Go around your playroom and sort unused toys into piles by age. If you don't plan on having more children, consider donating the younger ones to another family or charity. Developing an organization system that fits your children's natural tendencies is one of the best ways to keep their toys organized. We've put together the best toy storage ideas for kids, plus expert tips from a professional organizer on how to create a system that works. From playroom ideas to children's bedroom inspiration, these toy storage ideas and organization techniques will make your kids really want to clean up.
If there is a younger child in the family, or if there will be one day, it's okay to put those toys in boxes for later. Keep in mind that the youngest child will receive his own toys as birthday and baby shower gifts, so he only needs to keep the real favorites. A simple shelf can give you plenty of space to organize your children's toys. You can place some on display and store others in baskets, boxes or bags.
This will also grow with them and, eventually, you can replace toys with books and stationery. I find that the fewer toys in the toy box, the more you play with them. Keep your kids' favorites to play with and they'll barely notice the excess go away. Matching containers can only take you so far when you're faced with a mountain of Hatchimals and LEGO bricks. That's why we've called a team of professional organizers who shared their secrets to overcome the overload of the playroom and keep it under control. Your children's interests will evolve, so prepare the groundwork accordingly.
Instead, look for pieces that your brood can grow on, such as height-adjustable tables and large storage compartments that can be filled with items and containers of different shapes and sizes. The same rule applies to layout and design. Once you enter organization mode, resist the urge to fill every corner; allocate empty space for the inevitable things that will come. Trust us, it won't stay empty for long. Instituting a “one in, one out” policy is a surefire way to keep disorder under control.
Holidays and the change of season are another golden “out with the old opportunities”. For example, everything your child uses to make crafts should be grouped together en masse and then, within that group, give him an appropriate container. When in doubt, call for the kindergarten classroom model, with its different areas of activity. But logic doesn't have to appeal to our adult minds; Potato Head can go alone in a bin; binoculars can be stored with other objects used for exploration, such as a magnifying glass. As children mature, be more detailed about how to group and label as much as possible.
Share that mess of Shopkins, L, O, L., Dolls and Calico Critters in separate and smaller containers. Try to avoid the container towers that will make it a difficult task to get to whatever is at the bottom of the pile. After all, if they can't see him, they won't play with him. Once you've chosen a place for a category, stick to it, says Litman. If you've ever marveled at the focused look on the face of a child trying to stick a square block into a square hole or catch a ball in the air, you know that playtime isn't just fun and games; it's a serious matter and toys are the tools of the trade. Young children are becoming aware of the function of objects; they like to stack blocks, babble on a toy phone or drink from a large children's cup. The concept of imaginary play starts now; your little one could put a baby doll in bed at night or make choo choo noises while pushing a toy train.
This lays the groundwork for preschool play when using the oven timer in a play kitchen or ringing the bell on a simulated fire truck means that your child increasingly understands that each item serves a purpose. Your toddler will also begin to differentiate colors and shapes; so choose toys that are bright, colorful and fun for little hands to hold. By age 2, most toddlers can kick a ball, scribble with a crayon and build towers four or more blocks tall; at 3 years old they can make simple puzzles and pedal a tricycle. Babies explore objects with all five senses; young children begin to figure out how they work. Now as preschoolers they will use toys and other objects for their intended purpose but they will also imagine a world of other possibilities for them; a blanket thrown on a coffee table turns into a secret clubhouse; modeling clay can be used to make pizza cakes that you are asked to try. Often your preschooler will lead you into fantasy and expect you to follow their game; it is also during this time that imaginary friends can appear. This type of fantasy play is crucial for children's development because it helps them work on their fears anxieties hopes and dreams. Knowledge of children's world is more advanced so don't be surprised if your preschooler knows exactly how to use electronics or make electric toys (such as radio-controlled car or video game) work; why just walk when you can jump jump or jump? Peer relationships become more important and your child may be more interested in playing with peers than with you but remember that even as your child matures you are still their most important playmate so try to spend some time alone. Family game nights are a way to bring everyone together; now it's time to try new adventures like riding an off-road bike that kids couldn't do when they were younger but need your supervision now. After all it is you who put together all these pieces so your children can have fun while learning about themselves their environment and their peers.