To her credit, one recent day without my prompting she decided to go through her things and donate a few things to "kids who don't have toys". That was a sweet day! I do want to foster more giving with my children, but sometimes I just need to take things into my own hands.
I once read if you added up all the times that you spend picking up some little toy, is that toy really worth the effort? Isn't that the truth with kid's meals toys. Boy, fast food restaurants do have genius marketing to kids. And at the end of the summer we ended up with a little too many junky toys.
So, the first week my daughter was back in school, I set out to clear out the clutter. I went through all the toy bins and organizers and picked out many little "treasures". I also went through their other toys and books. Instead of dealing with them at that time, I simply tossed the toys in a couple of bags and set them in the garage for a few days. I noticed no "treasures" were missed by the children.
Then, it was up to me to decide what to do with them. I'm not big on throwing things into the trash that can be used somewhere else. My decision was made easy when my daughter's first grade teacher requested little toys to have as rewards for the students. I also remembered that they gave out little toys in kindergarten. So, I set up several bags. One was marked for her current teacher, one for last year's teacher, one for the library and one for Goodwill. I quickly sorted the toys. The key to the sorting is to do it with my three-year-old occupied with play-do and my daughter at school.
I hope this encourages you to tackle the little kid clutter and look "outside of the box" on ways to donate it to good causes! If you have any other ideas of where little "treasures" might be put to good use, please share!