eskimommy

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Outgrowing toys

on December 6, 2010

My husband and I decided to take the little one (two years old) to the movies when Toy Story 3 came out in 3D. He watched the first two films in DVD and loved them. We were so happy he sat through the entire movie without pee breaks or tantrums. The movie is basically about the soon-to-be-college-boy Andy parting with his toys and how the toys cope with this milestone in a child’s life.

So fast-forward to the part where the toys end up in boxes for donation or for storage: this particular scene gave me an idea of what to do next with some of the little one’s toys. The next day, I am cleaning out his toy chest and out goes the Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack donuts, Fisher-Price Stack and Roll cups, stuffed animals, musical sea turtle, lots of rattles and squeaky toys. I ask the little one if he’s ready to say goodbye to these toys. He nods and says the toys are for babies. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

So what to do with toys your child has outgrown?

1. KEEP. All the toys go into one box and kept in the attic. If you still have the original box of each toy, it would be a lot easier to store. Due to limited storage space, I throw out the boxes of toys once they’re opened and keep only the manuals/warranties/instructions that come with it. I used to keep the boxes of my Barbie dolls and it turned out to be a good decision, since these dolls are already considered collector’s items. If you think you’ll have children in the future, it would be practical to keep toys. I keep personal favorites (those given by family or the favorite toys of the little one)

2. GIVE AS PRESENT. In our family it is okay to receive hand-me-downs especially if it is a toy that is hard-to-find or if it’s a memorable one that’s hard to part with. We even give them as gifts (these toys are in perfect condition, complete with box and manuals) to younger siblings, nephews, nieces and children.

3. SELL. We have a scrabble set at home which was bought in a garage sale for a dollar , it is portable and I have not seen it sold in any of the stores in the mall (even if I did, it probably wouldn’t cost a dollar). So if the toys are still in good condition, you can build a new “toy fund” by selling old ones through garage sales or via online (eBay, Multiply, etc.)

4.  DONATE. When my youngest brother turned 8, my mom decided to give a lot of our toys to the children of our household help. Charity begins at home, right? We let them choose first which toys they liked and the rest went to an orphanage. It is a wonderful feeling to see the eyes of kids light up when they see toys and it’s heartwarming to see your teddy bear find a new home. Christmas is a good time to donate toys since there a lot of foundations organize drives at this time of the year.

5. RECYCLE. As a rule, we don’t donate toys that are broken and can no longer be played with. After all, what’s the point in giving something that can be hazardous and useless. My brother used to throw all his toys around and take things apart to put them together again (which never happened). He ended up with a toy chest filled with parts and pieces. Instead of throwing these away and add up to the garbage problem, one can segregate and recycle.

This is my favorite toy, which I can’t seem to part with: Barbie Rapunzel.

What’s yours?

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