Tomorrow I’m throwing everything in the trash! My kids will be just fine playing quietly with sticks and leaves. If I step on one more Lego, action figure or weapon of some kind, I think I’m going to go crazy. Why is every toy they own in the living room? We pay for them to have an entire room to keep their toys and necessities. I needed a system to organize and not have every toy out at one time. Along with that, my kids don’t always put their toys together and play with them like I had imagined they would when we bought them, and it is frustrating to me. I want them to be more creative with their toys and use their imaginations, but that just wasn’t happening with the toys that we already had on hand. So I did what every other mom would do…I Googled it!
I searched a few websites and decided on this simple system. Here it goes:
Step 1 : Purge
Gather all the toys around the house in a pile and and throw out any broken toys and set aside toys to give away. Also, get rid of toys that are not age-appropriate for your kids.
Step 2: Divide
Separate toys into “alike” piles. I did cars, jumbo cars and toys, blocks, action figures, dolls, little people, tools, Legos, etc. The piles were created from how the kids like to play with them. Just figure out how your kids will play better with each toy. Since we had so many cars I decided to just leave a few out at a time and rotate those throughout the week. That also goes with some action figures, dinosaurs, and little people. I just spread out the use of the toys throughout the week so they don’t get tired of them.
Step 3: Box it Up
Compile a system of how you want the boxes to be filled. I choose to make four theme boxes, one for each week of the month. On the outside you can write the theme of the box or the number that corresponds with the week you are want to pull it out. Inside of the box I included a 3×5 card with ideas of how the items could be set up to create a learning or play station. Here’s an example of how I set up our boxes:
Box 1 has a constructions theme
Box 2 is our superhero theme
Box 3 has a music theme
Box 4 has a transportation theme.
I make sure that every box has some of their favorite toys in it, even if it doesn’t necessarily match the theme. I store the other three boxes in the top of the closet in the kids’ room.
Step 4: Rotate
Once all the boxes are assembled and labeled, leave one box out and put the other ones away where the children can’t reach them. Every Sunday we pull out another box for the next week, and pack up the toys from last week. That’s it! This system, in particular, works great for my two toddler boys. While I’m homeschooling my 5th grader, they are busy at the different play stations set up around the room.
So far the system has been working great and I’m a happy mama! Next step for me is to create an existing toy list. So when I shop for toys I have a better understanding of what might compliment the items we already have at home. It’s all about creating an atmosphere for imagination and creativity.
We started a toy wish list on Pinterest of what we thought would be great additions. I LOVE making lists so this is a great timesaver and reminder to purchase things we really love, and not just shop on impulse.
Follow Diona @All Day Everyday Mom’s board Educational Toys and Games on Pinterest.
If you have any other ideas on how to organize your toys, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!