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Other people's kids!

Do you ever put up toys when having family or friends kids come visit?

My cousin & her three children 4 1/2, 2 1/2, & 11months all boys are coming for a visit. Well I learned my lesson lat time they made a disaster bc I also have my own 3 1/2 year old! I just ran around the house & put up zillions of things.

My daughter the 3 1/2 year old is pretty organized but these boys well they simply are not. They do things like open up the box of small legos dump them out then dont play with them & leave them there lol So those are hidden! My daughter has boxes for all kinds of toys such as princess stuff goes here, barbie stuff goes here, books on the shelf a certain way, ponies in here, etc. But when the boys come over my daughter herself turns into a little horror herself & the boys lead the way with making a huge mess haha

Just was curious if I was the only one who did this or not? Oh also breakable things within 11mo reach were put up hahaha I really did a lot of work to this place to be ready!


Asked by Mel30248 at 10:39 AM on May. 19, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (14)
  • It sounds like you need to relax a bit, I would put up the breakable things but just let them be kids and have a good time, you can always clean once they leave and go back to your normal routine. New toys/others toys are exciting for kids..

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 10:44 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • Yeah, it's hard to sit back and chit chat while 4 kids under 5 are playing with "thousands" of toys! When our playgroup (12 kids under 3) comes to our house, I do put away the breakables and some of the toys that i just don't trust all kids to play responsibly with (no markers, etc.) But we also accept that we're going to have to watch the kids - our conversations come second to our parenting duties, so all usually goes well. If you want to just sit back and talk with your cousin, maybe take the kids outside to a park or the backyard? If you want to stay inside and be able to just let the kids play, but don't want a mess... I don't know how to help... :)

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 10:58 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • yes, we have a play room here, and there are 2 shelves they can't reach and a dresser that we sometimes put stuff on. My DD has a special box on that shelve as does my nephew that they can only get down when they are playing one on one so they don't get ruined by the other kid when they are both together because yes they turn into a tornado, lol. There is a toy box that is free game. If those toys in there get broke it's not a big deal, but there are toys that my dd really likes that I don't want ruined. I started doing it because BOTH my daughters tinkerbell dolls were broken when my nephew was over.. (not blaming either one because it could have been either of them) ,but the point is, it was special and she was heart broken when she found out either her or her cousin had broken it from all their running around and carelessness. So certain special toys that can't take a beating are put up for only one on one time.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:04 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • and it's not the mess so much as the disorganization, the loosing of parts to special toys or games, the broken toys etc, that happen when younger kids get together (my dd and nephew are 3). Yes I have them clean up when they are all done and it's almost time for my nephew to go, but still.. its more about making sure certain treasures aren't broken again.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:06 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • Yes, I did that when my son was little. He had a lot of "collectibles" and I didn't want them destroyed. Also, there was a neighbor boy who would come over to play with him. He'd make my son's room look like a disaster area, then he'd leave. I told him that he had to help my son put the toys back where they belonged or he wouldn't be allowed to come over and play anymore. It worked.

    Answer by popzaroo at 11:11 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • Yes, when we know other people's kids are coming over (some more than others) we do a quick hide of a lot of things. Some kids seem to want to tear up anything they can and we have a couple that will take anything that will fit in their pockets. )c: These are the ones who usually get sent outside to play.

    Answer by scout_mom at 11:11 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • When other kids come over to my house and help make a mess, they help clean up before they leave. And its their father who emphasizes that they help clean up since they helped make the mess.

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 11:00 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • I don't do that with my kids toys. I do remember when I was growing up my sis and I would do that with our toys when a few certain cousins would come over...... 1 was always on a 'seek and destroy' mission and everytime he would leave toys would be found broken...

    Answer by MizLee at 11:06 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • Oh, I guess I should have said that my son wasn't as young at that time as the children you're talking about. He was around 7. If children are allowed to make a mess and not clean up after themselves in their own home, they're going to do the same thing in somebody else's house too. I taught my son to put a toy back when he got done playing with it before getting another one out. That way cleaning his room was no big deal. He followed that rule when he played at another child's house. The mom would say, "Boy I wish I could get my own to do that!" You can--it's not that hard.

    Answer by popzaroo at 11:16 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • I think you are wise to behave proactively if you know you will be bugged or bothered by certain things. If there's plenty to play with & you just want to minimize how MANY small parts get dumped & mixed, by all means put the worst (for you) ones out of the way for the visit. This is much better & more responsible than getting upset about it when it happens. So in that way it's a kind of enlightened self-interest, not so much doing for someone else & also benefiting yourself, but taking action ahead of time to prevent situations that will/would bug you. It's also called "protective use of force." Feeling resentful or blaming after a mess, & believing that it is the "offender's" fault, would be less responsible or honest.

    To answer your question: yes, I have taken action to proactively avoid things that I recognize would be problems FOR ME. My bro's boys live far from us (& are growing up lots) but I've been proactive w/ them.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:17 AM on May. 19, 2011