Toys! where should they live?

(66 Posts)
mumoftwoboysS Wed 30-Jan-13 10:36:26

I've been thinking about all the toys cluttering up the lounge and was wondering where do most of you keep your kids toys? In their bedrooms and bring them downstairs to play, or mostly in the lounge? My boys have plenty of room for toys in their bedrooms but toys seem to migrate downstairs and clutter up the lounge...(they're 3 1/2 and 2 years) I'm not that fussed, just wondering if I should be stricter and make them keep more upstairs to stop the lounge from getting swamped!

i have 3 kids- two boys aged 8 and 10 and a baby aged 6 months.
the older kids toys are in the cellar and in their room, the baby's toys are in a box in the living room

JollyRedGiant Wed 30-Jan-13 18:44:55

DS has his own books in a bookcase in his room and a wee pile in the living room. Our books are in a bookcase in our room.

During the day we usually play downstairs. He has a toy box in the living room. The rest of his toys stay in his room. There are upstairs toys and downstairs toys (and cupboard toys as we have too many). I rotate every few weeks so all the toys get a chance to be downstairs.

JollyRedGiant Wed 30-Jan-13 18:45:34

DS is 21mo. Once he has a sibling his small, more dangerous toys will stay in his room.

Zappo Wed 30-Jan-13 19:32:39

I have a very small house. I cannot keep anything upstairs in DC bedroom beyond a few books and cuddly toys. Everything stays in the living room. We are lucky to have one large storage cupboard in living room and have a shelving unit and plastic boxes. We also have a shed. DH regularly takes stuff out to the shed (he hates clutter), I regularly bring it back in (I'm doing the most entertaining).

I know people whose sitting rooms are so toy free that you'd never know they had kids. I like having a messy child friendly house though. I've given it over to them and will get some adult space back if we manage to move (would love a playroom to put everything in!).

FullLegBikiniandUnderArm Wed 30-Jan-13 19:38:44

For smallest DS (20 months) I have 4 boxes/crates of toys which stay in his bedroom. Every morning I bring out a different box for him to play with and every night I pack it up and put it back in his room. The older two DS's (6 and 3.5) keep their toys 2 big material hampers / sacks in their bedroom with books and jigsaws kept in a bookcase in their room. Same again, every night I just chuck any stray toys back in their hampers because I like to reclaim the kitchen/living room for us in the evening. I have a small basket under a coffee table that I keep a few books for DS3 in just so they are to hand during the day. Having said that, I live in a bungalow, so I'm not traipsing up and down stairs to do this.

Dancergirl Wed 30-Jan-13 19:40:28

The dds have some toys in their bedrooms and we have some downstairs. We have built in cupboards under the tv so everything can be stored in there. Also have some bigger toys that are just out - dolls house, toy kitchen etc.

TBH I can't see why so many people get upset about having toys around. Nice to have everything put away of an evening, but if it doesn't happen it's not the end of the world. After dd3 has done a puzzle she likes it to stay complete for a while.

I'm enjoying it while it lasts. One day they'll grow up and leave home and bet I'd do anything then to have a few toys around!

Matildaduck Wed 30-Jan-13 20:03:03

Good simple storage is the key. Splitting the toys by type and giving an easy to use tub, box or basket. If the cars for example always go in the blue box it's easy. Never buy a new type of toy without allocating storage. It also helps to have less categories, it's the random crap that causes problems. bin it all less stuff also helps.

Children find it easy to tidy them away when everything has a home. We have lego\ duplo downstairs, games, arts and crafts.

The remainder in bedrooms to be brought down and returned. Their stuff they need to learn to manage it.

marking my place for later.

Organised toy storage is up there with perpetual motion & turning base metal into gold grin

ceeveebee Wed 30-Jan-13 20:30:09

We have a pretty large living room and have cordoned off a quarter of it for the DCs, with foam mats, big push a long toys,pop up tent rocking horse etc and a tox box.
We have another toy box in the nursery and regularly rotate toys around with the one in the living room.
Some books are upstairs (the ones that are used for bedtime story reading) and some downstairs on our bookshelves (the noisy/activity books)

JollyRedGiant Wed 30-Jan-13 20:52:14

I agree that toys shouldn't all be hidden away. This is DS's home too.

