1.26.2012

Toys everywhere...

toys
The other day after I posted our old playroom, a few people asked what our current play area looks like and how we handle toy storage. The truth is that our current house is pretty much blanketed in a fine layer of toys at all times (no lie...PRH just stepped on a matchbox car). We don't have space for a dedicated playroom, and I didn't fully comprehend how much I'd miss that space until I started regularly sitting on toys, stepping on them in the middle of the night, or tripping over them when I'm not paying attention. Here's a peek at our house yesterday. The living room floor has a tape road because a certain 4-year-old is obsessed with the Cars part 2 movie and needs "space to just drive" (his words).

Here's one end of our table, filled with puzzles, games, stamps, and old kitchen containers that hold playmobil...

toysThis crate full of coloring books and paper sits on the floor in the dining room. Don't look so shocked by the mess, Velma Dinkley...

toysThe always-popular play kitchen is also on the floor in the dining room/kitchen, along with oodles of play food...

toysHere's Kicky on the living room floor. We pushed the table out of the way to make room for the track and buildings...

toysThe window seat in the dining room is usually piled high with babies. The doll on the floor, who Kicky named 'Abbey', goes with us everywhere (I'm not sure I should be flattered that she named it after me)..

toysWe do make an effort to get most of the toys upstairs into the kids' room at the end of each day. They have a huge walk-in closet that's lined with shelving (I know, totally weird in an 1800's farmhouse) and everything has a spot on the shelf. If the shelves are full, forgotten toys go into the attic rotation until they're missed. I guess the point of this post is to ask how YOU handle toys at your house. Do you have toys everywhere or a dedicated space? How do you store legos and playmobil and woodzeez?

19 comments:

Erin said...

...we have a dedicated space that is part of our dining room - where the play kitchen, teepee, and shelf of fisher price houses and baskets of small anythings live. but the toys get tracked everywhere anyway - so i have a large old crate in the living room that anything i find around the house gets thrown into at the end of the day. it's an easy clean up. we also do an almost-weekly sort of toys. it's great if you can get your kid to be honest about what they don't play with. i don't even do a rotation anymore, just out it goes! there will always be something else to fill its place soon...

call me debbie said...

Well that's so classical! oh childhood, i miss you!!

(New blog needing some love and support: http://inwhirlofinspiration.blogspot.com)

The Belvedere-Alyssa said...

Oh my gosh that track is so fun! So great of you for showing us the real deal. I much prefer the real personality and clutter that an actual home acquires from a little livin', rather than the perfected things you see in magazines. Thanks for showing us!

beth lehman said...

love that track! i think my kids (11 and 8) might even get into this for a night or two! i remember playing like that with boys in first grade on the playground. no tracks, but imaginary ones, places to park, homes and stores defined by sticks and rocks. awesome!

we do a 5 minute cleanup before bed each night. i'm ashamed to say a lot of the mess is my sewing.....

chiara said...

I use wooden baskets in the living room, plastic bins in their rooms. Legos go in one of those cardboard hatboxes that are a little easier on the eyes than a plastic bin. Picking up is never-ending!

Sarah said...

Another cheer for your "real life" pics...would much rather hang out at your place than in a "perfect" magazine spread. (And I LOVE "space to just drive"!) That said, I also find the visual clutter of childhood a constant challenge. We don't have a playroom, so most of my daughter's toys are on the bottom two shelves of our bank of living room bookcases. It works well in theory, but I'm not so great about picking them up at the end of the day (and then I'm always wondering if I should have her be more involved pin picking up, and how to accomplish that...I'm not very good at being strict, so my space is messy. I guess that's the tradeoff i my house at least.)

Julia said...

when friends come over my husband disperses things to closets. our daughter's room has the kitchen. our son's the legos and books. our living room mid century dresser-the coloring books. but mostly its everywhere

Claire said...

Wooden blocks and matchbox cars are a current theme in our life at the moment. I made a playmat with a drawstring all around the edge so that at the end of the day I can just throw all the blocks back onto the mat, pull the drawstring and the clean up is complete :-)

Paulette said...

