Toy storage with 2 dc's under 5? Do you keep certain toys out of reach?

(18 Posts)
ultraviolet11 Fri 28-Feb-14 13:11:13

Those who have dc's under 5 and under 2 how and where do you store things like jigsaw puzzles, mega bloks, duplo etc?
Dd 3.5 has the above and lots of jigsaws. DS 18 months is constantly pulling things off shelfs out of drawers etc. Not really playing with anything but just seems to like emptying things. Because of this at the moment I have a billy bookcase in our living room and keep most of this type of stuff on one of the higher shelfs so ds can't pull everything out at the same time. But he has now learned he can push a chair up to the shelf and pull things down, usually only happens if I'm out of the room. We also have an ikea trofast in Dd's bedroom. I dont think i'm using it to its full potential. It houses various random plastic toys and after having a clear out a few weeks ago it is not full. Dd has a drawer of kitchen stuff and another for little animals, figures etc the rest is just random plastic toys. Should I just rehouse duplo, wooden blocks etc in the trofast? Still not sure about jigsaw puzzles? Or is it best to keep this sort of stuff out of reach till Ds is a bit older? I'm just worried I will be constantly picking up after Ds, although I pretty much do this most of the day anyway. I just feel Dd shouldn't have to ask me to get things down for her and to promote independence she should have everything within easy reach although she is still learning to tidy up before getting something else out. If all the toys are within easy reach for both then will ds grow out of this making mess stage any quicker? We live in a flat so moving toys between rooms in not an issue and they play in the living room most of the time.

ultraviolet11 Fri 28-Feb-14 13:13:15

sorry just realised how long my post is smile

UriGeller Fri 28-Feb-14 13:26:08

I have a 3yo and a 1yo. Frankly its a free for all in the conservatory. They don't have toys in their rooms. We have trofast and every evening we just scoop everything up and dump it into any free container. I used to have a system: animals, cars, puzzles, construction vehicles etc all nicely separated but the kids didnt want to comply with what they obviously assumed (rightly) to be my OCD tendencies.

Jigsaws aren't popular in our house (thank god) grin

Before dd we lived in a flat. We just had a corner where everything got bulldozed into at bedtime then after ds had gone to bed I'd spend a happy hour compartmentalising everything.

ultraviolet11 Fri 28-Feb-14 14:04:47

Thanks uri, but I have to have things in some sort of order although i'm sure kids would love the free for all method.

DeathMetalMum Fri 28-Feb-14 21:31:58

We are similar though 6 months behind 3 and 1. DD2 will put anything and everything in her mouth so we have to have certain toys of dd1's out of reach even for dd1 as I can't expect her to ensure dd2 doesn't try to eat it. Like wise with puzzles. We do them during nap times. I also think it is unfair in a way for dd2 to ransack all of dd1's things.

I am also watching for some advice as I know as dd2 becomes more mobile things will change.

ultraviolet11 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:14:47

Well Ds managed to get his hands on 2 jigsaw puzzles today whilst I was getting dinner ready. Haven't bothered to look for all of the pieces as we're full of cold and tired. I know this is just a phase with Ds so might leave things as they are for now and hope he grows out of it soon, very soon.

InsertUsernameHere Sat 01-Mar-14 08:49:08

I have a bit bigger gap (3yrs) and it was really important for some of the older ones toys to be non accessible to the younger one. I actually worked really well in promoting ds1 to learn to play on his own a little. So in our house all little toys (lego/playmobil/proper jigsaws ie things that could get broken or you could choke on) get played with at the dining room table and if ds2 was awake then Ds1 could choose to play with them on his own with the door shut and I'd play with ds2. (When they were 4.5 and 18 months) If they wanted to play together then it was duplo on the floor ( they still play with duplo at 7.5 and 4.5 cause you can make really big stuff quickly!).
We actively discouraged ds2 from climbing on chairs (making sure there were none near by) and ds1 wasn't allowed to do it in his brothers sight. Worked for us - but might have been the bigger gap.
But whatever you do make sure your book case and any other storage is attached to the wall!!

