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Organising small DC's toys

(7 Posts)
belindarose Mon 30-May-11 11:45:53

I'm sure this thread will have been done a million times already, but any advice please? What do you do with all your DC's toys?

DD is 21 months and has a typical amount of toys/ books I suppose. I just feel overwhelmed by them all and can't keep tidy. There's a massive toybox in her room that I'd tried to store toys in that she'd grown out of or hadn't yet grown into, which was useful but she's now keen to open it a lot and take things out. This makes me think that it'd be put to better use as storage for her current toys and I'd have to try to put the others in the loft. It's very big though and would be hard for her to get things out (it is also extremely ugly but used to be DH's and he won't let me paint it!).

There are also toys in the living room and kitchen (dolls' house, puzzles, tea set, lots of bricks, usually some construction of cardboard/ junk). I do have plastic buckets that I put them in at the end of the day, or during the day, but they still seem to be everywhere. I'm not even that houseproud, certainly don't expect her toys to be hidden away or tidy all the time. I think there's maybe too much out at once. She can certainly ask for whatever toy she wants if it's not there, but I suppose might not always think about the ones she can't see.

Anyway, a very long winded way of asking...Do you have a system for your DC's toys and will you share it with me please?

Iggly Mon 30-May-11 14:07:30

We keep DS's toys in the spare room, his bedroom and living room.

We have a low tv bench in the living room with two drawers - one side has his books and the other side puzzles. Behind the sofa we have a few boxes which we chuck other stuff in.

In his room we have one of those billy bookcases from ikea with doors and have a few books and bits and pieces (trucks etc).

In the spare room we have toys he doesn't really play with much or stuff. We try and rotate toys and chuck a load of stuff in a box that he doesn't use often and take them out of the living room.

Every few weeks I go through his toys and work out what he's a bit old for now - certainly helps to keep the clutter down!

PurpleCrazyHorse Mon 30-May-11 23:44:36

We have an Ikea Expedit unit in our lounge with four fabric boxes for toys and a low Ikea storage/toy box (also in our lounge), there's no room for toys in DD's room! We have a Duplo play table that stores bricks in it too.

I am ruthless about passing on toys that she's grown out of or take up way more space than they're played with. Grandad wants DD to have a dolls pram etc but I've said a firm no (unless he wants to buy us a bigger house grin)

We've kept to the main timeless toys - Duplo (in a play table), Brio, wooden blocks and Happyland. Happyland lives in a Happyland zip up box, Duplo in the play table, Brio takes up one of the fabric boxes, as do the wooden blocks. There is a fabric box of instruments/jigsaws and one of teddies/dolls. The toybox stores bigger Happyland things and some odds and ends.

DD can reach everything and is able to choose herself what to play with (with the exception of the toy box - that has stuff on it as it's the right height for her to stand up and play).

I regularly go through and remove items (especially if she gets new stuff), some go in the attic for future DCs and some to charity. I try to encourage DD to put things back in the boxes before getting new things out or I try to tidy up behind her.

For us, our house is so small that we simply can't have lots of toys easily accessible and therefore it makes it easier to manage.

belindarose Tue 31-May-11 07:08:44

Thanks, both of you. That's the kind of thing I'm aiming for. Maybe I can convince DH we need a bit more storage. DD needs a new chest of drawers so maybe we can be creative with that. Also need to be more ruthless! I try to put things away for future DC but she shows an interest in them and I keep them out. Today's job!

monkoray Tue 31-May-11 12:06:03

Have you thought about rotating the toys. Its an idea i stole from Montessori. We have one low set of book shelves in the living room that DS can reach. I put some of DSs toys on it (the rest go in a toy box out of the way). Every few days i swap whats on the shelf with whats in the toy box so he gets 'new' ones to stimulate him. Firm favourites stay out on the shelf. Board books and puzzles have a shelf to themselves.
We also have an Ikea Expedit set of shelves for out TV http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/10103093
The bottom shelf is DSs as he can reach it. It holds boxes with his mega blocks, an art box with play dough and painting stuff, and one has a train set in it. They are really well 'hidden' as they are in boxes, but DS can get to them easily.
In his room he only has cuddly toys and bedtime story books. Any toys he's too old for go straight in the loft. Like purpleCH we avoid buying anything too bulky and stick to the classics, although having said that he does have a dolls pram - but it folds up so can fit behind the sofa if he's not playing with it.
I think you are right that the only way to stay on top of it is to be quite ruthless, but rotating helps give DC variety without needing everything accessible at once.

Pigleychez Tue 31-May-11 22:30:29

We have Ikea Trofast units across one wall in the dining room. Toys are sorted into trays. Ie Trains in one tray, Instruments in another, soft toys in one box, puzzles another etc.
We find it keeps the toys reasonably tidy and being in trays means the children have learnt that one, maybe 2 trays out at a time max.
Ive also found it helps to keep the toy pieces together too. Your not rummaging round the bottom of a large toybox looking for that missing person.

I keep the drawing, playdough etc in the higher boxes that the DD's cant reach (yet) but they know they are there and can ask if they'd like them.

It works pretty well for us.

Goblinchild Tue 31-May-11 22:38:37

If you put a photo of the contents on the front of the box, she'll hopefully grow into putting things back too. smile

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