Wherever there are children, there are toys. These toys tend to multiply when no one is looking and before you know it, your home is a labyrinth of playthings with barely a place to set your feet Seriously, sorting and clearing out toys and other children’s playthings on a regular basis is not only necessary to the healthy climate of your home, but it’s an opportunity to do good for your community.
When you’re ready to begin sorting and tossing, think about ways to ensure the reuse of your expendable items. Some will be junk to toss or recycle. Some will be well-loved, but still usable, and others may be pristine, but just not what you want to keep. Here are some ideas for recycling those playthings.
Have a yard sale
Make a little money for a special project such as a family day away or a family Christmas gift to give overseas or in your own community
Use an on line sale system
Craigslist is an example where you can buy or sell virtually anything
Gather up those old crayons and donate them to Crazy Crayons
Colorful new crayons are made and sold to benefit persons with disabilities
Donate stuffed animals
To local hospitals, shelters, or schools. Schools can use small toys for incentives in the classroom
Locate your Local Consignment shops
Where you can sell used items in good shape
Donate sports equipment
To programs who donate them overseas, such as Peace Passers
To Local libraries shelters, or to projects, such as Books for Africa
How do you know if your child is ready for a sleepover?
According to clinical psychologist Samantha Rodman, there are a number of signs to keep in mind. Readiness for a sleepover is highly dependent on the individual child. According to Rodman, “If a child does well when traveling and sleeping in other beds, that is a good sign. If they are independent and view the sleepover as an adventure, allow them to try it out. Kids with social anxiety may be more hesitant and try later than other kids. Overall, by 4th grade most kids will be ready to sleep at a good friend’s house.”
Before the Sleepover
In his book “Protecting the Gift,” Gavin DeBecker recommends treating the family of a potential sleepover with as much scrutiny as you would a babysitter. One easy way to accomplish this is to insist that before you send your child on a sleepover, that child spend the night at your home. This gives you a chance to get to know the family and find out more about them. Even if it’s a family you know well you will want to verify details, such as who will be home on the night of the sleepover, whether there are guns in the house and what types of media are allowed.
Discuss your expectations in advance. Of course you want your child to use their best manners, to go to bed when expected and to eat politely at the table. But it is equally important that your kids know that they can call you at any time if they are uncomfortable.
During the Sleepover
Most children will be happy with the additional time to play together.
But if you want something more structured when you host, try a themed sleepover.
Maybe it’s a movie night or baking night.
Or perhaps an indoor camping party is more your child’s style.
After the Sleepover
Discuss how the sleepover went afterward. What were the ups and downs? This information can help you plan the next sleepover or let you know if there’s anything you need to discuss with the other parents.
Plan for an easy following day. Most kids don’t sleep much on the night of a sleepover. They stay up well past bedtime and are often up at the crack of dawn due to the excitement. It’s better to plan a sleepover when your child can rest and recover the next day than to have to attend an important event with a crabby child.
With a little preparation it’s possible to not only survive your children’s sleepovers but help your children make great memoriesi By keeping these ideas in mind next time your child asks for a sleepover you can do your best to ensure that your child has a good experience.