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To ask what you do if your child has too many toys

(36 Posts)
Wuddlingheights Thu 21-Feb-19 04:47:25

I realise this is the ultimate first world problem and looks like a stealth boast, so apologies.

My 6 year old is an only child and first (although not only) grandchild and niece.

People are very generous with buying her gifts, although DH and I rarely buy her gifts unless it’s a special occasion.

The end result is, basically, far too many toys. Cupboards and cupboards worth. She’s the kind of child who loves everything from a Kinder Egg toy to a bike, so is by no means ungrateful. This makes the issue worse and it’s hard to throw things away because she truly loves everything.

It’s complete bloody madness though. It’s spilling out into two rooms and, as she’s at school, it’s not like she has time to play with it.

We periodically clear out and give to charity, but many things are unused as she hasn’t had a chance to play with them.

I’m interested to know if anyone has any strategies to at least ensure things get played with once in a while. I could cry at the sight of piles of toys and games that are untouched from one Christmas to the next because they get put in a cupboard and forgotten.

I’ve genuinely thought of starting some kind of toy library with my neighbours so at least things get used.

Also interested in ways to ask people not to overload her with toys at birthdays/Christmas, without being the mother who deprives my child of gifts.

IShitGlitter Thu 21-Feb-19 04:52:26

I explain to my 3 year old that we are going to give some toys to children who dont have many toys and he picks which ones he will give away. We donate them then hes quite good we do that a few times a year.

Mailfuckoff Thu 21-Feb-19 04:57:35

We had twins and a small house so I understand, also have children that hang on to everything. Now we suggest days out, cinema tickets or vouchers for toy shops so they can save up for something special. You can rotate toys but if it really is too much put some unopened things into the present drawer and use the money saved into her money box or for treats.

MergeDragons Thu 21-Feb-19 04:59:50

As an auntie to 6 DCs I often try to buy something that is useful but fun so one time I got character towels another fun food storage boxes.

Alternatively things which are fun but consumable are good. This year for Christmas I put together a big craft box for one set and a movie night box (dvd, hot chocolate, popcorn, fluffy socks) for the other lot.

I know that the GPs pay for ballet lessons and others have got theatre tickets in the past. I think at 6 your DD is old enough to appreciate experiences as gifts and connect them to the giver.

Playingfootball Thu 21-Feb-19 05:02:59

I clear out when the kids are at school. Most children don’t want to choose which toys to give away and show them an unopened toy and they will want to open it and play with it. DD doesn’t have to play with every gift she is given, and I’d argue that it’s a total waste to keep things to be opened and played with for 5 minutes. We have a regifting box, so at birthday and Christmas once the 3rd craft set/Lego set/ whatever comes in I swipe it away into the regifting box. Every year I clear the regift box out -this year I gave a huge bag of brand new toys to someone I know struggles financially, and she was very grateful. We could easily end up like you, but I’m not having DCs stuff clutter the whole house.

sequinafortune Thu 21-Feb-19 05:12:52

I used put things (that weren't being played with) away in a black bag for a month when DC were little. If they weren't missed they went to the charity shop. Also asked family to do experiences rather than gifts. Now the DC are older it's much better. Although DD still asks for enough make up to start her own shop!

Siameasy Thu 21-Feb-19 05:58:28

I love your toy library idea!
Rotation is what I do. Then I hope she forgets about the toy!
Some books and toys stay in the car and some stay at mil’s house.
I’m lucky tho as my DD is younger and I can get rid of unsavoury toys more easily.

Kokeshi123 Thu 21-Feb-19 06:04:07

I think you have to level with people and explain really clearly that you don'T want more toys, and set out explicitly why this is the case. It isn't easy, TBH. But if you just make vague comments about "Oh, no need to buy toys" people will just assume you are being polite and will buy them anyway. So you have to kind of spell it out. A lot of MN people seem to think this is really rude, but too many toys create so much extra housework and hassle for parents.

Jebuschristchocolatebar Thu 21-Feb-19 06:18:43

We put the foot down and ask for vouchers for presents and have requested not to get big toys as we don’t have the room. I also do the same as someone else above, put it away for a month and if it’s not noticed it’s gone. I do a stealth clear out of tat like kinder egg toys etc on a reguglar basis and I play dumb if asked. I find the only way mine play with stuff is if I leave specific things out for them to play with.

soundsystem Thu 21-Feb-19 06:24:23

Mergedragons you sound like the perfect Auntie!

When family ask what ours would like we suggest craft things or days out. For birthday parties, luckily most of their friends parents are like minded so we always buy and receive consumables/craft things as well, which helps.

Are any of the generous relatives local to you? Perhaps some of the toys can live at their houses?

