Getting your young child to get rid of any of his possessions, much less his precious toys, can be a real challenge for parents. As a mom who can’t stand clutter or hanging on to unused items, I have really struggled with this as a parent. Fortunately, I have learned some great tricks along the way that have helped both my 4 year old son and me get rid of unused toys. Here are my tips and tricks for getting your young child to get rid of unused toys.
Offer Another Incentive. Many young children can’t stand the thought of a single toy going into a yard sale box, until, that is, you let them know that they can keep the yard sale money earned for the toys. Pick a larger new toy, one that your child has had his eye on for a while, and tell him that the money earned at the yard sale for his old toys can go toward this toy purchase. You may be surprised how quickly your child will give up unused toys if there is an incentive involved. Of course you may have to supplement the actual yard sale money earned but getting rid of twenty toys to gain just one new one is a very good thing for reducing clutter.
Discuss Charity. A very young child will not understand the idea of giving toys to charity, but as your child gets to the 5-6 year old range, he will start to understand that not all children have as many toys as he does. Discuss with your child the many children around the world that have few or no toys at all. Work together to fill a small box of unused toys to donate to a local charity. Make sure your child accompanies you to drop off the items and let him know that he is the one making the donation. You may even want to get him his very own receipt to show his donation. Your child will start to learn the importance of giving and will hopefully start to feel that sense of satisfaction that only giving gives.
Do the Cleaning Before a Gift-Giving Holiday. You will find that it is much easier to get your child to give up unused toys right before a gift-giving holiday or birthday. If you try to get your child to get rid of toys in the middle of May, and the next holiday on the list for her isn’t until Christmas, she likely won’t budge. But if you wait until December, or a few weeks before her birthday, you are likely to have more success. Let your child know that new toys will be coming but that the only way there will be room for the toys is to get rid of existing toys that are never played with. Go through the toys together being sure to leave a nice open spot in the toy box or bin waiting to be filled with all the new toys the holiday is sure to bring.
Getting your child to part with his precious toys can be heart-wrenching for the child and difficult on mom or dad. Use these tips and tricks for fuss-free, or at least fuss-less, giving up of unused toys.