Zappo Wed 30-Jan-13 21:02:11

www.amazon.co.uk/Simplicity-Parenting-Extraordinary-Calmer-Happier/dp/0345507983/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359579639&sr=1-1

If you've ever though you just have too many toys etc, there's lots of good stuff in here about decluttering your environment

MortifiedAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 21:08:49

We use the larger one of these which holds most of dds toys. She is 1.1 and looks so cute stood up at it bringing stuff out and putting it back in again.

After shes gone to bed we chuck everything back into it and put a throw and some cushions on. Makes a great sturdy seat too. We use the smaller one in our room for linen but will go to DD too when she is needing more storage.

Her ride on toys are stored in her room and we usually bring one into the lounge for a week or so and then swap it witg another one. In her room, she has the other ride on, a little pile of.softtoys on the bottom of her bookcase, and a pile of.books.

MortifiedAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 21:08:59

We use the larger one of these which holds most of dds toys. She is 1.1 and looks so cute stood up at it bringing stuff out and putting it back in again.

After shes gone to bed we chuck everything back into it and put a throw and some cushions on. Makes a great sturdy seat too. We use the smaller one in our room for linen but will go to DD too when she is needing more storage.

Her ride on toys are stored in her room and we usually bring one into the lounge for a week or so and then swap it witg another one. In her room, she has the other ride on, a little pile of.softtoys on the bottom of her bookcase, and a pile of.books.

MortifiedAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 21:09:40

oops sorry for the 2x post.

Iamalmost40 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:22:01

Ds who is 4 always plays in the lounge so most of his toys are down here. We have fake leather ottomans from Argos which were cheap and hold loads. Also good because they don't have sharp corners. I can't really imagine him playing alone in his bedroom but he does have some things up there that he can play when he has friends round or he can bring downstairs.

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 21:34:27

This is the kind of thread that a few short months ago I would have looked at and thought "what, discussion of the day, must be a slow day on MN" but having had a recent renaissance in terms of decluttering, I now can answer this question in exquisite and painstaking detail!

Kitchen - we have a 50's style pantry and in it we have an Ikea duktig kitchen that houses: playdough, baking equipment, "cleaning" equipment (and some real cleaning stuff for ds to help out in kitchen with), toy food, a toy kettle/toaster/kitchen utensils. We also made a bench using an Ikea storage thingy and it houses the arts and crafts and jigsaws as I don't want the kids getting into these on their own because they throw paint everywhere and lose all the jigsaw pieces need some supervision with them.

Lounge - We have a trofast storage thingy from Ikea. This used to have tubs of toys in it but we have stripped it way back and put in shelves so there are now five or six books, an Octopod, duplo, some stacking cups, rattles and a shape sorter. When the kids go to bed, we throw a table clothover it and it functions as a coffee table and we can pretend that the room is kiddy free.

Bathroom - Bath toys, of course!

Boys' room - we converted their wardrobe which was a built in when we bought the house into a reading nook. It was a really odd shape, deep and very wide but with small doors so it was very hard to get into the corners, so we built in some shelves ourselves by hacking some ikea storage. When you open the door, you can see a blanket hanging on the wall and some arty farty bits decorative features hmm, giant cushions and a cosy fleecy blanket with stars on it that is hanging from a Grundtal rail. To the sides there is a trofast hacked storage shelf with animals, bricks, vehicles, musical instruments, puppets and "little men" (e.g. firemen sam and the like). On the other side there are book shelves. Up high there are flexible buckets with more flashy toys in that don't come down everyday but are great for when you need a break! We have two night lights in there and chalkboard paint on the door and a hung abacus so they can draw on the doors. Big hit. We call it the "play and read" nook.

Finally, we have an expedit (four bits) between the beds. This is empty and they can make things with bricks etc on it - my 3 year old makes it into a shop, a castle, a hospital etc. I got the idea on Pinterest, as I did most of these ideas!

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 21:35:30

exquisiteLY painstaking detail. Not suggesting it is in and of itself exquisite hmm

MortifiedAdams Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:04

Ooh yes I love Pinterest for ideas. Live the expedit dolls house.

