Coach Mom Newsletter - Jan 2010
Four Steps to Toy Joy
Do you ever suspect
Buzz Lightyear and his comrades are
plotting to overtake your home?
When was the last time you were
booby-trapped by one of the army men —
the kind that launches you three feet
into the air with a scream when you step
on it in the dark?
I’m not telling stories…toys can
get to you if you let them outnumber you
by too great a ratio.
can you experience toy joy in your home?
shelves, not a toy box.
Large toy boxes often
end up getting stuffed until they are filled
to the brim, making an organization system
Shelves allow the children to see
everything, and easily remove and replace
toys one at a time.
Pack a large, clear
plastic container(s) with toys and put it
away for a few months.
You will find that your children
enjoy their current toys more, as they have
When you bring the bin down in a
couple of months and unload it, you will
think it is Christmas again.
Then pack up the toys that have been
down and put those away, marking your
calendar with the next date to rotate.
only the best toys to pass down to younger
Taking pictures of the
children with toys helps preserve fun
memories when you can’t keep them all (and
Toys must be culled on a regular
basis or the “stuff” can get overwhelming --
the more children in the family, the greater
the challenge. When Christmas comes to the
Stull family, if every child receives six
toys (which is not uncommon, when you
consider two sets of grandparents, friends,
family, and Santa), then 30 new toys have
just entered our house. The thing I must
constantly tell myself is to hold on to
“staple” toys only.
Examples of staple toys
are nesting cups, building blocks, and Legos.
All have great value and versatility.
Don’t know if you
should keep a toy or not? Put it to the
test. Keep only toys that meet at least
three of the following criteria:
Is it fun for
child actually play with it?
Does it teach
new skills or imaginative play?
Is it easy to
Has it stood
the test of time?
…And if it doesn’t need
batteries, that’s all the better.
Regularly eliminate all
others. What to do with the extras?
Donate toys to a teacher's classroom
reward box, or give them to a friend who has
just had her first baby.
You might sell a few of the valuable
items through EBay.
Carefully consider purchases at birthdays
Avoid large toys as much as you are able —
they will cost you more space.
Battery-powered toys will also
continue to cost you money.
Giving expendable items, such as food
or entertainment gift cards, doesn’t add to
a clutter problem.
You can also make up your own gift
certificates, giving them a special day with
Dad or Mom doing something they love.
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Help for the Cold of Winter
Cold blasts are hitting hard this winter. Check out these tips before your
children go out to play in extremely cold
Dress in layers. The most important
layer? The one closest to the skin.
The purpose of a good first layer is to
wick moisture away from your skin - to
get the moisture to the outside of the
first layer of clothing.
Avoid cotton layers next to the skin
doesn't hold in heat very well even
when dry, and has no wind
resistance. It absorbs moisture, so
once it's damp, it ruins the
insulation the clothing provided.
Once it is wet, it takes a long time
Choose a synthetic fabric such as
polyester or soft wools instead.
Make sure hats, gloves and boots start
warm (if drying them in the garage, make
sure you bring them in well before time
to go out again, or use a hair dryer to
To keep hands toasty, wear a thin liner
glove inside of mittens, and add a hand
Keep the head and neck warm. It has been
said that 90% of body heat escapes from
A cotton hoodie offers no defense
against wind chill, but a windproof
outer shell disarms it.
Eat! The body needs fuel because it is
burning extra calories to stay warm.
Drink lots of water or juice. The body
dehydrates by breathing in cold dry air
and exhaling warm moist air if not given
enough fluids. Avoid caffeine.
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Ask Coach Mom
My children’s toys are
overtaking every room of our home!
I haven’t spent a lot of money on
toys because most of them have been passed
to us from friends. But it seems I spend
half of my day picking up toys. Please help.
This is a common
problem in America. We’re all, including our
children, spoiled with so much stuff. But
being spoiled can really stink, can’t it?
The generosity of your friends is nice, but
you must realize that though these items
don’t cost you financially, they
do cost you. They cost you space. They cost you time. They cost you
mental energy. The bigger the item, the more
valuable it will have to be in order for you
to give up the space to keep it. Keep that
in mind next time a friend calls with an
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