Taking Time with Toys as the Parent Talk Sale Approaches

At times I think that toy organization and acquisition could be a full time job. I can lose myself in the task of reassigning the proper Fisher Price Little People figurines to their various vehicles and scenery. And I love watching my kids interact with their toys. I know I am not alone in my toy-centric mindedness; I have heard moms in my playgroup proudly boast after replacing all the pieces of a wooden puzzle as we collectively piece back my toddler-torn living room. Then there is my husband’s aunt who finds great joy in pulling out her grown children’s toys for my toddlers to use. She says that the toys are attached to so many memories and emotions because they were constantly underfoot and she spent so much time picking them up! Still, toddler toys seem to have a relatively short shelf life—so with the long, cold months looming and the Parent Talk Sale on the horizon, how do you choose what to keep, what to part with, and what to buy and bring home to keep those babies busy!


Take time to sort your toys and crafts before the Parent Talk Sale

Toy rotation seems to be an effective way to keep things fresh but does require extra space and a bit of foresight. Keeping a large Rubbermaid container on hand and tossing in a few toys that seem to have gone stale can be a lifesaver when you unveil them again on a snowy or sick day. Diane Solomon, PT Sale co-chair, buys toys from the sale and purposefully puts them away until one of those days in the doldrums of January when you are at your wits end stuck inside. I find that sometimes simply moving a toy to a different location in my home can give it ‘new life.’ My house is relatively small, so in the winter time, I set up a few things in front of the sliding glass doors of my dining room. It is a bright, sunny spot and I can interact with my kids playing while I get things done in the kitchen. Still, I am at the point where my kids’ toys don’t seem to be holding their attention so I know it’s time to sort out the ‘baby’ toys and make room for more.

Toy rotation bins keep clutter at bay. (source)

Parting with toys is a complicated endeavor. There are many factors that easily lead us to storing lots of brightly colored plastic. What if you have another child down the road? Is there a family member who could use these toys? Your kids don’t play with it but it was very expensive.  Maybe you want to save certain things for your future grandchildren…I certainly have been hanging on to a lot of useless toys, clothing and gear for many of these reasons. BUT this year, I am going to part with certain things in order to buy other things from the sale that my children will use and that will, in turn, make my life (and winter) easier and less expensive.

For me, toys that fall into the following categories are going to the POD: 

  • I have duplicates or similar versions
  • It is a toy that was passed on to me and has no sentimental value 
  • My children never latched on to the toy and it has always taken up space 
  • It is a toy I can easily replace if necessary 
  • If it looks brand new or was very expensive, I am consigning it instead of donating!  


Now, if you have ever shopped the Parent Talk Sale, you know that it is no nonsense if you want to get the best stuff. In other words, make a list of what you want to find and get ready to grab it when you see it! I have been trying to think about where my kids are developmentally and what kind of toys will challenge, engage them and encourage imaginative play. I won’t share my list in case you are shopping beside me! 

Happy sorting, purging and list making, then let the great exchange of toys, clothing and gear begin! For more information on the October 18th Parent Talk Sale, please visit our website with all the details and contact information. 

About the author:
Liza d’Hemecourt lives in Needham with her husband and two children. She studied theater and education at Boston College and taught kindergarten and first grade prior to starting a family.


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