Thursday, December 6, 2007

Containing the Clutter

How does everyone handle toys with many pieces? Kaia has a set of 2 Potato Heads, and although at first she did good about putting all the pieces back in the carrying case, they are now everywhere! I found a fireman's hat on our bed this morning, and a few lips are floating around the dining/kitchen area. I'm tempted to just find as much as possible and put it on freecycle, but there are a few things stopping me.
1) A friend gave these to us after her husband's grandmother stopped playing with them (dementia).
2) I like the skills involved in playing with the potato heads. Where do eyes go on the face? Lining up the hole and the stick so that they can put the piece on.
3) It's good old fashion imagination play. There is nothing talking back to the kids and no numbers and letter learning in it. Not that those are bad things, but I want my kids to spend some time using their imagination.

So how do I keep this and other great toys that have pieces without allowing them to over-run my home?


Kelli said...

We have buckets for toys like that. I keep them up in Benjamin's closet and rotate them once in awhile. Not bringing them down all at once really helps at our house! I can't stand when everything gets mixed up together. LOL
Good luck!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

This is something I've thought about a lot. First, we try to limit the sets of toys with little pieces, like you said. But we still have them, and I think they're good.

Sometimes the original containers are too fiddly. Get some type of box, bucket, or bin for each set. That's what works best for us.

Laura said...

Found your blog through Meredith's post. Couldn't help but comment on this post.

I love to use the zipper bags that curtains or other linens come in. I have saved them all along and have a stash of different sized ones in my laundry room. I can pull one out each ime we get one of those toys with many pieces. They are much easier for the children to put things in and the lid doesn't come off when the container is upside down in the toy box!

Another thing I use is fabric purses/totes that I have found somewhere cheap. These are usually a loose fabric bag in a fun print with a zipper. After a season or two of my enjoying them as either a purse or "diaper bag", I pass them on to the kids to use for toy storage.

Angela said...

Have you tried bins or baskets on bookshelves? It is still easy to make a mess, but everything has a place;check out this picture to see what I mean.

Angela-this is the picture said...

Ooops-the link was incomplete in that last post. Above is the picture.

Angela said...


I guess it is cutting off the end of the line; so I have divided it into 2 lines. Sorry about that. Here is the link, finally. :) (Hopefully!). :)

Amy said...

I love to save wipe containers, oatmeal canisters, and those plastic coffee containers for storing little toys. These are great for Lego pieces, little cars, and game pieces. You can decorate them or just leave them as is with a label on the outside. I hope that helps a little bit!