Apparently I missed hitting publish on this post I typed up 6 months ago, hubby is currently on long service leave so we are hoping to finish this big project that caused this rethink on purging toys and craft supplies soon.
We are in the midst of completely reorgnising majority of our home, I rethought how we use our home last year, we only sleep in bedrooms and the rooms used as a office/craft room and a therapy/playroom were the 2 hottest in the house during the day in Summer and Coolest in Winter during the day (post coming when we finish) so we now have the boys sharing a different room as they only sleep in there and the room they were in is now despite being a bedroom our new office/craft/therapy/play room as during the day it is the coolest in Summer and warmest in Winter.
I do like the rule "Anything not used in 6 months purge." however since we started our journey with Occupational Therapy for myself and the kids I have realised the important value of many toys and craft in building fine motor and gross motor skills and changed the way I purchase toys and the way I purge.
So when purchasing I think about if this toy can improve fine or gross motor skills, when purging any toy if it can improve fine and gross motor skills even if it has not been used in 6 months I will not get rid of it.
The kids get very bored with their therapy and getting things needed is expensive so I am always thinking about what I have already including craft supplies and toys as to whether they will suit the outcome the exercise is geared towards for example Scrapbooking Punches are now part of the therapy budget as the motion using certain brands is a motion the OT wants them doing to build wrist strength as a example.
We do not refer to it as therapy but play or craft time or just let's have fun.
In addition to Occupational Therapy Art Therapy is also very important when you are in pain and Distraction Therapy so here is a list of some of the toys I won't purge, of course there are many toys that need to be in our Therapy Room that we don't have just yet or that I have neglected on this list.
Lego - the collection is huge, the boys get Lego from friends and family for Christmas and Birthdays, they inherited their Dad and Uncle's collection but Lego is great for fine motor skills, distraction, of course is great for creating and building.
Play Doh, Air Dry Clay, Plasticine - the OT gave them specific exercises with Play Doh and I try to get them to create a creature or something with it to make it fun.
Board Games - particularly those that require dexterity like Kerplunk, Operation, Wiggle Giggle, Pick Up Sticks, etc. And kids can create new games with the supplies by making games up. We have other Board Games also so that we can mix it up to keep it fun.
Marbles - flicking marbles can be good for exercising certain muscles in the fingers.
Toy cars and Hot Wheel Tracks - putting the tracks together involves dexterity so helps with fine motor skills.
Dress Ups - great for imagination and distraction, of course at 9 and 10.5 they are getting a bit old for the dress ups they have so Cosplay is on the horizon.
Transformers - transforming them from robot to car, truck, plane is good for dexterity.
Rainbow Loom - the recommendations for us are create something small every 3 days or so, so a charm or part of a bigger item, over doing it can aggravate things but the movement is very helpful for building certain muscles in the hands. Our collection has grown quiet quickly. Assisting with their first 3D item allowed my dislocated carpel knuckles to go back in, so it is on my must do list also.
Model Kits - again the dexterity involved is useful for improving fine motor skills and can be a pleasant distraction as they put it together and paint it.
Fun card games like Munchkin can be great for distraction when you are in pain as they are always funny.
Water Guns, Nerf Guns, Squirt Bottles - great for fine motor skills and lots of fun but of course safety guidelines are important.
Dominos - great fun to play the game and build with.
Silly Putty - squeezing it is great for building hand strength. That reminds me I need to buy some more. Stress balls will also work.
Action figures/Dolls - great for distraction via using their imagination to tell a story or something with the figures.