Which toys to keep after your toddler grows out of them

Every parent has a different level of sentimentality attached to their little one’s knick knacks, dolls, and blocks, so getting rid of old or outgrown baby toys can be more difficult for some than others. If you’re not the type to attach memories to things, sifting through Baby‘s toys as she grows up will probably be relatively easy. If you see “The First Time Baby Said Dog!” every time you see her stuffed puppy, you’re probably going to have a harder time.

Regardless of your approach, there’s going to come a day when you have to make some tough decisions about some cute toys. Who stays?

  • Favorite stuffed animals: You can totally keep Mr. Bear or Whiskers around after Baby thinks she&;s done with them. There are many people who keep their childhood stuffed animals well into adulthood! Baby could easily want her childhood stuffed animal again in her later years.
  • Wagon: Here’s a toy you can keep and use now! Wagons are helpful in carting around toddlers and toddler essentials when your children are young, and they can be equally helpful in bringing snacks, drinks, or other things to the park, little league baseball tournaments, or outdoor concerts as she grows.
  • Sports equipment: You can have a lot of fun with a child-sized baseball bat or basketball hoop! Plus, keeping some spare equipment around means you’ll be prepared for any family gatherings with smaller children.
  • Musical instruments: Like sports equipment, tiny musical instruments can be super fun for adults. Keep your collection of tiny instruments for a while, and you’ll be able to have impromptu jam sessions with a xylophone, keyboard, and maybe even a mini ukulele.
  • Puzzles and games: You can’t ever truly outgrow these, can you? The simplest puzzles might end up in the donate pile, but you can keep the intermediate ones for a rainy day. Or, if the puzzle forms an especially pretty picture, put it together and frame it!
  • Toys for the encore: If you’re thinking about having another baby, you might want to hang onto some of Baby‘s best toys. If there was a special activity center, mini car, playhouse, or generally awesome toy that Baby loved, keep it around for a while to see if a little sister or brother will one day be able to use it.
  • Keepsakes: They have the name for a reason! If Baby has a fancy toy (a nice dollhouse, train set, etc.), keep it around for when she gets older. She might want to keep it in her home when she moves out (it’s still super far in the future, don’t worry!) or pass it on to her future child. Even if the toy itself isn’t super fancy, if it came from a special person in Baby‘s life, it might still fall into the keepsake category.

Everything else?

For the toys that don’t quite make the cut, you can still make sure they’re loved by another little person by donating them or giving them to friends or family members who have younger children. And if Baby is at all aware that you’re getting rid of some of her old toys, you might want to have a couple replacement items in mind. Just as you might be handing Baby‘s outgrown toys to your friends, you may also know someone with a child a bit older than yours. Sharing isn’t just for the little ones!

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