LapinDeBois Wed 30-Jan-13 22:20:24

Quite reassured by this thread. We've always had a bunch of toys downstairs and a bunch of toys upstairs, but most of my friends seem to have perfect, adult-only living rooms and I was beginning to feel a bit inadequate (even though perfect houses aren't really my thing). I'm glad to see that others also treat the living room as a shared space with their kids. That said, we have one of those foam letter play mats in the living room which stays down all the time, and I HATE it. It's so useful, though, not to mention educational, that I can't see DH agreeing to get rid of it for a couple of years yet. Roll on that day!

Arthurfowlersallotment Wed 30-Jan-13 22:31:29

Flexi tubs are good.

isthisacrazyidea Wed 30-Jan-13 22:39:17

Everything is downstairs except books and teddies. I've accepted that my lounge will look like Toys R Us for the next few years! I'd like to store some stuff in DS's bedroom but he is a bugger with sleep and won't get into bed if there are "playing with" toys in his room. Every so often one gets up there by mistake, so DH or I try to sneak them out without him noticing grin

MrsPear Wed 30-Jan-13 22:45:22

Louisanablue that is such a great idea about books. We are moving soon and need new storage for mine anyway so will be adding his too.

Anyway toys - during the day they are everywhere and then the first job of the night time routine is to tidy them all away into his bedroom.

We are also using the dining room as a playroom at the moment, especially since I'm on maternity leave and dd (3yrs) can use the table for her play doh, colouring, making stuff etc - we're doing a lot of craft stuff since I've been home. Unfortunately most of it just gets pushed into an ever growing pile at the end when it's mealtime... Also in there are dd's kitchen and baskets of playfood and two sets of shelving with other toys on.

In the living room there is a lidded toy box with her stuff in it, a small basket of octonauts and the baby's toys (he's 4 months) so a playmat and a basket of toys. The hallway is knocked through to the living room and has a small sideboard where we keep board games and jigsaws (and plenty of junk!)

In dd's bedroom are most of the books - the newest ones are in the living room - a bouncy zebra thing (that I can't bear to look at downstairs!) and a small basket of toys. The bathroom has more octonauts...

It's clear as soon as you walk through the door that children live here and I like that - I do see it as their house as much as ours and I want them to be able to access their things easily. I don't however want to live in a toy shop, so lots of storage!

As for our books, we have 'done an ikea' and have shelves everywhere! There is a tall bookcase in the living room, a short bookcase in the bedroom, 2 billys in the dining room (though they don't just house books), 3 shelves at the bottom of the stairs and a long shelf up high running the length of the hallway.

Murtette Wed 30-Jan-13 23:17:31

We have a playroom but it should actually be called a "place where the toys live room" as DD hardly ever plays in there, preferring to play in the sitting room where we are... which I like. I think that as she has (baby) DS get older, they will play more in the playroom and eventually it will become their den but I do like us all being together. I sorted the playroom just before DS was born and it now has a lot of the Argos equivalent of IKEA Expedit (as it saved a trip to IKEA!) with a mixture of their fabric storage tubs (for things like mega bloks, dolls & dolls' clothes and other things which DD has enough of to justify a whole cube) and then clear plastic food storage tubs for things like cars, animals, people as then she doesn't have to open them all to find what she wants. Things like books, games & jigsaws are just stacked.
The sideboard in the dining room is the one cupboard in the house with a lock on it and contains alcohol, cleaning products, paint & play doh! A kitchen drawer has paper & crayons in it as then, if a meal gets delayed, DD can do drawing. In her bedroom she has more Argos storage with toys & she plays with these in the morning between waking and disturbing us or when I'm upstairs cleaning or tidying & she's got bored of helping. These toys are all selected to be quiet! Most of her books are upstairs.
And there's the loft which has toys she's grown out of and I'm saving for DS, toys she didn't play with much and which are having a period out with the plan being that, if she doesn't ask for them, they'll go to the charity shop and some favourite toys & games that I'd got sick of (like the Shopping List game which DD would happily play 20 times a day).

MildredIsMyAlterEgo Wed 30-Jan-13 23:23:41

Where do we keep the toys?
First glance would suggest everyfuckingwhere except the toy boxes
Second glance confirms it
<closes eyes and drinks gin>
sad

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