We have a fantastic 3 yr old son, who has far too many toys! I have bought a lot of them at consignment sales, and many of the others were gifts. We're hopefully going to have a sibling for him, but at this point the closest they would be is 4.5 years (without more losses). When I was pregnant and planning for them to be 3 yrs apart, it seemed easier to justify holding on to so many toys, but now that plan doesn't seem to make sense anymore, with the gap between DS and a possible sibling widening.
So at this point I'm looking for encouragement and support in thinning out the toys that we have accumulated for what's appropriate for our 3 yr old, and likely not keeping much for potential baby #2. We have lots of storage space but very little of it is meaningful or special enough that it couldn't be sold and bought again if needed (esp since most of it was bought inexpensively in the first place). And I'm happy for others to use these things while they are still working and have value.
So... what guidelines should I use on what should stay? We have lots of storage space in the playroom, but frankly too much for the toys to be played with regularly. I'd much rather have 1/3 of the items, leaving the right amount for him to play with all of them on some regular basis.
Some decisions seem easy, like parting with the wooden puzzles that he could master between 18-24m that have no further creative play options. I'd like to keep the play doh and painting/colouring supplies and lego/duplo as these should have room to grow with him for a few more years (but maybe keep only one of two the plastic play doh sets with attachments, molds, etc). He has 4 Little People sets but only plays with one -- I can part with the others. He also has lots of small cheaply made toys from McDonald's meals, loot bags, etc that should all go (only a few are actually real toys and not junk). I'm also keen to keep his play kitchen and about half of the food (though the 2nd cash register, half the food and the shopping cart can go). He really enjoys this one and comes back to it regularly. I'd also like to keep some of his dress up clothes (mostly old Halloween costumes) but should check to see what still fits.
After these easy decisions -- I'm wondering if I should give him some choice in this? Or at this age (he was 3 in July) is it important to involve him in the process or can I make the decisions myself?
I'm not sure about his wooden train set. He plays with it when I bring it out, but the current train table we have is too small for anything except one circle (can't do a figure eight), so I'm hoping to sell that table in favour of a larger one, and then see if the train set has some more life in it. I'm sure some boys play with theirs for years. It seems really tricky to play with it on the carpeted floor as the connections all come apart -- so a table swap would be a good idea and would be good for lego or other activities as well.
Anyhow -- sorry for the novel! Any advice on what you've seen your 3-4-5 year old boy play with over and over or otherwise how to decide on what has lasting power and what doesn't is all appreciated. thanks in advance!