Iwasagnome Sat 01-Mar-14 09:15:25

A child once came to my house and tipped out all the jig saws and muddled them up! ( we had a lot)
After that I moved them when he came but also coded them on the back of each piece.

ultraviolet11 Sat 01-Mar-14 10:17:06

I have moved 2 dining room chairs out into other rooms to discourage him from pushing chairs around the room and thankfully bookcase is already attached to the wall.
Whilst looking for all the puzzle pieces this morning dd asked if she could have some new puzzles?? Will have to think about that one...

stargirl1701 Sat 01-Mar-14 10:20:33

I only put out 10 toys and rotate those once a week.

sugarandspite Sat 01-Mar-14 11:26:07

We keep jigsaw puzzles in ziplock bags / Tupperware boxes with a cut out picture of what each is supposed to be. It just helps keep them all together and limit the devastation when the toddler gets his hands on them.

Trofast for blocks and duplo is excellent, makes tidying v quick and easy. We have also used soft fabric bags for these things kept in the trofast - again just prevents the 'turn the whole box upside down to empty it' chaos

ultraviolet11 Sat 01-Mar-14 12:16:33

Sugar, 10 toys I'm intrigued. .. can I ask how old your dc's are and how you managed to achieve this? We are on a journey to minimalist living but still got a long way to go.
ziplock bags are a great idea especially as some of the boxes are falling apart.

ultraviolet11 Sat 01-Mar-14 12:17:22

Sorry meant to say stargirl at beginning.

Artandco Sat 01-Mar-14 12:24:26

We have an ikea expedit unit with 8 cubes with baskets and doors. Lays down so 2 high. If toys don't fit in they don't stay in house. Now roughly has in each cube:

X1 Books
X1 art/ craft
X1 Lego
X1 cars/ boats/ transport
X1 brio train set
X1 figures and accessories ie play mobile
X1 games and puzzles
X1 any thing else

They have a few books and teddies in/ near bed also and that's everything. I like that when tidied the house is toy/ clutter free

Fresh01 Sun 02-Mar-14 13:38:26

We use the top shelf in a larder cupboard in the kitchen and put a simple sliding bolt at adult height for jigsaws and craft things. Both are only to be used at the kitchen table or you end up with bits everywhere.

Games are on top of kitchen cupboards in a pantry type cupboard. These are only brought out one at a time when the 2 year old is asleep or I can distract her.

I have 4 kids between 2 and 8 so a mad amount of toys. In the last month the Lego is now being left on a table as the 2 year old has no interest putting it in her mouth. That depends on the child, DC1 and DC3 put things in their mouth till about 3.5 years of age.

Toy storage is a never ending problem......

We have a 3y old (who has only just stopped putting absolutely everything in her mouth) and a newly mobile 9mo.

We are extremely fortunate to have a playroom, we have a 2*4 expedit which is organised similarly to Artandco as well as a couple of wicker baskets with lots of baby toys in so dd2 can tip them over and climb in and out to her hearts content.

I have also made a few simple drawstring bags with applique on to symbolise what should go in them. I keep anything which has to be supervised on higher shelves such as craft or small jigsaws. We have one toybox upstairs and one in the kitchen diner as that keeps the girks happy when I'm cooking.

We are however in the process of turning a small through room which is awkward into built in storage, after that all toys ans games will be kept on open shelves (like an expedit) with just the bigger toys staying in the playroom to give more play space as the children grow.

Coveredinweetabix Tue 04-Mar-14 23:04:53

DD is 4.3 & DS is 21mths and I have just had a major toy re-organisation for the reasons you set out above. Having done it, life is a lot easier although things may have got better as DS has suddenly got bored of putting everything in his mouth. I think I'm more laid back than some as I don't mind DS upending the Duplo box or the dominos as he can then spend ages (well, 10-15 mins) doing things with them.
So, in the playroom & accessible at all times by the DC, we have the toy kitchen, all of the dolls, their pushchairs, cot & accessories, all of the Happyland stuff, all of the cars & things, Duplo, musical instruments, shape sorters, peg jigsaws & similar for DS and books. In the study, I keep all of the craft stuff on the top shelf of a locked cupboard and then, on top of this cupboard, is the proper Lego, Playmobil, play doh, jigsaws, board games & DD's toys which DS could choke or injure himself on like the tap tap board or the small threading beads. All of the stuff which lives on top of the cupboard can only be played with at the dining table and DD knows that, as soon as anything is dropped, she has to jump down & pick it up and she's very good at doing exactly that.
We also have a 4x2 Expedit unit and I had thought about getting a 4x1 one wall mounted above it in which I could put the out-of-reach toys in but I don't think you can wall mount Expedit.

ultraviolet11 Tue 04-Mar-14 23:58:23

Thanks covered. I think I will do the same as you and move duplo and wooden blocks into trofast in dds room. maybe the novelty factor will wear off if they are always in reach.

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