• teddyAnother birthday party for your kid means a whole new horde of presents. With the anticipated onslaught of new gear, gadgets, clothes, toys—and, yes, even potentially useless junk—have you ever wondered that perhaps your kid has more than he needs? What have you thought of doing with all those excess gifts?

    Rather than keep stock of your child’s unused birthday presents, be creative and purposeful. Consider the following strategies on how to manage the excess birthday gifts your child receives.

    1. Replace old items with the new gifts received. In the weeks prior to your child’s birthday, consider doing a purge of your child’s clothes, toys and belongings. Involve them in this task. Explain to them that their birthday is coming up, that they will be getting new things, and that it would be good to make room for these new items. Then, ask them to decide which items they want to keep and which they would like to let go of. Throughout this process, you are teaching them detachment and purposefulness, especially as your child creates a clean slate for the new gifts he will receive.

    2. Hold a toy exchange or swap. Has your child received too many toys for his or her own good—or for your in-home storage capacity? Do you have friends with kids who have the same dilemma? Hold a toy exchange or swap! Yes, it could very well be another party!

    Send out an invitation to your friends and their children requesting that they bring ten items that they want to exchange with others. Then, hold a simple get-together, displaying the items each of you own on different tables or areas around the party area. During the toy swapping activity, help your kids go around as they “barter” for an exchange of toys. It’s not just an amusing way to purposefully give away toys, you’re also teaching your child negotiation skills!

    3. Donate excess gifts to a local church, children’s home, or daycare center. You can use your child’s excess gifts as material for teaching generosity. Organize a day when you and your family can donate the extra gifts to the local church, children’s home, or daycare facility. Explain that the children who will receive these gifts probably have never set foot on a toy store, much less received a real, honest-to-goodness gift.

    Help your children decide which gifts they want to give, re-wrap the presents beautifully, and have them write gift cards to the recipients, such as “Here’s a gift from me to you,” or “I hope you’ll like this really cool gift.” Then, organize a trip to the charity facility or center with your child so that he or she can experience turning over the gifts.

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