Has it been ages since you have been able to close the lid of your kid’s toy box? Do his toys just spill out over the edges and create a playroom floor full of landmines? Then it may be time to pull the plug, drain the toy box a bit, and rotate his toys. Having access to too many toys at once creates a world of confusion and frustration for your little one. Limiting the number of toys your child plays with at a given time will teach him valuable boundaries, help him learn decision making, keep him focused, and ultimately, decrease tantrums.
However, if you simply cannot part with your child’s surplus of toys, then it is imperative that you rotate them often. Rotating toys is as simple as “pack-n-stack.” Pack half or so of your child’s toys in a few boxes and stack them out of sight from your little one either in the garage or his closet. Every season, change things up by swapping some of the toys! This is not only cost effective, but it makes the child feel like he has just received a bunch of new toys!
Many parents feel their child will get bored with too few toys. It is actually the exact opposite. If there are dozens of toys scattered throughout your home, this sends a confusing message to your little one. “Which one do I play with?” There will be too much variety, the toys will be thrown about the room, and the child will become overwhelmed playing with every toy for only a short amount of time.
A child needs to develop a sense of choice, limits, and boundaries. This skill is first taught with his toys! If you place two to three toys in front of your child, this allows him the freedom to examine each toy fully and make the decision on his own as to which one he prefers. By only giving him this small number of toys to choose from, he begins to develop the concept of limits and boundaries. He can still play with his toys, he just has a smaller selection at the current moment.
And yes, it is very important to teach your young child how to make his own decisions. He is fully capable, but only with limiting the choices. Imagine taking your hungry four year old into a restaurant. You never ask him what he wants because the overwhelming menu will only confuse him! However, sense you have taught him how to make decisions using his toys, you can give him a simply choice, hamburger or hotdog. He can think about each food and decide which one he would like to eat. The same idea goes for playing with his toys.
Removing some of your kid’s toys from his toy box so he can actually close the lid will ultimately make him feel better and of course, make you feel better. After all, this is why you picked out such a unique and creative toy box for your child in the first place, to store his toys!
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Author: Shirley L. Moore, mom, expert organizer