Minimizing toys – how to do it with (and without) your kids! | #curatedpsa

Get your tiny humans involved in the sorting and organizing, just give them parameters!

In my experience the majority of children are not keen to part with their things. I know the general thought in this post Marie Kondo world is to have them involved with the purging, but I can guarantee you that every single toy will bring them joy (even the ones they haven’t played with in over a year). So, what to do? You want to downsize but your small human belongs on an episode of Hoarders.

Here’s a couple of recommendations:

  • A simple way to downsize and have your children involved is to have a set container/basket side for things. For example the stuffies (because everyone has too many) – if they don’t fit in the designated basket then they don’t get to stay. You’re giving your child control but with very clear perimeters. They may still need help talking through letting go, and almost certainly they won’t choose the toys you would keep, but it is a really easy way to downsize with your child’s help.
  • The other step, is to purge while the kids are away (be brutal, like for realz). Start boxing/bagging up toys you know they don’t use anymore and put them out of sight. I can guarantee they won’t notice anything but their play space feeling easier to play in. If they haven’t been desperately missed in a couple of weeks, donate away!
  • When purging, low hanging fruit are toys that come with kids meals and all the plastic crap you get at birthday parties. Unless your kids have a huge attachment to them, these should go. Toys your kids have aged out of using is another easy one to remove.
  • Make sure not to forget books (this one can be hard, I get it). Start with books you hate reading (we all have them), books that were gifted and nobody enjoys, and books they are too old to read anymore. Little Free Libraries make donating books so easy and anxiety free.
  • Finally, find a task you can do together. At my last install, the five year old of the house was very keen to get involved. We sat together and worked intently for over an hour sorting beads, craft materials, and testing old markers to see if they still worked (which ultimately meant minimizing materials). Being involved helped her feel ownership to the new space and made it easier for her to see how having an organized, cleaner, more minimal space made it easier to play and created.

Nathan + Maren's Play Space | December 2019

I can’t think of a better way to end the decade than by being given the privilege to create a brand new play space for two wonderful tiny humans. When I visited their home for a consult, the kids main play space was the open concept living room that connected with the kitchen. Having toys in this space works well, because it’s a great space for the kids to play when a parent is cooking and they want to be close. But the room as overflowing and with the prospect of a new play kitchen coming for the holidays, something new had to be done. The kids’s bedrooms were also jam packed with toys, most stored in way that they just weren’t being used.

The solution was creating a new play space in the finished basement, that up until now had double as holding place for things that needed storing or donating.

Continue reading “Nathan + Maren's Play Space | December 2019”

Creating an art cart!


Ladies and gentlemen – the art cart. A perfect gift idea for the kid who has everything but doesn’t know where to find it. 😜 Giving is 1000% my love language – not physical gifts per say, but just the act of doing something kind for someone else. This holiday season I offered my services to a dear friend and we decided creating an art cart for her girls would be the perfect gift for me to give them. So today I headed over with a cart, paper sorter, and wide mouth mason jars (#theessentials) and turned their jumbled art supplies into organized creativity ready to happen.

Tape Measures | #unexpectedtoys

My little guy is very into trains at the moment and a way of extending this play is with the addition of tape measures (this week’s #unexpectedtoys). Once we’ve built his big track and long train, he loves to measure and record how big everything it (we keep clipboards with paper and markers in the playroom for this purpose). Although it mostly looks like scribbles and his knowledge of numbers stops at 5, this early numeracy and literacy activity is a great introduction to all kinds of skills. So what are you waiting for? Grab some measuring devices, create a play invitation, and see where your tiny humans take it!

Send some Thanksgiving love!

This week’s #humpdayhangout (playgroup) was a smaller cozier affair than usual. With Thanksgiving tomorrow I wanted to do something special this week, without pushing racist or harmful stereotypes of the holiday. So we focused on being thankful for the people in our lives we love and who make us happy. I’m personally not a big fan of crafts, so instead we decorated blank postcards and wrote letters to friends and family. Stamps went on and into the mailbox they went, sending a little extra love into the universe. ♡