Happy Sunday guys! I hope you all have had a really nice weekend so far. Ours has been nice but the weather is a little blah, so I’m looking forward to this week because it’s supposed to get really nice in Los Angeles. In fact, because it’s gonna be so nice next weekend, we plan on potty training Riley! We’re thinking we’ll just let him run around naked in the backyard for a couple days. So I’ll keep you guys posted on how that goes. Ha! If you happen to be potty training a little one soon, I’ll link my old post about how we did it with Molly right here. We plan on using the same method with Riley. Maybe a group of us can tackle potting training together this weekend!
Toy Storage Solutions
Anyway, I’m glad you came over to the blog today. I really just wanna do a quick post about our play area and how we’ve organized our toy storage it during this time at home. I know I’m not the only parent out there that has been absolutely drowning in clutter and toys over the last month. I feel like I’ll pick something up and then five minutes later the kids will have destroyed a new section of the house. And one day last week I found myself looking at their play area and seeing piles of toys mixed together. The dress up stuff was mixed with the play food items which was mixed with the cars. There was NO organization! I remember just sitting there staring at all their toys (like the pile below) and thinking that there’s got to be a better way.
So right then and there, as my kids made an even bigger mess, I grabbed my phone and started researching storage solutions for toys. I found a ton but ultimately I settled on this one. I love the little compartments and I love that they wouldn’t have to open or close anything to get their toys out. I did see an option like the one below, and at first I thought it would be great, but then thought if my kids had to take the lid off it just wouldn’t work and would create more work for me. But then again, that’s because my kids are young. If your kids are a little older, something like this might be a good solution.
What sold me on this is that the bins are removable so it makes it easy for Molly and Riley to pick up the bin of toys they want to play with, play with the toys, refill the bin, and then return it to the shelf. It was also a very affordable option!
We also organized the bins based on the type of toy. As you can see in the picture below we have stuffed animals and ice cream on the top. We have bins of dishes, food, balls, musical instruments, cars, dolls, and more. And the kids honestly love keeping it all organized. Sometimes I’ll hand Riley a toy and ask him which bin it goes in. He gets so excited to show me that he knows exactly where it goes! Kids want structure, we just need to provide them a way to do it that works for them.
Let me tell you another reason why I love this toy storage solution so so so much! I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but Molly goes to a Montessori Preschool. I didn’t even know what Montessori meant before she started going there in the fall. And one of the reasons I love it so so so much is that the kids are taught as young as two-years-old that when you play with something, you put it away before you play with something else. Same goes for their lessons that they do every morning. They get one lesson from the shelf, complete it, and then put it back before they get another. And I really wanted to create something similar to that at home because I feel like it’s such a good system.
Don’t get me wrong, they definitely are allowed to take more than one bin off of the shelf to play with at a time, but for the most part they know as soon as they’re done playing they put all the things back in the bin and return it to the shelf. Anyway, I don’t think I need to sell this storage unit any more than I already have. Ha! But I will say that I posted about it in my Facebook group and a bunch of other moms commented on how they have it as well and absolutely love it! I’m going to link some other options below of the same type of storage units in different sizes and colors.
Other Toy Storage Solutions
If this bin toy storage shelving piece isn’t for you, I linked a few other toy storage solutions below that I really love. Especially if you are looking for something that would fit in a corner. And I also found a bigger version of the bin storage that we have in pink that’s on sale.
Play Area Details
And while you’re here I’ll tell you about a few other things in their play area just in case you want some details. We’ve had these chairs for Molly and Reilly for years. Kevin’s mom, Joanne, bought them for the kids for each of their first birthdays. So I guess technically Molly’s is 3 years old and Riley’s is one year old. We love them! I will say, Joanne didn’t mean to get the smaller size for Riley, and I do recommend just getting the bigger size. That way your child will be able to use the chair longer. But Molly and Riley love their little personal chairs and if you watch my Instagram stories you know that they’re always sitting in them reading. And how CUUUUTE is this pink one with ruffles?!
I’ll also go ahead and link some of my favorite things in their play area. As you can see in the photo below, Molly’s little hand reaching up to play with her Melissa and Doug ice cream set. This is one of my favorite toys of hers. I love Melissa and Doug toys because they’re made of wood and super well made!
And last but not least, I’ll link the giant Elmo we have. I feel like I get DM’s asking about this Elmo all the time. We bought this Elmo for Molly back when we first moved into this house. We wanted her to be excited about her new home so we had it waiting for her in her new room when she first came into this house. Big Elmo is like a part of our family now.
And some of you might want details on the other bookcase that we have for toys. I think this bookcase is perfect if you have a baby. Or to go in tandem with the other toy storage if you have older kids. We love the bookcase, it’s just that our kids’ toys outgrew it quickly. It’s perfect to put books on the top section and toys in the bins below.
You may also notice in the photos that we got rid of some stuff. You’ll notice that next to big Elmo there were a bunch of foam blocks that we originally bought to help Molly, and then Riley, learn to pull themselves up from sitting to standing. And we realize we just really don’t need them anymore. And they were cluttering up the space. And in general we have the kids help us go through the toys and decide what we’re going to keep and what we are going to donate to other kids who may not have as much as we do. It’s a good lesson in teaching them to give to others that don’t have as much.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments below! I know it might not be the prettiest play area of all time, but it’s definitely super functional and that’s all that matters to this mom! Do you have an organizational play storage bin like the one we have above? What do you like, or maybe even dislike, about it? Or what are some toy storage options you use that you could share with me? Let’s talk in the comments below!