You know how little kids are always underfoot? Especially in the kitchen?
And how their toys are never put away?
I came up with a great solution to these problems. Enter the “Toy Drawer.”
(Pardon the blurry picture)
I emptied out the drawer in the kitchen that Small Fry could actually reach and designated it as his area. It was just holding the seldom used baby bottles that had been his, anyway. I moved those up high (we used glass bottles, so it probably was time to move them out of his reach anyway to avoid a tragedy) and moved his toys – which had been overrunning the living room – into the drawer. Now whenever he wants a toy, he knows exactly where to find it. He’s small enough that he’s still in board books, so his books go there too.
I tried to get him to hold still long enough to be in the picture with his drawer, but no such luck. With 16-month-olds, you take what you can get though ;).
The best part is that when it’s time to clean up, when his things have gotten out of control, he’s already being conditioned to tidy up after himself. Obviously he doesn’t understand enough to “clean his mess,” but he does understand, “Go put this in your toy drawer.” It’s wonderful!
So, hopefully this idea can help someone out who’s low on space and just can’t sacrifice floor area for a traditional toy box. And honestly, that’s another benefit to the drawer: it’s smaller than a toy box, so a) things don’t get buried and never played with and b) when it does start to get too overwhelmed, there’s not so much to sort through to decide what to keep and what not to.
Happy toy storing!
P.S. You might notice that I changed the name of my blog. No big deal, and content will be pretty much more of the same; I just wanted something that wasn’t simply my name as the title.