Preschool-aged children learn by doing. Cleaning out their toy box or closet may seem like drudgery to them, but if given an objective, the job can give them a sense of responsibility and pride. Giving your child this summer chore means they can start the school year off in an organized manner.
Have your child empty her toy box or closet. Provide her with three boxes for sorting. One box should be a box “to keep,” one should be “to donate,” and one should be “to throw away.” Explain to her that some children don’t have many toys and would appreciate the toys she doesn’t play with anymore. Knowing that the toys she is parting with can make someone else very happy can often encourage a giving spirit. Explain, also, that broken toys and pieces should be thrown away or recycled.
Allow your child to sort her toys herself, without your input. You can always review everything later, but giving her that responsibility will make her feel empowered. You can even set aside toys that you do not want your child to donate ahead of time.
Once your child has determined what should go in each of the boxes, help her organize everything she kept. Let her do most of the work so she feels a sense of responsibility for her own things. Take her to a shelter so she can see where her toys are going. The closer you can get her to the actual person who will receive the toys, the better.
This simple task of your preschooler cleaning out her toy box or closet helps develop her sense of responsibility, sorting skills, sense of generosity, and organizational skills. Plus, she’ll have a cleaner, more organized room for the start of the school year!