Tidy the Toys

With three children, toys run rampant in our home.  The two older kids keep their toys in their rooms or in the toy box downstairs.  Little Sister has two baskets (plus tubs for blocks) for loose toys downstairs.

One problem is Brother, my four year old does most of the clean-up since Little Sister is too small and Big Sister is in kindergarten.  Brother doesn't always take the time to put toys where they belong, though the floor does get clean!  We often have no Little People for the tractor, and the play food is found in baskets and toy boxes instead of the kid kitchen.  And sometimes a baby shoe is put in the toy bin...

Another problem is the obvious...too many toys.  As we see toys that are no longer of interest and not a toy I want to keep for Little Sister, we do donate toys.
With all the toys mismatched and some that did not seem to have a home, I took a Saturday morning with the children to tidy the toys.  Here is what we did.

1.  I had the children bring all the loose toys to a pile near the toy box.  
2.  The toy box was emptied. 
3.  All little bins/baskets were brought to the mess.
4. We designated the toy box for Big Kid toys.  Bins were used for small baby toys, and the Penn State bin was designated as large baby toys.
4. Mom told Brother (age 4) what to take to where when he was unsure of what to do.
5. Big Sister (age 6) didn't need much help until the end.
6. Mom also decided which baby toys were outgrown, what toys needed a new home (in a bedroom or given away).  The children were consulted before giving away any toys.

By the time we were done, the toys were tidy and under control.  Goal met!!

Of course, the children still need reminders about where to put things, but starting with a clean slate helped a lot!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

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