It started at party city when I purchased the balloons for my 7 year olds birthday party. “Mommy can I have the pink one and the green one, if there are balloons left over?” The 10 balloon ribbons were tied and held tightly by her Vulcan grip. All the way to the party my first grader talked, disciplined and named her new friends, balloony, balloony and balloony. You get the idea. The party was great fun and fortunately we had a couple of balloon friends left over. For the next several days my little girl did not pay one iota of attention to any doll, Barbie, pollypocket or stuffed animal. Her balloons were taken for walks, drawn faces, and helped around when the helium started to fade.
The pure simplicity kept her busy while my thoughts turned to why for Pete’s sake do I have all those toys in the basement? Needless to say I did some purging and while I was knee deep in toys, I thought of a few questions for you to ask yourself when its time for you to do the same.
- If it has lost or broken pieces – toss. Yes, toss, no matter how much they loved it our used to play with it.
- If your last child has graduated from any larger toy, such as a plastic rocking horse or a-learn to walk gizmo, do not keep it for your grand children! There will be newer and more exciting things your kids will want to use, not an old plastic toy that has been sitting in the attic for 20 years. Donate it!
- If it is a toy your child once loved, but no longer cares about. You can keep one for your own memories, but remember they no longer care. Don’t keep the toy to give when they get older. Then your kids won’t throw it out due to guilt that you kept it all these years. Or your kids will throw it out and you have to go through that emotional separation again, like when they decided they didn’t want it in the first place.
- If you do the purging when no one is home and is not sure if your kids are ready to give up on some things. Place them in a dark colored trash bag and store away out of their reach. If not a peep about those toys is mentioned, quietly slip it to Good Will.
I hope these steps don’t sound to harsh. It is hard to give up things that hold some fond memories. We also do not need to purchase every Barbie dream house that comes on the market for our little girls and every racecar ever manufactured in China. The simple things keep the imagination going and spark creativity. If you think you need all those toys, think again buy some bubbles and a balloon.