Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Our Top 10 Ideas for Managing Toy Clutter and Keeping Kids Happy during Winter Months

Keeping Toys Fresh and Exciting During Winter. Pley.

It is that time of the year: kids spend more time indoors, happily playing - and spreading toys and things everywhere they can get to. The toy clutter feels overwhelming; and more are coming with Christmas!

It's that time of the year: plan a toy budget, get rid of the toy clutter, and keep it exciting at the same time.

Sponsored Pley November blog campaign: all views and opinions with regard to Pley or the products they feature are my own and were not reviewed by the company prior to publishing.

 

#1 Managing Toy Clutter: Create Dedicated Play Spaces

  • This might help sorting through the toys when cleaning up, 
  • the smaller choice of toys in any given space encourages kids' creativity and pretend play; it feels less overwhelming with more attention to details, 
  • the dedicated play space encourages staying more organized.

We try to keep several dedicated play spaces in the house. Stuffed animals and dolls with gear and Doc McStuffins stuff occupied the family room. We have a small train set and rotate some building sets and supplies in my office. There is a small basket next to the car seat and a toy shelf in the kid's bedroom. Yes, toy clutter feels annoying!

#2 Rotate the Toys

It does save money on toys and helps keeping existing toys fresh and exciting. We store some toys and toy sets out of reach, and later replace the toys in use with the "new" ones.

#3 Keep - Donate - Trash

It always feels good to empty the space before Christmas.

#4 Get Creative! Repurpose Existing Toys or Household Items.

Kids usually come up with the best ideas on their own. My Firefly has been playing with her tin tea set for a couple of days now. She uses her dry erase markers to make people's faces with different feelings on the bottom of the plates. These funny manipulatives motivated her to make up cute stories. Our DIY Feelings and Emotions book is in great use: A is for Alligator. Feelings.


Critical thinking and problem solving are at play here! It is so important - invaluable! - to encourage this type of play (if safe). Working together on a project, or just getting to the floor with them for only 5 minutes can make kids so happy! Happily creating!

#5 Invest in Toys That Are Engaging and Educational, Can Grow with Your Child, and Used in Many Ways

Yes, that is the definition of a good building set. Kids love their legos, but ask for new sets again and again. Well, they are expensive, and this leads us to the next idea here.

#6 Pley: A Large Selection of Educative Toys with Virtually No Toy Clutter

I'd like to invite you to visit Pley at https://www.pley.com/ This service works in three easy steps:
  1. Choose your favorite toys (Lego, K'NEX, and more),
  2. Free Delivery to your door,
  3. Play, Return, Repeat. 
The idea of Pley service came from the concepts of sharing and reducing waste for the environment.

Sharing. Kids learn this important skill hands-on: by playing with the new toy, taking care of it, sending it back in mail so that another child can enjoy it, and choosing a new one to play from the selection of latest on the market.

Protecting the environment. Pley claims that "the savings in plastic alone from reduced purchases amounts to at least 240 lbs. fewer CO2 emissions per annum per Pley member."

Christmas or birthday gift: Pley has an option of either a gift of unlilmited subscriptions or gift cards.

And the idea of reducing toy clutter this way is great!

#7 Share Toys with Friends

Families with kids of the same age can cooperate together and create a toy exchange group and/or play group for the winter. While this option takes time to organize and manage the group, it brings up a great message of sharing and playing together.

 

#8 Make Your Own DIY Christmas Toy

This is such a wonderful tradition! And the most loved toy is definitely a keeper. So far, here is our favorite: Frozen Reindeer Craft: Dancing with Jingle Bells.


#9 Mix & Match

Sometimes mixing two of the toys/ items/ toy sets together spark some beautiful creative play. Zoo animals with a doctor's set, an old purse with junk mail cards and envelopes...

Maybe you had some new play ideas recently? I'd love to here it! Our latest one: Fisher Price Blocks and Craft Sticks.

 

#10 Invest in Outside Winter Toys

Spending time outside, playing and moving, is wonderful!  The right toy that would encourage getting out and exercising is a great help! We are looking forward to play in snow. Pictured above: the cutest Snow Dino Accessory Kit. Amazon affiliate link: Snow Dino Accessory Kit.

More Winter Play Ideas from My Bright Firefly

30+ Merry and Bright Paintings and Paints
Pretend Play: Together in the Mitten
Fun Winter Play Date Ideas

(Click on the picture below to enlarge it.)

 

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