Thursday, 20 October 2011

So many toys, and tips on how to organise them

Like most parents, we have a lot of toys. They are so cheap, so plentiful, and we are always being tempted by sales. I do put things aside for Christmas, birthdays and holidays, but with Harry having his birthday in January, we often end up giving him things throughout the year. We haven't actually bought any toys for Mia yet, as we have plenty of Harry's old ones for her age. But it's only a matter of time before a whole new range of toys make their appearance.

I'm a big believer in toy rotation. Harry gets bored very quickly, but if something is always on view, it just doesn't get played with. If I pull out something that he hasn't seen for a while, it's like a new toy. It's also great to have a spare box of toys stashed away, ready to pull out at one of those tricky moments. 

This is how I organise the toys:
  • If possible, collect all the toys together in one place.
  • Remove any that are broken and either fix them or throw them away.
  • Make sure that all the pieces are still there.
  • Remove any that are no longer age appropriate and give them away to friends or charity.
  • Group like items together. If there are several very similar toys it's another opportunity to consider how many really need to be kept. 
  • Divide into three or more boxes.
  • The boxes should not be over stuffed with toys, it should be easy to see what is in them and to access what's inside. Keep one box out to be played with and move the others out of sight.
  • Rotate the boxes when the toys out are no longer being played with. This might be every week or less often, depending on what else is going on. If it's been a rainy few days this will be more frequently. 
  • Repeat these steps from time to time as the children grow up.

I also always try and put away one toy before another comes out, particularly with toys with lots of pieces like Duplo or the train set.

Part of me would love to have a really pared down home with very few toys, something like this. But I just don't think that is particularly realistic. Do other people feel like they are drowning in toys?

2 comments:

  1. Ha I have just posted this morning about this very problem! I don't know how it has happened, they just seem to multiply! And K's birthday is on Friday so the problem is only going to grow - we are definitely going to be having a sort out soon. Love your tips for organising, and I really like the idea of rotating the toys so they don't get bored with them. Great post.

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  2. Glad it was helpful! Trouble with younger childrens' toys is that they are just so big, at least as they get older the toys decrease in size, although probably increase in small parts, I'm thinking Lego and Playmobil! Toy rotation is definitely the way to go, at least you can get some of them out of the way!

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