I mentioned last time that I would tell you about our new "Toy Storage System", so here goes...
How anyone could ever assume that my children could be deprived of all the "fun of childhood" because it would "be impossible to buy toys for all those kids" is beyond me. Let me just tell you... in... all... honesty, this past Christmas we had to drive two vehicles to our family Christmas events. One for the kids. One for the toys.
So, our toy situation was getting way out of control. We had been using our bonus room as a play room and school room. We had about 10 or 12 large bins of toys, plus the walls were lined with toys as well. Toys were constantly getting lost and broken within days of receiving them, plus they were littered all throughout the house.
Along with our new learning centers came a declaration...TOYS WERE BEING REMOVED FROM THE BONUS ROOM. Where were they going? TO TOY STORAGE! Toy storage is actually just a room in our basement that is not being used. We haven't had the time to organize it yet, so my husband and the kids have literally just stuffed the toys in there for now.
So what exactly does this mean?
Here are my rules for Toy Storage:
1. Toys that are in Toy Storage can NOT be played with.
2. Once a week, all children will travel to Toy Storage and will be allowed to pick 3 toys to keep upstairs in the bonus room to play with FOR ONE WEEK. (Not including L1 -we keep a small tote of baby toys upstairs at all times for her- that is 5 children picking 3 toys each. 15 toys fit nicely in two large totes and is surely enough to keep the kids occupied for a week.)
3. Once the toys have been picked, there is absolutely no "trading" of toys that are in Toy Storage. The children simply have to wait a week to retrieve a different toy.
4. Toys must be shared with siblings regardless of who picked it.
5. If an argument breaks out over a toy, or if I find it lying on the floor unused (out of place) the toy will get its name written on the board/a check by its name. If the toy gets two checks by its name, it goes back to toy storage for the rest of the week.
6. If a child is "caught being good", there is a possibility that we will allow that child to "rescue" a toy from toy storage, but this will happen no more than one time per week per child.
Believe it or not, there was actually no wailing or gnashing of teeth when we announced these new rules. For over a week now we have been using this system and both kids and mom are very pleased with it! My schoolroom (and the rest of the house) are staying very clean without the toy clutter. Plus, I honestly feel like the kids are taking better care of their toys now that they only have a limited time to play with them. It's success all around!
On another note, I mentioned in the last post that I want to freshen up our school room with paint. Here's the room:
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