How to Throw Down a Toy Challenge

I have a love/hate relationship with toys.  You know the feeling.  Of course we want our kids to have toys, but they can clutter our spirits just as much our family rooms.  Every once in a while it hits us: some of these toys have got to go!  But how should we decide which toys to keep and which to give away?

It can be so hard to let go of toys!  Over there’s a perfectly good toy they never even played with.  Here’s a toy they haven’t touched in months, but claim to absolutely love.  And here’s a toy you love and wish they were still playing with (they’re growing up too quickly!).

We all struggle with this! When you’re on the fence about getting rid of a toy, or when your kids are giving you the I’m bored-and-I-have-nothing-to-play-with moan,


Issue a Toy Challenge!

Sit the kids down in a room with a toy they haven’t played with in ages and tell them to play with it, now.


In my continuing quest to be a more “fun” mom, I’ll often set a timer for ten minutes and give an enthusiastic “Ready… set… play!”  One of two things generally happens:

1) They jump in with both feet and end up playing with the rediscovered toy for days

2) They come to me when the timer goes off and start moaning again.


And thus, the question about whether or not to get rid of the toy is decided.

If a Toy Challenge yields a lackluster result, that particular toy is ready to go.  I’m generally happy to make a little dent in their toy collections.  Out with the old, and more space for the stuff they’ll get for Christmas.

But, even though I’m a tosser by nature, I still love a good “successful” toy challenge.  I’m glad when they enjoy playing with all of their things instead of just a few favorites.  And I’m happy to jump in and join them!  After all, how much longer will I get to play with Elmo?  I’ve got to enjoy my tea parties and light saber battles while they last!

That’s the benefit of a love/hate relationship with toy: we can choose to be happy with either outcome of a good Toy Challenge!  We’re clearing out our spiritual clutter… even if some of the toys stick around for a while.


Giving Thought to Your Ways (a la Proverbs 14:8)

  • Is your house over-run with toys, or on its way there?
  • Are there toys in your house that haven’t seen the light of day in months?
  • Are you holding onto some things your kids have outgrown?
  • Is there a Toy Challenge you want to issue today?


What to challenge yourself to get organized?  Check out the Organizing You books!


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