OhWifey Thu 21-Feb-19 06:24:31

MergeDragons you sound like a wonderful Auntie!

user1493413286 Thu 21-Feb-19 06:35:51

We try and rotate some to mils house (she’s the reason we have so many) so that DD rediscovers toys every so often. I also try to rotate them at home a bit by putting some away and getting others out

Pinkbells Thu 21-Feb-19 12:29:16

We have this with our youngest. The older one is fine - he goes through his things periodically and has a cull - the only problem is the younger one tends to take it all into his room, but doesn't clear any of his stuff away first! So we rotate a lot of his things - I bought about 20 of the large 'really useful' boxes which stack really nicely and they go away in the storage cupboard then get rotated until they are too young for either of them, then the very favourites are stored in the loft (like all the Brio, Duplo, best loved things) and the rest go to a charity shop.

FunnyTinge Thu 21-Feb-19 12:37:37

Children's Car boot sale? There's one around here that raises money for Barnardos, and you can leave any unsold toys which will also be donated to Barnardos. The kids enjoy the selling too (just don't let them do any buying angry).

Partidgeinpeartree Thu 21-Feb-19 12:46:10

Four kids and the exact same problem but then x4. What helps me in the last few years is that we only buy them toys that will last a lifetime (i.e. lego, playmobil) and that may be of use for possible grandchildren. We´ve also told this to family but we have some mil you know this is you that insist on always deviating from our wish list. Cheap plastic tat gets removed (bin or charity) as quickly as possible (especially as it often breaks easily and becomes a risk for the smaller ones). I have trained my eldest to not immediately unbox any toys at birthdays etc. as often they get things which can be regifted as well. Work does a charity collection in December, so we tend to keep a growing basket for that purpose during the year. I am obsessively organised so I also had to accept that not everybody shares my ideal of a clean house. My 2nd DD has voluntarily cleaned her room and limits toys to whatever fits in 1 cuboard. My 1st is more difficult and to ease my mind I bought her these IKEA storage units so that at least I can demand that everything is stored away.

Brainfogmcfogface Thu 21-Feb-19 12:46:31

Regular toy purge! I’m a bit of a bootsale addict and so often get my dd lots of toys from them. When I find numbers are creeping up I set aside time to go through them and remove anything I’ve not seen her play with recently. I’m ruthless and only very occasionally does she notice, in which case I innocently say “well you were the last to have it, I don’t know where it is” 😇

HeyThoughIWalk Thu 21-Feb-19 13:08:30

We keep some unopened toys to regift (DCs are young enough to smuggle a few things out of the heap of birthday presents without them noticing).

We ask for vouchers for days out as much as possible, and also sometimes suggest a big present that people can buy as a group.

In the house, I'm fairly ruthless about clearing out - I have a few friends with slightly younger DCs who appreciate them.

MotherWol Thu 21-Feb-19 14:01:48

A couple of ideas:

- ask for useful consumables, such as pyjamas, clothes, swimming kit, or trainers. If they've got a birthday coming up and you know they're growing out of something, suggest it as a gift rather than buying it yourself.
- if it's unused and still in packaging, regift it, donate it or resell it.
- tickets, memberships and experience gifts are generally a good idea

EstrellaDamn Thu 21-Feb-19 14:07:59

Partridge I'm loving that!

Mum, can I have a LOL doll please?
Will it benefit my future grandchildren? No, then Sylvanian Families it is!


Purpletigers Thu 21-Feb-19 14:11:11

I’d ask for money to put into her savings account . Failing that I’d get her into Lego , playmobil or something which can be saved or resold . Lego holds its value well if you avoid all the Friends sets .

Purpletigers Thu 21-Feb-19 14:12:29

Or ask for swimming lessons , music lessons , dance / karate etc . Much more use than lots of plastic crap .

Shineyshoes10 Thu 21-Feb-19 14:30:15

Just don't do what I did.

We are moving soon. As part of that we decluttered toys, books etc and clothes. What we could sell we sold and the rest were donated. I offered DSs a 1/5 of the profits each if they helped, this made them more willing to part with things. All well and good, we all made a good amount. Sadly all 3 DSs spent their profit on lots of Lego, 2 Xbox games, a football and funko pops.

Duplicates and items I know won't be used I either regift or donate to the hospital.

Andro Thu 21-Feb-19 14:49:31

I’m ruthless and only very occasionally does she notice, in which case I innocently say “well you were the last to have it, I don’t know where it is”

So you don't just lie to your daughter, you leave her thinking she's lost whatever item she's asking about? That's horrible.

minieggsqueen Thu 21-Feb-19 15:03:05

If some are still boxed up and brand new I would be taking them to a children's hospital tbh. A child doesn't need that many toys- imagination does the rest of you encourage it/outside play.

Petalflowers Thu 21-Feb-19 15:04:49

I used toout some in a box I would save to take away on holiday with us.

Alternatively, box someup and rotate them.

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