TOYS TOYS TOYS – WHAT do you do with all of them???
Have you ever had this happen to you?…
I have small children in the house/ I am a grandmother who has small children constantly visiting, playing with the toys, messing them up (thank G-d) and also getting little crumbs all over them…and now with Pesach approaching I am going through the toys that have itty bitty pieces and trying to see if we can get rid of some of them– Do you have any ideas of what to do to keep in control of it all? The toys just get everywhere!!!! And often when the kids are playing with them, the toys and pieces just go all over the place with no way to be enjoyed by anyone, and they make a mess, get stepped on and worse…
Oiy, I used to do that – both when I was a pre-school teacher and also when I was a Mommy of small children. It often drove me nuts. And I used to waste so much time cleaning them all! Now I look at it totally differently. I have quite a few tips on this subject. I’ll share just a bit with you today, focusing on organization and will give you a few more over the next few days.
TIP! The only way to take care of toys is – sshhhhh – to do it only when the kids are NOT HOME. This way you can work quicker and more importantly, you can throw out broken items without any complaints. After all if they didn’t miss it until now…
Okay, on to those pesky little toys that ‘always make a huge mess’.
- Put all your ‘little bits of this and that’ on the table or floor in front of you.
- Divide them into groups of toys. Legos, blocks, cars, menchies, doll accessories.
- NOW THROW OUT all the chewed up, broken, ugly or missing pieces.
- Anything very small that a baby or child can swallow should be put away for only older children to play with, or tossed out as well.
As you will see in all my tips, I am a FIRM BELIEVER in THROWING THINGS OUT. It’s the best, fastest, and most efficient way to make order and make yourself more room at the same time!
- You should now have some basically neat piles in front of you.
- Now you need to place those toys by category into baskets, one basket/ bucket/drawer/ container for each kind of toy.
- For smaller items, I used to buy 4 liter rectangular sized flat clear freezer containers with lids and the smaller toys went into those. Then I could label the outside of each one with a bright colored sticker, those kind that come many in one package all of them big squares or rectangles – and if you color code it, even better because then even small children who can’t read yet will know what to put back into that particular container. Use a red sticker that says “Small LEGOS” on it, a blue sticker that says “Cars and Trucks” on it, an orange one that says “Play Food”, a yellow one that says “Dishes” or “Play cutlery” and so forth.
- Toys that are more bulky will require bigger baskets.
- One of the main perks to all this is that you will find that playtime is so much more enjoyable when the kids can easily take out what they want to play with, without having to dump out an entire toy chest and make a huge mess each time
- And more than that – when kids see it organized, you can more easily then teach them how to put it all back. Dishes go here, cutlery goes there, etc. All they will need is a bit of guidance but they will get used to it and will eventually be able to do it on their own. Especially if you offer four chocolate chips to any child who helps clean up after play time. Go and see how well that one works for any child under 8 years old!
Even better, start considering which toys never get played with and find a gemach or some other place that you can give them away to. This I always did with permission from my kids. Since it is their general possessions, you can’t give them away until they are ready to…
Do YOU have any tried and true TOY organizing tips or Pesach cleaning tips to share with us? Whether you are a grandmother, a new Mommy, or a teacher of little ones, we’d love to hear what you have to share with us all.
Feel free to share these tips with your friends and family or anyone else you feel will enjoy them. The more people we can help at this hectic time of year, the better…
Have a successful cleaning day!
All the best,