A few weekends ago, I decided it was time to pair down some of JP's toys.
We do not buy him that many toys as experience as shown me that we would buy them mostly for ourselves but still, there are always toys coming inside the house, courtesy of the grandparents or friends, and they easily add up.
We don't have a playroom, his toys are scattered through the house: in his bedroom, the living room, the office and the kitchen, roughly contained in baskets or boxes. This may sound silly, and I certainly understand the appeal of confining the toys in one room, but it's what makes sense to our family as we try to integrate play into our home and into our lives and spend time together.
It also makes it easier for me to see what toys he plays the most, and I was noticing there were a lot of untouched toys for a while, so I told him we would go through his toys and choose some to pass on to other kids.
I've briefly considered doing this without him, worried that it would take forever with lame results but it felt wrong, so and I decided to at least try and see how it would go.
Well, the kid is a tidying pro. I followed kondo's advice of making him touch the toys and he had a great pleasure to hold all his plush toys. In the end, he decided to give them ALL. He was so keen to let go of most of his toys, that I myself was feeling a little scared he was not fully aware of what was happening and started to question him a lot about his choices. The most common answer was: "I don´t play with it anymore" but there were some other valuable arguments mentioned:
On playing tools, which he has two sets (wooden/plastic):
- I don't need two of each and these (from the wooden set) will last longer I think. Let us keep this one.
On playing sword:
I don't need this (you won't play pirates anymore?) Of course I will, but a have lots of swords outside! (please read sticks that serve like swords...)
On car with a broken wheel:
- I like the car but it doesn't work anymore... if daddy can't fix them I think we can put it in the garbage.
He felt very strongly about toys to keep (lego, train track, cars, puzzles, piano, animal masks, art supplies) and resolved his doubts in a lovely way:
- I don't play with it anymore, but it holds toys and S (daughter of friends who visits us at times) loves to play with it when she comes, so I guess it's better to keep it here for now.
Plain / M&M's chocolate dispenser:
- I'll keep this one because I'm hoping it will grow M&M again...