Adults and kids look at toys differently. An adult will look at a toy and think, "They haven't played with that in forever. I think it's time to send it along to Deseret Industries." (Or Salvation Army. Or Goodwill. Or whatever the local charity is in your area that accepts used donated toys.)
Meanwhile, a kid will look at that same toy and think, "Wow! I haven't played with that toy in forever! I think I'll make it my new favorite toy and play with it non-stop for the next week or two!"
What is especially helpful to the children is when you pile a bunch of these seldom-used toys together in a box. You might as well paint a huge arrow on the wall pointing to the box with the message, "Here are some toys that you'll really want to play with!" Because they will. Unless, of course, you actually do want them to play with the toys. Kids are good at sniffing these things out and doing the opposite of what you'd like them to do.
And, it doesn't matter if the toy is broken. A broken toy in the charity pile is much more enticing than a non-broken toy in the regular toy box. Besides, sometimes a toy is more fun when it is broken than when it is not.
|Broken arm Iron Man? Best toy ever!!!|
Santa from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had it all wrong. Instead of exiling all of the undesirables to the Island of Misfit Toys, he could have just put them in a box labelled "Going to charity" and the toys would have found good homes with plenty of children willing to play with them. (But then, the Santa from Rudolph isn't exactly the brightest or nicest guy around. In fact, he's a bit of a jerk.)
Sometimes I wonder why we even bother to buy new toys for the kids. But, I guess if we never bought toys we wouldn't have any toys to put in the charity box. And if there were no toys in the charity box, what would the kids have to play with?
(Oh, I guess they could always just play with the empty box.)