How to get rid of unwanted toys

Most of us are familiar with this problem: your kids’ toy boxes or even their whole bedrooms overflow with toys. Junior has outgrown a lot of these, but any effort to get rid of the excess is met with absolute horror. You’ve tried to convince Junior that other little ones need and would love those toys, but Junior is still too small to understand, or sets aside too few for giving away. What to do? Try a magic box.

When my friend Heather had this problem, I made a story for her children, which you can find below. You’re free to use these images, though in all honesty I slapped them together on Inkscape in record speed, so they’re not great, but they did the job for Heather’s little ones. In addition, I got a document box, though any box will do. I painted the box with some African-ish patterns, because I am South African and thought it would be nice to give the story an African flavour. The African aspect is also sufficiently mysterious to add to the excitement.

Heather then read the story to her kids, and lo and behold, there was the very magic box they’d read about. They filled it with toys they were prepared to give up – you need to make sure they understand these toys will not come back, so there’s no drama later – and because of the excitement of the box, they put much more into it than they would have otherwise. The youngsters went to bed, of course Heather emptied the box and replaced all the old toys with two brand new, small toys. She had time while the kids were asleep to decide which toys to donate to charity, and which to store. The point is, their toy boxes were much less stuffed, with zero drama.

I hope this will help someone out there!

PS – The text should be written in Century Gothic, as it is the closest to the “nursery school script” which children are exposed to first when they start reading. Also, you can colour in the pictures, or if they’re older, they can do that themselves.

PPS – The images have no background colour, sorry about that. I put them into a Word document, which of course has a white background by default. Hope it works for you.


Jan Dassie

and the magic box


This is Jan Dassie.

He is a rock hyrax.

He lives on Table Mountain in South Africa.


Jan goes to town.

He finds a bin.

What is in the bin?


Toys! Many toys!

They are old.

Some are broken.

Jan likes the toys.

He takes the toys home.


Oh, dear! Jan’s home is full.

Where will he sleep?

He wants to get into his home.

He wants to keep all the toys.


Jan goes to Grandma.

“What must I do?” he asks.

“I will go to the wise woman,” says Grandma. “Come back tomorrow.”


Grandma gives Jan a magic box.

He must fill the box with toys. It must be full.

He must put the lid on.

He must go to sleep.

There will be a surprise.

“Pick well,” says Grandma. “The toys will be gone. Then the box must rest.”


Jan is sad.

He wants to keep the toys.

He wants the surprise.

He puts broken toys in the box.

He puts old toys in the box.

He puts the lid on.

He goes to sleep.


Jan wakes up.

He opens the box.

There is a new toy.

Jan is happy.

He wants more new toys.

“You must wait,” says Grandma. “I will tell you when the box is ready.”


Jan plays with his new train. He plays with his old toys.

One day Grandma says: “The box is ready.”

Jan is happy.

He puts toys in the box.

He keeps the toys he still loves.

He goes to sleep.


What is this?

A box of blocks.

They are new.

They are great.

Jan is happy.



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