• Nancy Collins

Tips for Toys

Toy Storage Tips...Start now before the Holiday Madness...

Play is the work of childhood. Mr. Rogers taught us this. Sometimes our homes can become so cluttered with toys that our kids can’t actually find the right tools to work with. You know what? More toys is not always better.

Every toy needs to have a place that is easy to locate. If it doesn’t have a place, how can the child put it away the same place each time, and then the child doesn’t know how to clean it up. When a child knows exactly, with complete understanding where a toy goes, they can easily put that toy away. Being able to find a toy is a really big part of play. If we can’t find it, we can’t play with it. If a child can’t play with it, they can’t learn from it.

So where to start?

1) Invest in some book shelves and bins to store the toys in. Find an inexpensive but sturdy system that is easily customizable and works really well for storing toys. Don’t spend a lot of money but don’t go super cheap either or it will not hold up. Don’t go with a toy box—it’s a place where toys go to die.

2) Keep the toys accessible to your child. CLEAR BINS ARE THE BEST. The cute little fabric bins may look cute and clean to you but kids can’t see through them and therefore can’t easily put things away. For little kids, cut out pictures and tape them to the front of the bins with clear packing tape. Make sure the toys they play with the most are the easiest for them to get to.

3) If a toy is broken, move it out of the way or toss it.

4) Do not keep the toy bins too full. Leave room and space for more toys to come in. Also, it is easier for the child to clean up and put things

away if the bin is not overcrowded. It also makes it easier to find the toy when they want to play with it so they don’t empty the whole bin out.

5) Listen to your child and if the system is not working for them, be flexible and willing to adjust the system to suit your child’s needs.

6) Have a missing pieces bin and then if you find a piece to a toy, toss it in the bin. When your child is playing with a toy that is missing a

piece, they will know where to go to find it.

7) Consider rotating toys so that older toys are gently relocated or removed for awhile and newer toys are a little more prominent. The one-in-one-out rule work great here. It also teaches kid flexibility and if you have a child who obsesses or persists with only one toy it helps to gently move them in a different direction.

Now is the time to start so that when the Holiday toy rush is on, the system is in place for new toy storage.

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