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When you find a toy (or clothing item) at a park..what to do?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure this is the best place to post this question. I've been wondering for some time how other parents handle finding a  left-behind toy or clothing item at a public place like a park?

We've found several items, sweatshirts, Thomas Trains and have always left them in a visible place at the park in case the owners return for them, yet I have a friend who lets her children claim the items right away. So naturally, my kids have started asking if they can claim "Finders Keepers" and I'm just not sure how I feel about it.

 

What are your thoughts and how do you handle lost/found items?

post #2 of 10

Like you, I usually place lost items in a prominent place in case the owner returns. I hang clothes from fences or tree limbs. I'll place toys on benches or picnic tables. (I live near a school/park, so this happens fairly frequently still, even though my kids are grown). 

 

It's been a long time, but I think I usually answered requests to keep an item with a simple "No, it isn't ours". 

 

If we returned and I saw the item was still there, I might let my kids claim it. I honestly can't recall that ever happening.

 

My kids had lots of toys though, from generous family at Christmas and birthdays. I don't think they ever felt particularly wanting for stuff. They didn't need to pick up discards. Also, generally, I didn't want to encourage magpie tendencies. 

 

ETA: I just realized one exception. There are tennis courts in the park near our house. I walk our dog by them every day. He often finds tennis balls in the grass. I let him claim those, if there is no one playing and the balls seem to be abandoned. 

post #3 of 10
We just leave things where they are or put them somewhere obvious if they're in the way of the kids playing.

My daughter is still at the stage of "oh no! Someone left their [object] behind!" I usually say, yes, we'll leave it here so they can find it when they come back.
post #4 of 10
We put it somewhere obvious in case the owner returns. I would never think of letting my kids keep it -- I'm surprised your friend does that! My kids and I found over $100 in cash at Disneyland once and turned it in, knowing the chances of it being returned to its rightful owner were slim. But ... it wasn't ours.
post #5 of 10

I would never claim a lost item!  Like everyone else, I say "just leave it where you found it so the person who lost it can find it."  I assume that someone comes around to clean the park and empty the trash cans and lost items probably get donated.

post #6 of 10

I tell them I don't believe in "Finders, keepers," and that it's mean and selfish.  

 

I do try to pick things up and make them visible.  We recently got a special scarf belonging to my mom back because someone did that.

post #7 of 10
I leave them in a prominent place. If they are still there a week later I might claim them. Clothes and such can get ruined quick in some climates. A week is more than enough to time to realize you lost an item and go back for it.
post #8 of 10

Like others I'll pick it up and leave it  on a wall or something but no I don't let my kids keep it. We also have a couple of local websites, one being set up for a local playground so I may post the found item on there too since I see plenty of lost requests.

 

That said we have rounded up our share of left beach toys at the end of the day, we are often the last family on the beach and the tide would claim them otherwise. Generally it's things the kids have found earlier in the day so they've already checked with the families sitting by us (we also tend to get to the beach late).
 

post #9 of 10

Once a few years ago, we found a small car in the sand at the park.  My ds had all of his cars with him in a bucket and picked up the lost car and was playing with it and then when we were leaving he still had it and we were like, whatever.  But then a really sad little boy and his mom came by looking for the car and it was a bit embarrassing being like "oh yeah, we have it".  So now, we just leave everything.  I never pick up clothes and toys and put them in a prominent place. 

post #10 of 10

We do the same as you, leave it out for someone to come back and find if they miss it.  One of my daughter's little friends' dad lets her do finders keepers and so when DD asks why she can't, I remind her that different families just have different rules. 

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