The lessons from a pre-Christmas toy cleanup

too_many_toys.jpgTis the season of rampant consumerism and has a suggestion for an exercise which helps teach your kids about the *giving* side of Christmas, as well as how to unclutter their room and toy collection.
The exercise is to work with your kids on going through their rooms, tidying and sorting toys.

"Set out two boxes, one for trash and one for charity, and sort their old toys into them. As you pick up each toy in their room, ask them whether they think they will still play with it next year. Then ask whether another child might enjoy it more than they would. If they aren’t playing with it anymore, or if they can bear to part with it, it goes in one of the two boxes."

They note that your child should be the one to make these decisions - if you push them to give away things it could come across as a punishment!
This also helps solve a problem that several parents have mentioned to me - particularly those with young kids.  Often their kids get given so many toys they are literally overloaded!
I've always been a big fan of the 'giving tree' or the 'wishing tree' that various charities set up at shopping malls and the like - so you can buy a present for a kid who needs it, and leave it under the tree. But this idea is good too - rather than buying more, you're sharing from your own possessions.
Got any tips for how to have a sane Christmas with kids? Leave them in comments please.

Teaching kids charity and clarity with pre-Christmas cleaning []


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