If you are a parent you know exactly what I am talking about. Kid collections are so adorable sometimes but are also the worlds worst for coming up with an organized solution. Why in the world does my child need to collect all those plastic tiny toys…or acorns…or scraps of paper…or empty candy containers…or small rocks…or bits of string? You get my drift? The things our children collect are their treasures. They usually are not the same things we would consider as our treasures so we all try to respect the ‘treasures’ a bit but not get overwhelmed by them. I think there are two key things to remember when dealing with these.
One, they are special to your child so teach your child how to care for something that is special. I tell my clients that if something is special to them they need to give it the honor it deserves. You don’t shove a special keepsake dish of your grandmother’s in a box in the attic, you put it on display on a shelf or in a cabinet or you USE it. The same things go for kid collections.
Two, in order to have a special place for your special things you need to give your child a special spot to store them…or a container. Teach your child to put the things that are special to them in special places…not just on top of a dresser or on the floor or under their pillow. My two oldest children each have a drawer in the top of their dresser to store their collections. I usually go peek in the drawer and tidy it up every few weeks. I specifically do this for my son because today I found two cheese sticks in his drawer. Yea…food hoarder that one. I also found an empty gogurt wrapper under his bed today. Yikes! You can give your kids a special box, a jar, something they can store under their bed or on a shelf. They will be grateful you have honored their collections as well. In each of the kids’ drawers they have different containers to help organize the mess.
I don’t really worry too much about what is in the drawer as long as it’s contained in the drawer. No food or animals allowed. I have found this to be extra helpful when having a toddler in the house. The toddler can’t see or access any of the ‘special things’.
Teach your children that they can go through these collections and get rid of things and give them away (or trash them) when they have grown out of love with them. It will help them learn these habits as they grow older and have more valuable things to take care of. Who knows…maybe you’ll even feel inspired to preserve their collection to look back at one day when they are older.
What is the strangest thing your child has collected?