Moving into a 10 x 10 room as our main living space served as some severe inspiration! Something had to be done about this mountain of toys we still had! In the photo above (taken in our old apartment), you can see the ottoman in the back corner - it had become a play center where we kept all of Sasha's toys (or tried anyway). You can see it was overflowing. Then there were the random toys scattered about the place.
So what sort of criteria do you use in deciding which toys belonging to a toddler to keep and which to donate? For starters, Sasha got some toys for her 2nd birthday that we thought were great at the time, but quickly lost their wonder. There was the two-car train set that was little wooden posts with blocks that sat on top...
There were a couple of problems with this train. First, a 2yo does not keep like items together. At least my 2yo doesn't. Second, once you remove all the blocks, you have these little wooden posts sticking straight up. My husband hated this toy because our daughter kept trying to sit on the train! He was certain she was going to impale her nether regions! So this train... was donated. I actually managed to find all the parts and put them together.
Then look at those plastic blocks on the floor in the top photo. Those are from a Garanimals Gripper Blocks Playset. They don't grip strongly or easily enough for a 2yo to use. Even when an adult put the things together they fell apart with much handling at all. The best part were the 3 animal characters. Sasha carried them around with her for days! Still, not a good toy for the long haul.
My older daughter had passed along several baby dolls. I feel 1 baby doll is plenty. I chose a smallish one that closed its eyes when put on its back. Sasha also got a couple of barbie-style dolls for her birthday. I don't feel they were terribly age appropriate and I don't support the body image, either. Those were easy to pass along. There were a couple of old rubber(?) wrestler dolls... I wonder if they were worth any money. I don't know, but they got donated, too!
I think in the end I had 2 garbage bags stuffed full of toys. We didn't get rid of every annoying toy because some of them are favorites. I tried to choose SMALL toys to keep. I decided that everything I kept had to fit into her single toy basket, which is small.
There are a couple of items missing from the basket in this photo. We did also make a few exceptions...
First is the Musical Taggies Bear that my mother picked out for Sasha. My mother has gotten a musical plush for each of my children... until Spencer. She passed away in June. Next is a very soft bear Sasha got from my brother last Giftmas. His name is Burkley. He makes for a very nice companion, though out of the three is the least sentimental (and therefore the least likely to survive the next cut). Then finally is the large Elmo. It belonged to my husband's step mother and does hold sentimental value as she is also no longer with us.
You can also see the two smaller Elmo and Cookie Monster dolls. They talk and are favorites. They also have OFF switches, which makes them popular with us, too! There is also a tricycle outside and a ride-on car that converts to a walking toy (for cruisers to push). It fits under the coffee table and may prove useful for Spencer as well. Plus Sasha loves it!
She also has a ladybug Pillow Pet, which I actually use as a pillow when nursing her in her own bed. She also has a Leap Frog Alphabet Caterpillar. It lives in the play room right now. It isn't very small, but she plays with it enough that I'm not ready to pass it along. It is actually pretty versatile for an electronic toy.
What criteria do you use for minimizing your child's toy collection?
How many toys does your child have? or How much space is dedicated to toys?
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