So Christmas has come and gone. Santa has probably brought your kids a toy (or ten) and now you wonder what you can do with all those toys your kids don’t play with anymore or have outgrown. I look at all my son’s baby toys and wonder what I can possibly do with them, as I am quickly running out of room.
I took some suggestions from friends and family and here are a few:
1. Keep them. If you plan on having more kids, you’ll be one step ahead and not have to buy all those toys all over again.
2. Give them to friends. Especially expecting or new parents. It will help cut down the costs for them and you’ll surely win friend points.
3. Consign them. There is a big consignment sale twice a year in Oklahoma City and Norman. It’s the Just Between Friends sale and they take tons of toys, clothing, strollers, you name it. They pay the consignor 65% of the sale. Not bad if you have a ton of stuff and would like to make a little back to put toward future toy and clothing purchases. Go to their Website to sign up or get more information. In Oklahoma City, go to http://okc.jbfsale.com. The sale will be at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. In Norman, go to http://norman.jbfsale.com. The sales will be at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. Registration begins in January and the sales are set for March.
4. Goodwill. 84 percent of the revenue brought into the Goodwill stores goes to their employment and training opportunities, which helps people find good jobs. Go to www.goodwill.org or your closest Goodwill store for more information on how to donate.
5. Infant Crisis Services. This local nonprofit helps the youngest of children. If you have baby toys that are gently used, they will gladly take them to give to families in need. You can donate new or good used clothing (preemie to size 6) and shoes, and new or good used toys, among many other items. Call 528-3663 or go to www.infantcrisis.org for more information.
These are just a few suggestions. There are probably many more charities or organizations that can take your children’s used clothes or toys. It’s one way you can keep giving, even after the holiday season is over.
If you have any other suggestions you’d like readers to know about, leave your comments here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share them.
My son and I are involved in a program called Parents as Teachers (PAT). Ours is through the Putnam City School District, but this program is available statewide. This is a FREE (yes, free!) program that really has helped shaped the way I teach my son and interact with him, and allows me to focus on areas with him that will get him ahead of the curve once kindergarten starts.
We have a very nice teacher from the school district, who comes over to our house once a month to play and interact with my son. She evaluates where he is as far as learning and development. She charts his progress and gives me tools that are relevant to his age. This program is for any parent of an infant or toddler who wants to give their child the best chance of being ready for school, by taking the opportunity to start learning at home.
Here is a description of the program, from their national website, www.parentsasteachers.org :
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a parent education and family support program serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten, usually age 5.
Parents are supported by PAT-certified parent educators trained to translate scientific information on early brain development into specific when, what, how and why advice for families. By understanding what to expect during each stage of development, parents can easily capture the teachable moments in everyday life to enhance their child’s language development, intellectual growth, social development and motor skills.
As a Parents as Teachers family, you receive:
-Personal visits during which your parent educator will share age-appropriate child development and parenting information, help you learn to observe your child, and address your parenting concerns.
-Parent group meetings which are opportunities to share information about parenting issues and child development. Parents learn and support each other, observe their children with other children and practice parenting skills.
-Screenings to assess your child’s overall development as well as health, hearing and vision.
-Resource network that links your family to other community services.
The program is offered throughout school districts in Oklahoma. To find the contact for your district, click here.
I can’t recommend this great program enough. This is a resource that is free and its benefits are priceless.
Sounds fun, right? Well, not so much.
Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of moving … with a 2-year-old. We didn’t move far, just a few miles closer to work, and to a much bigger place and much quieter community. However, that doesn’t ease the strain and hassle of moving.
Since it’s just us two, I had to figure out a way to get everything packed in the few days prior to the move, with a toddler underfoot in every room of the house. As I would fill up boxes, he would take things out of them. If he saw a toy he hadn’t played with in months being boxed up, all of sudden it was his favorite and must be taken out and played with immediately.
When two of my friends came to move everything, all he wanted to be was part of the action. I couldn’t help all that much moving things because I had to constantly watch him.
And for days to follow, I couldn’t for the life of me, find the right cup or plate or toy in the 40 plus boxes I had in the new place. I couldn’t find his favorite bedtime books or the caboose for his train set. And I heard about it – every day.
But we’re slowly getting settled. He only refers to it as ‘the new house.’ If I say ‘we’re going home’ he gets upset because the last time he saw ‘home’ as he knew it, it was an empty spot where things used to be. But going to ‘the new house’ makes him happy and excited, which makes it home to me.
Soon enough, it will be home to him, too.
Any horror stories about moving with kids? Share them here or e-mail me at the address below.