This is a great time of year to give to charity. Actually, any time is a great time, but this is the time of year many of us think about it. So do it.
It could be a gift to that relative who really doesn’t want anything more. If you know his or her favorite charity, make a donation in your relative’s name.
Take some time with your children and help out at a local charity. It’s a great way to show them that they can help out with a favorite cause. It may take some searching to find something age appropriate, depending on the age of your children. Many organizations have a minimum age limit for volunteers.
Then, for your own sake and to give to others, declutter your home and give the reusable items to charity. Help your children to do likewise.
It’s often hard to get kids to give up toys, even ones they no longer use, but it is possible. Here are some ways to go about it.
1. Talk about why you clean out the excess toys.
Many children these days have far more toys than they could possibly play with. Others have very few because their families can’t afford to give them much. Sending old toys to the thrift shop means that families with less money can afford to give their children something fun to play with.
That’s what works well on my kids most times. I don’t buy a lot of toys for them, but they get a lot of them as gifts.
2. Make two piles and have your child choose between them.
This works for getting rid of toys or just storing the excess away for a time. Be sure that you allow trades between the piles for particular favorites, and be very clear on what is happening to each pile. Try to keep trades even between the piles, so that the “stay” pile doesn’t keep growing.
3. Sort them out yourself.
I’m not too fond of this option personally – I like my kids to be involved in the decision. Sometimes it’s necessary when the piles of unused toys get too extreme and you aren’t getting any cooperation on getting rid of toys.
If you do this, be prepared for some anger when missing toys get noticed. Kids can come up with a reason why any toy, no matter how neglected, was important. It may help to discreetly store toys taken this way for a time before sending to your local thrift store. This allows for any serious mistakes to be corrected. Or you can be firm about the matter and point out how many other toys are still all over the house.
However you go about it, make sure your kids see you giving up things as well. Children shouldn’t feel as though they’re the only ones having to give things up for others.