From grocery stores to the doctor’s office, babies take toys everywhere! It’s common to see a baby grasping a stuffed animal or a favorite rattle almost anywhere they go. Toys comfort baby and can help them to feel secure when they are in a rapidly changing environment. As a baby grows, so too does the collection of toys that begin to invade their bedroom…and the living room…and Mom’s purse, etc. So what is a clutter-loathing parent to do?
Storage options for baby toys range from no-frills to whimsical designs. The classic toy box can now be found shaped like a car or ship, or decorated with the latest cartoon movie superstar. Of course, the classic wooden toy chest never goes out of style. Toy boxes are definitely an economical hit, but they lack the organizational compartments that make finding baby’s favorite toy a breeze.
When little ones look through a toy box, they will inevitably empty it to find the one car or doll that they wanted, which was, of course, at the bottom of the box. Some cleverly designed toy boxes resemble benches or chairs or made to look like other toys, like a dollhouse or firehouse. Using bins is another option, and these can easily be found with their own organizational shelving system. Bins can be color-coded by type of toy, and can be lifted out of the rack and replaced with ease. There are even spinning carousel-style bin systems, which rotate to quickly access any toy.
When using bins for toy storage, you can create a label to identify the contents of each bin. You can also use plastic bins to store toys that are no longer used every day so that they can be put away in a closet or under a bed. Like to travel with your baby? Consider a fabric toy box for its light weight, or a box with handles for easy transport. Other features to look for include soft sides to cushion baby’s toys against bumps and scrapes, interior panels that fold up to allow quick storage when not in use, removable storage compartments, and exterior pockets.
Use an appropriate storage system for different types of toys. Books belong on a bookcase, not stuffed in a toy box. There are thousands of bookcase designs from which to choose. Put stuffed animals that aren’t played with daily in a net hung up in the corner of baby’s room. Keeping toys put away correctly will help them to last longer and stay cleaner.
If you’re short on space, use a toy box that fits under the crib or bed. You can also put smaller items, like cars or blocks, in individual plastic containers before putting them away. When you organize baby toys, they are less likely to be lost and can be enjoyed longer. Teach your child from a very young age to take care of his toys and put them away correctly. Not only will the toys last longer, your little one will develop good habits that will last a lifetime.
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