect' the toys and himself as the organization gives him order and control over his space; he can choose his toy and put it away when he's finished or help put everything away at the end of play time because it's easy to see where the toy is stored.

Rotating the toys makes them feel 'new' again when the child hasn't seen them for awhile.

Hope this helps.



answers from Washington DC on

We are in that boat. My DD is the baby of the family and has two doting older siblings. My SD has purged a bunch of toys that used to live at her mom' gifting them to DD. She gave DD two good boxes of beanie babies. Ugh. Now, don't get me wrong, I love that she loves DD, but we are full up! DH and I have tried sorting the toys and pulling out some she doesn't love AS much and putting them in the attic for a while or downstairs where she might see them less and they'll be a nice surprise. At present I struggle with a true purge because they were also SD's and we are walking the fine line of not offending either daughter.

Also, we ask family to buy DD books. Books are more easily stored when outgrown, and DD has a very nice bookshelf for her books. She also enjoys kid magazines and getting "her" mail. Those are also good suggestions for family and many magazines will let you "upgrade" for free when your child outgrows that level. They're also renewable.

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