Thursday, May 19, 2011

Toys and More Toys

Within the last week I realized that my living room is being eaten alive by toys! It began at Christmas when we went so overboard with the amount of toys that Santa brought. Well, when Robert & I split up, some went with him, but... there are still too many! In fact, I realize that most of the toys are not being played with.

So, Monday I took out a full laundry basket of toys! I am going to put them into a garbage bag and either keep them or yard sale them this summer. I also threw away some junk toys.

Then, I came up with a system because most of her toys were not being played with and, to me, it feels as if I wasted my money buying toys that she doesn't play with!
Here is her beautiful toy box that she got as a Christmas present from Pap Rich & Grandma Nancy.
At night after she goes to bed, I clean up toys. It only takes an extra few moments, but I pull toys from the bottom of the toy box and put them on the top. Caelyn is way too young to think of digging for toys at the bottom, so I help her. I do keep the bag of wooden blocks within her reach, but otherwise, all toys are rotated.
This way, every morning she opens her box of toys, she pulls out a different toy that wasn't on top yesterday. I feel so much better because this system is already working and it honestly doesn't take me anymore extra time than I was using before.

This girl also has a lot of books. These are just the ones that she hasn't
a) destroy or
b) are paperback and are kept in my room until she is old enough not to destroy them or when I want to read them to her.

So, my new system? As I am gathering them up off the floor, I pick a few from the floor and a few out of the bin and put them into this little basket she got on Easter.
It goes in the middle of the bookshelf. These are the books for the day. It helps! She does pull out the bottom box, but she goes right for this little basket, she can carry it out into the middle of the room, unlike the other bin. She loves to read! So, this works great for us.
I find that toys end up being a pain in parents' butts.

I got a lot of inspiration for my toy situation from a book for Catholic mothers by Tami Kiser.

I also have been encouraging Caelyn periodically throughout the day to clean up her toys, yes at almost 16months! It takes me showing her and helping her, but she does catch on. For example, today she played with her wooden blocks but after breakfast, she lost interest. I grabbed the bag that they go in and said, lets clean up these blocks and put them in the bag and she watched me and helped. She was so pleased with herself and I thanked her for her help. Oh the look on her face - priceless!

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