Having kids comes with many challenges, one of them being the taming of toys! I’m no stranger to this challenge! I’m sharing a few tips on keeping kids toys tamed!
I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to keeping my house clean. I don’t like dirt or major messes all around the house. None of us function well in that environment and an organized tidy home allows for creativity to have a platform to grow.
My kids are all busy bodies. They love playing with their toys, creating things, and making a mess is part of that. It’s just reality. Here are a few things I’ve put into play in our home to ensure that things don’t get out of hand and these tips are some we put into practice daily!
Set Ground Rules
Kids need to be allowed to get creative, and like I’ve mentioned – that often times comes with messes. And that’s okay! But it’s important for kids to understand that when a mess is made it must be picked up afterwards. It’s part of the package, and you can’t have one without the other.
Here are a few of our ground rules when it comes to toys.
- Play with your toys as much as you want. No restrictions unless you’re grounded or something like that.
- Do not pull out all of your toys at once. One, two, maybe three types of toys out at a time is fine – but none of this emptying out the whole toy shelf thing.
- When you are ready to move on to something else, you must pick up what you were playing with first. You cannot move on to playing with something else or doing something else if the previous mess is still there.
Those are three simple rules my kids are taught from the time they are little. When they are tiny and play time is totally with me involved, I set the tone by picking up whatever it is we are doing before moving on to the next thing. So if we were playing with blocks but now we want to read a book, we need to pick up the blocks before pulling out the books.
Creating those rhythms from when they are small makes this transition into older ages much easier. It’s just a habit they are used to. And sure, it doesn’t always happen this way but it’s much easier to correct and redirect them in those instances when they are used to this pattern already.
Give them access to easy clean up resources
We have a lot of toys in our home. I mean a lot! I could probably run a daycare for 30 kids and each one could be playing with a few things at once, and we’d still have plenty in the cubbies. But, with a lot of toys comes a lot of great storage spaces for them! I purchased two of these cubbies along with fabric bins (they come in an assortment of colors) to put in every other opening.
Each bin has a designated theme. So one is just for blocks, the next is just for Barbie’s, the next is just for toy cars, the next is for toy tools, and so on. We store books and big toys throughout the other open-faced cubbies. It looks cute, plus I like having books always visible since we’re such a book loving family!
We also have these big bins (gallon tubs with handles) in the living room and one by the back door. I share about them in this post here last summer. They are fantastic for those quick pick-up sessions of toys and when we just want to get things put together quickly. Sometimes it’s late and there is a mess, but we all need to get to bed. These bins are perfect for that and then in the morning the kids go through them and put everything in its place.
Another item we have is a toy chest. I don’t use this in the kids room, instead I have it in one of our common areas. I use a non-kid looking one so that it blends into the rest of the house decor. This is more for my daughter’s baby dolls and all their extras. They are awkward and take up lots of space in other areas so this was the perfect solution. And, she likes playing with these things in the living room more than in her room, so I found a way to accommodate that without it taking over the common areas of our home, totally. You could of course store anything in yours, but that’s just what we use it for.
Don’t leave it all for the end of the day
As I mentioned above, there are days when the toy mess goes untamed. It happens, often. One of my safe-proof things to do throughout the day is to have a quick 10-minute tidy-up session. We do two of these on a good day. Regardless of what’s going on, or what they are playing with – come that time we stop what we are doing and tidy up any toy mess (or house mess for that matter) that might have been left unattended.
Keeping all these tips and resources in play really help keep the toy madness mess tamed! What are some of the ways you keep the toy mess tamed?
Day 9 Challenge
As part of the #30DayOrganize challenge I want to challenge YOU to tame the toy madness in your home! Share your creative ways to keep toys tamed using the hashtag #30DayOrganize and Feel free to tag me @marlenegriffith on Instagram!!! I would love to see your toy organization solutions and ideas!!!
Join us for the “How to Organize your Life in 30 Days” Challenge!
Do you feel like you are drowning in to do lists, laundry, and dishes? Does lack of organization cause you to lose your patience or avoid having people over? Are you often late because you can’t find what you are looking for?
As mom’s, we all have a lot on our minds and life is busy. In some seasons our mind becomes so full that we become less productive. I am teaming up with some amazing bloggers to bring you 30 days to an organized life! All you need to do to join the challenge is check out the landing page HERE and start working through the challenges.
You can join in at any point, there are no rules! Share your before or after pictures on Instagram and use the hashtag #30dayorganize for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Hobby Lobby (3 winners)! The more your engage on social media, share the graphic above, etc. the more entries you’ll have! The winners will be announced on Instagram so stay tuned!