As parents, we’ve all been there: It’s the end of a long and busy day, you finally got your little one off to bed, and you’re ready for some me-time. You come out of the hallway where the bedrooms are located and then you see it: the veritable Mt. Everest of baby toys. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that your child has had a blast all day playing with all of those wonderful toys, but you’re not exactly in a mountain-climbing mood just now.
After all, your child is going to have the same great time tomorrow, leaving toys everywhere, right? The play area is supposed to be heavily used… right? Well, yes and no. While there’s no reason to alphabetize baby toys by manufacturer name, some order in chaos can be very helpful both to you and your children. We at B. toys understand that the play area can become quite cluttered. We know that baby furniture is a natural solution along with serving so many other useful functions, but there are some simple ideas you can put in motion that will make your life easier and perhaps even make your baby’s life a little bit safer. So here are some easy storage ideas for baby toys!
Weight Is Important
While it’s obvious that baby toys don’t usually weigh over 100 pounds, parents know that there are some toys that are surprisingly heavy when we lift them for the first time or put them together. These toys are usually in the form of play vehicles or dollhouses that are great fun to play with if you’re a toddler, but generally need to stay on or near the ground. When it comes to storing these types of baby toys, you should look for every opportunity to keep them on the floor somehow.
The less lifting of these toys that’s done, the better. You don’t want your little one ambling into the playroom and trying to yank one of these toys off of a shelf unsupervised. Instead, you can try to find some sort of floor cabinet or floor shelves to avoid this potential problem. This also makes it easier to put this type of baby stuff away, making your end-of-day duties that much more manageable.
Height of Toys Should Be Managed
How many times per week do you find yourself amazed at what your children were able to figure out and accomplish? Have you ever walked into a room and seen your child holding something that was stored well off the ground? You’re far from alone, as those little tigers know how to get things done when they set their minds to it. While it’s impressive to see them do these things, it also makes you realize that they grow in their capabilities – physical and mental – every single day. But you cannot watch your children all the time, so there will be moments when your little ones are doing baby things without your direct supervision. That is something to keep in mind when it comes to their baby items and how high off the ground they are stored.
Your child shouldn’t have to climb up on the baby furniture in the playroom to reach a particular toy that they want, as that’s only asking for trouble. Keep everything that they regularly use within their reach from the ground, and you’ll rest easier. Once again, some simple shelving – properly anchored to the studs in the wall behind it to prevent tipping – should do the trick and keep your little one away from the daredevil tactics.
Should You Categorize the Toys?
Have you ever tried to organize baby stuff with the same level of detail that you organize your own things? All the small stuffed animals would go in one place, all the “things with wheels” in another, all the food-related toys in a separate bin… only to have that meticulous plan scuttled within seconds. After all, that’s what babies do – play hard with their baby stuff!
Therefore, you don’t need to worry too much about organizing your baby toys by category, as your child or children are not going to care about any of this. They don’t think in categories yet, and they’re not concerned with how organized their baby stuff is. You may want to try to keep things somewhat similar together, and you may want to avoid piling 10 firetrucks on top of two small stuffed animals in a basket somewhere, but don’t worry too much about what’s sitting next to what, as it’s not really going to make much of a difference to your child.
Think about using clear bins or baskets for storing your baby toys so that they are visible. Your child knows what their play area is all about and who it’s for, so when they get there for the first time that day or after their nap, your little one is going to be excited to play with their baby stuff. Generally, small children will reach first for what they see first, so the way you stored their toys should allow for them to get a good look at what they may want to play with, (instead of forcing them to go looking in cabinets or closets without the ability to see what’s inside).
This will not only allow them easier and faster access to their baby toys, but it will help avoid teaching them that exploring in drawers, cabinets, and closets leads to positive results. After all, you don’t want your little one thinking that they’re going to find something fun and fantastic in every one of your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
Why Worry About This Anyway?
What’s also important is why you should engage in a simple plan for baby storage. After all, visibility and accessibility can help parents as well! Here are a few reasons:
- You won’t be overwhelmed at the end of the day when it’s time to put the baby toys away! It will be a simple and fast process.
- Your ability to see the toys played with most often will help you identify those that may be broken and that need to be discarded or replaced.
- You’ll start to notice which toys your child favors and which ones they no longer play with, clueing you in on which ones to remove.
- You’ll see which toys are dirty and when they need an extra wash or two!
- You’ll sleep better at night knowing that the baby toys are stored safely.
Every home is different, every child is different, and every setup is going to be different. As long as your toys are somewhat visible, you have some sort of organization in place to easily put things away and get them out, and your child is engaging with and enjoying their playthings, you’re in good shape. This could include baskets, bins, shelves or any or all of these things!
Each day with small children is a journey. While some may think it’s self-defeating to put baby toys away every single night only to have them scattered all over the playroom the next morning, there’s something necessary, something exemplary and something very gratifying involved with finishing the day with a well-fed, well-loved, clean, happy, and safe baby… and a clean house. That’s a job well done, and while it all starts again tomorrow, you can fully enjoy that feeling until you go to bed yourself. Storing baby toys can be simple and effective, and we hope that you’ll take some of these ideas and run with them!