Clearing Out the Old Toys

kids opening christmas presents

Photo by 3lilmonsters411

While a lot of moms on tight budgets had to cut back on gifts this year, a number of mommies are still worried that their toddlers are getting way too much stuff -- from Santa, grandparents, friends, etc.

Even celebrities that can afford to shower their kiddies in gifts are choosing not to do so. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie buy a few new toys for their six children, but they put way more emphasis on homemade presents. Even actress Keri Russell limits the number of gifts her son River Deary receives from family.


TatorsMommy2205, in the Preschooler Moms group, is particularly concerned that Santa (herself, mother, brother) is being a little too generous to her soon-to-be 3 year old daughter. This raises the issue of what to do with all her old toys. It's one thing to get rid of toys a child has outgrown and no longer plays with, but TatorsMommy2205's little girl still plays with all of them. She asks:

How do you ladies know when it is time to pass toys along? Do you have a method for it, or a certain amount of time that you go in and check your kids toys? And, do your kids get upset for days after you get rid of their old toys, even if there are already new ones to replace them?

Here are some of the responses she got:

  • At least twice a year, right before my son's birthday and then again on Christmas, I go through all of the toys, when he is not around, and bag up the ones that he has outgrown or doesn't play with and donate them.
  • Could you maybe save some of her gifts for her birthday? Or, let her open everything and then tell her we need to make room for all these new toys. So, are there some toys that you'd like to give to someone who would love to have them? For instance, we have a lot of little cousins, so I always tell my son, "You know who would love this toy, so and so would!" And then he's happy to give it to them. Tat2dCaliMama

  • I would I go through my son's toys about every six months. The last time I completely cleaned out his toy box was about 4 months ago when a friend gave me Legos her son never even opened. I told my son that if he wants the Legos, he needs to clear out the toys in his toy box (which he never played with anymore). He kept maybe ONE toy from the toy chest and never asked for the old toys. JPsMommy605
  • If you have the space, take some of her stuff and put it away. Then when the newness starts to wear off of her toys, switch out your stock. It keeps things new to her. When switching them out no longer excites her, then it's time to donate that toy.

Has your toddler ever asked for an old toy that you'd previously thrown out or donated? How did you explain your way out of it?

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