Yes, the girls have 33 baby dolls and miscellaneous dolls (not including Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake, Polly Pocket, or Dora the Explorer)! A little excessive, non? Yesterday, I brought all of these dolls and their accessories upstairs, and the girls and I proceeded to match dolls with clothes. It took quite a long time to dress them all! Here they are, all together for the first and last time...
I told the girls they had to choose some of the dolls to give away to other children who don't have many toys. Quite a few tears were shed by all three girls, but in the end they willingly selected eleven of these dolls to give away. I had said ten and an extra one ended up in the give-away pile, so that's good! The girls wanted their photos taken with some of the dolls we're giving away and I obliged. I was a little surprised by how attached Sophia was to many of the dolls, even though she hasn't played with them for a long time.
I'm not sure where those eleven dolls are going yet. The Salvation Army perhaps. Any suggestions for used toys? Madeline suggested that we put them out on Christmas Eve with a note asking Santa to take them and give them to children who need more toys. There was some discussion among the girls about Santa taking them to Africa.
I'm glad this is done. I probably could have selected some and taken them away without anyone really noticing (although I might have selected the wrong ones!), but I want the girls to know we can't just keep getting more things without letting some things go. With Christmas and birthdays coming and the certain acquisition of more things over the next two months, it was a good time to have this discussion.
I really hope I can find the time to tackle a few more toy categories in the next little while (but it will be extra difficult to find time with Christmas and birthdays coming). It would be great to get some momentum going and continue convincing the girls that it's good to get rid of some things.
Added Dec 2: I learned today that I can donate our gently-used dolls to Transition House (I believe) through our Christmas Charity Challenge at work this week! Yay! Since they aren't new toys, they won't be given as Christmas gifts, but they will stored and then given to children who are settling into new residences. I'm happy they're wanted and will be used again. The dolls in our give-away pile are almost all gently-used since they weren't the ones being lugged around everywhere.
Sheralyn, thanks for reminding me that preschools like to get toy donations sometimes too. I don't think we're ready to part with Barbies yet, but I will keep that in mind for the future!