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I can tell you every single toy that my kids own.
I can even take it a step further and tell you where those toys are at in my house this very moment.
I think that's pretty cool.
Toys are a topic that every single parent deals with. Most conversations I am involved with are along the lines of overwhelm, clutter, junk, and tantrums, to name a few.
I'm a type-a, clean freak person to start, so from the beginning, I've tried to be intentional about keeping the amount of toys in our home to a minimum. If it were up to me I'd only have open-ended, natural toys in my house. Not only do they keep the kids busy for hours and spark imagination and creativity, but I think they're way prettier, too, HA!
Over time, maybe, all of our toys will be transformed into a very small and curated collection, but for now, this is what works well for us, and I think that for three kids it's not too shabby! The photos I've included in this post show just about every toy we have, apart from our craft cabinet, a small trampoline, outside toys, and a wobbel board that we bought a few days after these photos were taken ;)
- If you're trying to pare down your kids' toys, I think the best way to start is to watch them. We have a lot of stuff, but to be honest, my kids gravitate towards probably the same 25% of things every day. What do your kids actually care about? What goes untouched? One day during nap or evening after bedtime, put all of the untouched toys in a big box in a closet or garage. After a few days, have your kids even noticed? You also don't have to do one big purge. Take your time and just get rid of a few things each week. Repeat this step as necessary; for example, maybe your baby has turned into a toddler -- onto the next stage of toys! (It's totally time for me to do this again)!
- I also love, love, love these cubby type shelves for toy storage. Rather than a black hole of a toy box, give each special piece a special place. Even my one year olds know where toys go away because they can remember which cubby the objects belong.
- Utilize baskets and boxes. Having a big basket for the balls, a medium one for all of the blocks, and smaller ones for things like toy cars and musical instruments helps keep things together. I even have a small basket with small, miscellaneous stuff that my kids like to use that just feel out of place otherwise. Whatever works, man.
- Try to replace toys that only have one specific purpose with things that inspire open ended and creative play. (I'm obviously still working on this one!)
Here's a little list of some toys we love as well as some we can't wait to add to our collection: