Parenting Tips

How to Involve Kids with Toy Purging

It's a teachable moment that emphasizes responsibility and kindness.

By Lee Scott on March 17th, 2017

Little boy and girl cleaning up their toys
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Believe it or not, in just a few days it will be spring! Now is a great time to spring into action and ask your little ones to help you clean out the house. Spring cleaning and toy purging are wonderful opportunities to help teach children sorting and decision-making skills, as well as how to give to others.

Yet many of us don't give our children enough responsibility around the house. A study from Wellesley College, Children's Autonomy and Responsibility: An Analysis of Child Rearing Advice, by Markella Rutherford found that many parents give their children only trivial jobs around the house, far less than in past generations. She found that "children may not be doing enough to help around the house to develop a sense of competence."

You can start this spring by having your children help clean and sort out their bedroom or play area. Here are a few ideas to help make this fun:

  • Pick Their Favorites
    Ask your child to pick out special or meaningful toys—ones that will stay and be cared for. Talk about the toys, why she loves them, and what her favorite things to do with them are. Ask where they should be kept so that they stay in good condition.

  • Make Two Piles
    Next, ask your child to sort through the other toys and place them in two piles: one pile of toys in good condition that could be given to other children, and another pile of old, dirty, or broken toys that could be thrown away.

  • Pack'em up
    Finally, ask your child to pack up the toys that will be given away to others. You and your child should go together to the charity that will receive the toys. Discuss how other children might feel to receive these toys. Being part of the entire process will teach your child lifelong lessons about graititude, empathy, and organization.

Share with us on Facebook how your family plans to tackle spring cleaning together!

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