Sunday, November 20, 2011

Toy Room Organization

We are thankful for many things in our house, but one of them is the toy room. When we looked at the house, the realtor said she didn't know what you would use this room for (it's a walk-through room to get to the theater room or the bathroom.) The previous owner had a foosball table in the middle of it, but we knew it would make a perfect toy room! Not only is it nice to have some place other than the living room to store Ryan's toys, but it's nice being off the theater room so there are two separate, but connected, spaces for adults and kids to play. Ryan also love the hard surface floor for rolling cars and trucks, stacking blocks, and setting up farm animals.
We haven't done anything to decorate yet, but do have a bit of a "system" in place. We didn't buy anything new--everything is recycled from different areas of our old house, but so far it's working well. Here are  a few of my tips:

  • I got all the blue buckets from Dollar General when they had summer picnic stuff available and used them to stage my laundry/cleaning closet of my old house.  They were $2-$4 each and although they're not heavy-weight, they are perfect for storing odds and ends like balls and Little People and aren't too heavy for small kids to carry.
  • The white wire racks are from college and used to hold our t-shirts and jeans in our old closet. I like how you can reconfigure them as needed and they're cheaper than the popular wooden 9-cell shelves with fabric drawers. Ryan can see and reach everything on the shelves and the open grid prevents a build-up of "junk" in the bottom of drawers. You can just slide the whole grid over and sweep/wipe the floor underneath.
  • On the shelves, you might notice the four plastic containers with blue lids. I personalized these a while ago in 6 Easy Steps and they are great for holding K'nex, blocks, and Little People animals. Ryan can lift them by the handle, bring them to where he wants to play (upstairs or in the theater room) but can also pick them up and put them back. 
  • The plastic shelves were re-purposed from our old basement storage room and are a good height to keep some things where Ryan can reach them, and some up and out of the way.
  • On top of the shelves is a plastic tub filled with his large Little People nativity set. When my mom got it for his birthday, she also gave us this tub that easily fits all the pieces. Again, it keeps them all together and is easy to transport to another area of the house, then bring back.
  • The tall bookshelf is a $10 garage sale find and for now holds some books he's not quite old enough for yet since we don't read in this room. I just like the vertical storage it provides.

The other wall of the room holds his big barn (where all his animals, tractors, and fence live), his Step 2 table and chairs, and his basketball hoop. All of these can easily be pulled out into the middle of the room, but it's nice to be able to quickly push them aside to clear the path to the theater room. I'm still narrowing down decorating ideas for this wall.

There's nothing really special about this area, it just shows the nook where the big closet is and the bathroom is right around the corner. But, we use this space for his tackling dummy and a few other toys on wheels so they can be pulled out as needed. The message center that was in the kitchen of our old house now holds the phone, but also holds all his coloring books in the top and crayons in the flip-open shelf. The bottom provides more storage.

Ryan isn't quite ready to play independently downstairs if we are upstairs, but we love having this separate area for play and a place to put all his stuff!

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