Parents have you had your fair share of stepping on legos and other surprisingly pointy toys? Yea, Ouch! Whether your little one is still learning how to clean up their toys, or if you spend x-amount of time picking up every day...there doesn't have to be any more stress around this topic!
Organizing toys made easy....throw them all away! Just Kidding :)
Although, I'm sure many of you have either wanted to or threatened to do so- c'mon, we're human!
Here are a 5 main methods I use to keep our "play area" & the
toddler's bedroom in relative order.
Note: her main/favorite toys are in her room, and we're lucky to have a bigger space in our basement that we use for all the bigger toys/activities.
1) Have designated Toy Rooms & stick to only those areas.
For example: Toys stay in the play room or in the kid's bedrooms. If the kid's rooms have space for their toys, make a house rule that they need to keep their toys in their bedroom or always make sure to return it to their "toy home" when they're done playing with it. Toy bins, shelving/cubbies, stow away bins for under the bed, toy drawers in the closet, ...are just a few ways to keep the bedroom floor clear from toy clutter and easy to access & put away + will keep the living room in order.
2) Purge or store away toys every 6 months.
From the infant stage through the toddler years & soon after the school age, children accrue so many toys and gadgets from hand-me-downs, yard sales, birthdays, holidays, grandparents, etc. Take 30 minutes every 6 months, to clear out the toys that your child has outgrown or no longer plays with on a regular basis.
3) Relocate Toys & Storage.
This doesn't have to be a huge chore. Every month or two, move some of the toys and activities around so there is always something "new" in sight. Have you heard the phrase "out of sight, out of mind?"- it applies to kids! If they don't see a toy, they likely wont' ask for it. If they do, you can bring it out. If they get a new stash of goodies for their Birthday or a holiday, pick 2-3 toys to keep out, and hide the rest for a few weeks until it's time to refresh.
4) Categorize & Label.
If you have a cubby or toy shelf, this a great opportunity to get bins/baskets for the toys. Label each bin with a category: dolls and barbies, food, legos, cars, dress up, etc. Another idea is to have color indications to help teach your toddler where an item goes, ex: food goes in the red basket, puzzles go in the blue basket, dolls go in the green basket, and so on.
5) Specific themed areas.
Look at the space your kids play in with a bit of a different lens. Try to assign specific themed areas to their room/playroom. One wall/corner can be the reading & learning area. Have a shelf/book organizer with a tent & cozy pillow or bean bag chair for your child to get comfortable and read, or to have quiet time. A small table or open space could be used for puzzles, coloring, working on the alphabet or doing homework. Another area can be the music area with a station set up for any instruments or noise-making toys (Jack in the Box). Another area can be set up for any bigger toys like a dollhouse, indoor slide, puppet show, toy kitchen, ball pit for the kids to have room to move around and play.