There will come a time in the year, most likely after Christmas, where you will want to start thinking about having a clear out at home. We did this last weekend and I asked the children to choose some fabulous toys to take to charity, to help make another child’s Christmas a happy one. You will want to get rid of your old possessions and pieces of furniture, ready to make room for all the new things you received during the festive season. However, when it comes to clearing out your home, you will also want to get the kids involved and get rid of their old toys.
Convincing your child to get rid of a beloved toy can feel like talking a T-Rex out of eating you, but believe it or not it can be done. It is more about the way you approach the subject than what you do, so make sure you really take that time to make sure you know what you are going to say. If you want to get your kids to give away toys, then read on.
First of all you need to talk to your child and discuss the idea of getting rid of old things in the home to make way for new items coming in. The best way to approach this is to make it clear that you are also making the sacrifice and getting rid of things yourself. This way you child won’t feel like they are being singled out, they will feel more involved in the process.
Make it a game
Have a practise run with your child in their bedroom. Say that you are playing a game and that you are having a yard sale. Then let your child put the things they don’t want or need ‘up for sale’. You will be able to see exactly what your child doesn’t want and you will be doing it in a no risk setting. It means that your child won’t think they are having everything taken away from them, they simply think they are playing a game.
Give them the power
As it is your child’s belongings and not yours which you will be throwing out, it is only fair to give them a choice in the matter. You child may have 20 dolls which are nearly identical- and that can be a lot for one child to play with. It could be worth sitting down with them and asking them to choose their favourite 5 dolls which they want to keep. The rest can go to someone who is more in need. Another idea would be to rent a Furniture storage unit and give your child the choice to move things into that unit for a month and see if they can cope without them. If your child misses the toy then you can bring it back, if not, you can take it away.
Take it slow
It is a difficult decision for children to get rid of their favourite toys because they are sentimental people. Don’t rush them by walking into the room with a bin bag; just give them the time to truly decide what they want to keep and what they don’t mind getting rid of.
Give good reason
Whatever you do, don’t throw the toys away unless they are totally broken, instead you want to donate them to charity to give another child chance to play with them. When you are convincing your child, tell them about donating the toys to kids who need them, make sure they know that their toys will go somewhere they will be looked after and played with. Children are incredibly intelligent so giving them the reason why you need to throw toys away will help them deal with it. For example saying that you are decorating and that you need to make room for new things may spark the child’s mind and let them be happier to give them away.
Let the memory live on
It might sound a little bit strange to us, but to our children toys are incredibly important and they can become friends of a sort to our child. If your kid has to get rid of a toy they love because it is broken or they’ve grown out of it; make sure you keep the memory of the toy for your child. Take a photo of the toy and your child, print the photo online and then put it into a small frame that will go in your kids room. The fact that you respect the bond they had will make your child respect you much more than if you simply threw it away.