“Giving back” is a hard concept for children to grasp. It’s in their DNA; it’s in the developmental books – they are just hard-wired to have ownership over their things. It’s definitely an important lesson for grown-ups and kids alike, to learn to share and give to others. So I took it upon myself to address the concept this season with a little clean out of my 3-year-old’s closet and toy chest. I do this all the time unbeknownst to her, but this time, she was very involved. It also happens to be perfect timing for us to make some space for new gifts on their way down from the North Pole!
We went through the closets and the toy chest and had conversations about giving things to Goodwill when we have outgrown them or don’t play with them anymore.
It went pretty well. There were, of course moments when both my 3-year-old and the 1 ½ year old would have a revived interest and love of one particular toy, but the moment passed.
Here’s the haul! It took some time to go through every item and discuss its value, but I think it was a valuable part of understanding and accepting the process.
Donation tip: when you donate shoes, rubberband them together. When you donate small things, like hair accessories in our case, place them in a zip-top plastic bag. This ensures that items don’t get lost or destroyed during the sorting process.
Donation tip 2: keep “hardlines,” like hangers, in a separate box or bag from “softlines,” like clothing. It makes for easier sorting and handling of donations to keep them in good condition.
On the way to our nearby Goodwill donation center, my daughter had a moment of panic when she asked if we were donating her blanket… I reassured her that the items we donate that we don’t need anymore do not include items that she can’t live without.
At that, she happily passed over her bags to the donation attendant and proudly accepted her donation receipt and a sincere ‘thank you.’ Lesson learned, I think. Happy holidays!