Our house is over run with toys. My son's 4th birthday is later this month and coupled with Christmas a month later and my house will easily look like Toys R Us with little effort from my husband or I. Before that happens we try to teach our son about giving to others while cleaning out the old. We also make it a game.
1. Gather your materials. Grab your toys , a few baby blankets and bags for donation.
2. One key to teaching about giving is to ask your child to choose some toys they still like. This shouldn't just be toys they are grown out of, or broken. Go through the bins asking your child about each toy. It takes time but it's worth it. You will be surprised by their reaction. Ask questions like " Do you still use this?" " How would you feel if we gave it to a child who has no toys?" Let them decide, even if that means you have to pilfer through another day. This isn't about cleaning , it's about teaching.
3. Use the blankets to make piles 1 for keeping, one for donating. After sorting through count each pile. When we counted our keep pile was way bigger ( as expected) and I didn't even have to prompt my son he said " Mom , the( keep) pile is so much bigger I think the other pile needs more." then chose a handful of toys to give away.
4. Take your child with you to the charity you are donating to. This is where we messed up last year . He chose some toys and a few days later was looking for them , he needed to see the toys actually change hands. This time he went with his dad , talked to the guy at the drop off and was congratulated for being generous. Now when I ask him about this or that toy he will remind me " I gave that to the kids with no toys remember?" and not get upset.
I hope you can have fun, practice counting and learn a bit about giving back before you end up knee deep in toys too. How do you teach your kids important lessons like this?