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How do you make a 4 yr old understand he has too many toys?

My son's toys are taking over the house. when this happened before i just sorted them and got rid of a bunch when he was sleeping, he never noticed what was gone. Now that he is older i would love for him to help me do that. I have talked to him about poor children not having any toys and we do donate the toys. But he really doesnt seem to care. He wont let anything go. Has anyone had success teaching this age group about giving to the needy. Letting toys go. Etc... If you have tips, please share!


Asked by AmaliaD at 9:32 AM on Jan. 28, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 22 (12,263 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I would start out small - ask him to pick out 2 toys, or 3, or even 1 if he's having a really hard time and donate that. Then in a few more weeks try it again. He may just need some practice in "giving"

    Answer by missanc at 9:49 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • My son and I go through his stuff a few time a year and donate to the crisis pregnancy center. The way I explaine it to him is giving toys to the kids who have no toys and their mommies dont have the $ to buy them any. There is allways 1 or 2 thatI want to get rid of that he doesnt, and I let him keep it, because he is so good about donating the rest.
    He got to hear a story once about a little boy who had nothing and got his tool set and it was soo cool for him and me to have it personalized. :)
    Hope this helps.

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 9:38 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • Depending upon where you donate them, you could take him there and do a tour. Many places will allow this or they will take a few moments to share with him where his toys will go.

    You could also try doing a yard sale and donate the money to something or allow him to use the money for something special.
    Cafe Jenn

    Answer by Cafe Jenn at 9:47 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • Now if you have a chance while your son is away, start packing away toy's that he never plays with anymore. We just went through this about two weeks ago. My son never noticed that most of his toy's were gone. Yay! We have them in the attic for now until we can set up a yard sale this spring. My son hasn't missed any of his toy's. Yay! LOL.... Good luck!

    Answer by goldielock37 at 9:55 AM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • My dd's who are 4 and 6 regularly go through their toys and clothing to donate to the needy. We have just always done this. I never did it when they were sleeping though, I would just explain to them, that they have been so blessed with so many nice things, it's good to give to others who are less fortunate. I've always made them apart of it. We don't just do this at Christmas time though, we do it frequently through the year... I would say at least 4 times per year. My kids love to give to others and it makes me very proud that they comprehend this at such a young age. We also do food drives for local food pantries as well as local animals shelters. My kids LOVE this! They love the thought that they are doing something to help someone else. Just talk to him, he's old enough to understand.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:57 AM on Jan. 28, 2010