I'm a grown woman...who now wants a taped road on my living room floor.

heather said...

I love the fawn beverage crate!!

katemakes said...

We have a big canvas bag for soft toys in the living room and each kid has a book case with bins - the Ikea Expedit 8 cuber in their room. The problem I'm having is the gigantic hideous rubbermaid container in the corner for the Lego (Legoes, Legii??). We do a 'ten minute tidy' once a week so I can vacuum/sweep.

Me salen alas (si me paras los pies...) said...

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Holly said...

We do not have a room dedicated to only being a playroom, but we do have a spare bedroom upstairs that serves as our tv room (we do not have a tv in our living room), spare bedroom (there is a pull out bed in the sofa) and the playroom since we converted the little closet in there ( we also live in an old house so the closets are teeny) to a toy closet. We lined it with shelves to the ceiling and rotate the toys to being ones with reach and others tucked onto the higher shelves for discovery another day. I love this solution because we can just shut the door on the toys if we feel like it. It is a comfortable room for anyone in the family to be in, but in no way is large family style room--just a little extra space tucked into upstairs for enjoying movies and playing for guests to stay when we have them.

Stephanie said...

we don't have a playroom either, although i fantasize about one the way i used to fantasize about c. thomas howell when i was in 8th grade.

toys are all over our family room and kitchen dining area. i got lidded bins from ikea, photographed each type of toy and taped the picture on the front and the inside bottom of each bin.. at the end of the day the toys are meant to go back in the correct container. but apparently i am the only one who is capable of doing this correctly!

what i find interesting (maddening!) is that when i was teaching first grade, i had no problem getting 20 6 year olds to put supplies/materials in the right spot, but i can't for the life of me get the three people living in my house to put ANYTHING away.

that track makes me want to drive some cars too! love it. i think i need to create one. what kind of tape is that?

Laura said...

love seeing the realness of your house - i much prefer it over "perfect" house images!

we have a bedroom turned playroom, but of course the kids would rather play in the living room, where we are. i embrace it, because i know soon enough they won't want to always be with us.

we do a quick clean up every night. playmobil goes in canvas bins in the Ikea expedit in the playroom & legos are in plastic bins in the closet.

somebody just recently said to me, "one day, there will be no toys in the house". it makes me sad to think of my kids growing up so quickly, so i remind myself of that every time the toy mess annoys me.

Karen said...

Your kids are only young once. When they are older they'll look back at the fun and creativity that they got up too. I'd rather have a mom like you, than someone who is uptight about keeping the house looking perfect. Yay for EZE and Kicky! =)

Maria Baker said...

My house is basically chaos at all times. I've kinda let go of it being tidy because it's no fun to have Mommy cleaning all the time and stressed instead of playing and making cool stuff. Eh, whatever. Excuse our mess, we LIVE here. (saw that on Pinterest!) Oh, and we made the wolverine claws yesterday and my 3 year old was IMPRESSED! Thanks. Happy weekend to you and yours.

Sarah Jane said...

Toys...toys...toys...Sometimes I'd like to go back to the "good ole days" when kids had one or two toys and the great outdoors to play with! What is our obsession with our kids having so many things to play with...especially when they usually play with other things (measuring cups, etc.) anyway!? OK...rant over. (That was all to myself by the way!) We usually have a place for everything in a designated playroom, but since the majority of our house is under drywall construction, all the toys have migrated to our tiny living room It's a disaster! But we try to put everything away at least once a day and my two year old is being taught to help or lose toys!

Mama Elena said...

I am definitely going to steal Claire's "make a playmat" idea. I'm a grandma, and despite many years of living, I have never developed a good habit for clearing up the day's detritus at the end of it. And when little ones are with me, I want to PLAY (or rest!) Quick disappearance of kid-stuff with the pull of a drawstring will be grand. I can sort it out another day after they go home! Thanks! Love this Blog... I'll be back!

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