Every year Christmas brings joy and happiness to our home. It also brings an over abundance of toys when added to the ones you already have usually leaving little space for the little ones to enjoy their new toys. So we explained to the kids that in order for “Santa” to bring them new toys that they needed to make room for them. At first the kids weren’t thrilled with the idea of getting rid of their toys but we explained to them that at the end they would be proud of helping others. We started with 5 boxes. We started by writing Broken, Donate, Missing pieces, Outgrown and Favorite on the boxes. This helped us as we went along to stay focused and organized. We went through the toys and started by throwing away any toys that had gotten broken through out the year and were unable to be played with or used for other projects. As we went along anytime they found one of their toys that they constantly play with they got to put it in their Favorite box. Then we moved on to any toys that were missing pieces. Usually even if toys are missing pieces they can be used for other things such as arts and crafts, school projects or sometimes someone has the pieces that are missing and are looking for them. Next we go through any toys that the kids have outgrown. These got into the box but are only there for a little while until we go through them again to see what toys can be put away until younger siblings can enjoy them or if there is no younger sibling we put them in our Donate box. Preschools and Day cares  can give your kids toys that they have outgrown a great new home and will be enjoyed by many other children. There are many resources out there today such as Craigslist.org and Freecycle.org that allow you to post your “unwanted” items. Many times our kids outgrown their toys before they even look used. There are a lot of kids who would love and appreciate to get second-hand toys for presents and give new homes to out grown toys. When all of the toys are gone through we let the kids know how proud we are of them. And explain to them that Santa will be doing a toy pick up on December 1st. All of the toys that the kids are donating are left out at night for “Santa” to come pick up and drop off for other kids to enjoy on Christmas. The kids feel like special Santa elves and their favorite part is knowing that they will be putting smiles on other kids faces on Christmas.

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