Every December, we take the opportunity to go through toys and donate the ones that are still in really good shape, but are no longer played with. This year, we included Parker in the process and we were so proud of his response.
I explained to him that when we donate toys, we are giving them a second chance to be really loved and played with by another child. Like taking turns, but for keeps.
Right off the bat, he told me all the toys that were really special to him. And I explained that we would never give any of those toys away. We talked about how some things he has just outgrown and they are no longer interesting, some toys look pretty but aren't useful, and other toys are broken and need to be cared for.
Parker was so careful as he went though his toy closet and genuinely thought about the pros and cons of each item. He even included Matilda in some of the choices and made sure to ask her first if she wanted something before it went in the basket. In the end, he filled an entire laundry basket with toys to be donated and one grocery sack of toys to be tossed.
I hope the whole process helped him understand the value of playtime. We like to be thoughtful when purchasing toys for our children. We are careful to invest in quality over quantity, but a closet full of lonely toys feels wasteful especially during the holiday season.
The good news is that both Parker and Matilda discovered things that were long forgotten, their room is spotless, and the whole house feels less cluttered.