Birthday Presents (for Kids)

Hi to all (the mommas) who cringe about having a birthday party because of all the fuss and all the ‘junk’ (their kids get)!!

To reduce the birthday clutter, I have used the following poem to accompany the Evites for my oldest daughter’s birthday parties the past couple years and it’s been great for reducing birthday presents (which I have termed ‘junk’ after her 4 year old party):

Just wanted to mention – I’d like to spare you the fuss,
(not to mention my house feels just like ‘toys R us’)
I would like to suggest that for her special day,
If you’re feeling generous and to help on her way,
a couple dollars would be simply terrific,
as she wants to save money for something specific.
I hope you don’t mind or think me too rude
But I’d really appreciate the help if you could!

Some of my friends like to say only bring $7 if the child is turning 7, that sort of thing, but I don’t specify.

My daughter last year was able to buy a bicycle with the money from her party last year and it was awesome!

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I have another friend who does experiences (i.e. memberships, tickets, etc.) for Christmas and birthday gifts – she lets others give her kids physical gifts.

What have you done to minimize the birthday ‘clutter’ but still make your kids feel special and not minimize the celebration?

Toy Control

Disclaimer: we still have a play kitchen and some Little People castles, and a wicker basket for stuffed animals, but otherwise here are the bins that I limit the toys to in our sunroom:

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Current categories of bins: Dishes, Food, Little People, Magnetic Blocks, Balls, Figurines, Stackables.

Instead of filling all of the bins that this organizer/shelving unit came with, we decided to eliminate some bins (like more than half of them).  Less to put away.  My husband came up with the categories and labeled them (engineer that he is 🙂 ).  The dishes bin is a bit out of control but most of the time a lot of those items go in the play kitchen so it’s not usually so overflowing.  We have significantly decluttered play food and figurines over the years – really all of the categories.

What do you do to keep the toys ‘under control’? 😉