All of Gabby’s toys are pretty well organized by category, but we have one small bin for the miscellaneous plastic toys and trinkets that tend to accumulate. McDonald toys, little dinosaurs and animals, Little People cars and people, a few My Little Pony ponies and their accessories, an old set of playing cards, a magnifying glass, little fabric pouches, a couple of ribbons, etc.
So this weekend Gabby knocks the misc. bin upside down and the content pours all over the floor. She plays with the random little toys for a minute then decides to go do something else instead. Chris reminds her she needs to pick up all her toys before she can play with something else. Of course, she whines about how there’s SO MANY toys to pick up and UGH she can’t POSSIBLY pick ALL OF THEM up by HERSELF OH MY GOSH UGH!
Well I’m full of solutions so I respond, “if you have too many toys to pick up then maybe we should give some away.” To my surprise, she seemed intrigued in my suggestion. Then I had no choice but to follow through with it! So I placed a paper bag and the bin next to each other, and I instructed her to pick up all the toys and separate them. Bin for the toys she wants to keep, and the paper bag for toys she wants to give away.
At first she was excited about giving this toy to Kyle and that toy to Amelia, I had to quickly jump in and explain we weren’t giving them to her friends because they had enough money to buy their own toys. We were going to give them away to kids who didn’t have enough money for toys. She was still so enthusiastic about giving everything away that Chris was sure she didn’t actually understand what was going on. I emphasized multiple times that she was not getting those toys back, and she told me in a “duh” tone that we were giving them to kids who didn’t have toys.
I don’t think Chris was convinced about this exercise at all, but I think she really did a good job separating the toys she plays with and the ones she doesn’t. She even split up her little plastic dinosaurs so she could keep half and give the other half to the other kids in need. She seemed so happy to share her old toys, and actually satisfied with getting rid of the extra load.
This child, who is so darn difficult at times, sure finds ways to make me proud sometimes!