how accessible are your children's toys? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-02-2010, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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To them, I mean. I've been reorganizing the house to prepare for the addition of a second child. I converted a linen closet/stockpile pantry into a toy closet for my dd. She still has her stuffed animals and lego blocks in her room, but all the other toys reside in the closet. My daughter is only a year and a half so she doesn't really have the capability to get in there. Of course, she didn't really get into the shelving system her toys were stored on before, so it's not much different. I pull out a few toys for her at a time, and she plays with them in the living room until she seems to grow bored of them, and then we rotate for new things. Any cousins that come to play can get in the closet easily enough (just not the top shelf stuff, which was on purpose since it's crayons, playdoh, etc.) and I'm sure that soon she'll be able to get in there as well.

It's working well for us, though it's only been a week.

Anyone else have their children's toys stored in a way they need help/supervision to get to them? Good idea or bad?
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#2 of 21 Old 06-03-2010, 08:33 AM
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DS's toys have always been where he can reach them. They are in the LR and in his room. I do have one shelf where I keep messy stuff (playdoh, ink/stamps, pixos) but everything else is free game. I try to keep everything in a specific place so he can easily pick things up.

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#3 of 21 Old 06-03-2010, 01:14 PM
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My son can get to all of his toys. But he chooses to play with things he is not supposed to play with anyway!
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#4 of 21 Old 06-03-2010, 01:20 PM
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We have a big playroom and all the toys are completely accessible. My kids are older though, so pretty much everything is accessible.
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#5 of 21 Old 06-03-2010, 01:39 PM
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Moving to Organization.

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#6 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 01:27 AM
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Mine are in the lower 4 cupboards of a china hutch in the dining room. (it opens into the living room). The toys are in baskets that they can both pull out. The books are on the shelves above those cabinet doors. I like this because then most of the toys are out of site once the house is cleaned up at the end of the day.

They (mostly the almost 2yo) still gets into no no's of course but....

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#7 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Logan's Mom View Post
My son can get to all of his toys. But he chooses to play with things he is not supposed to play with anyway!
You mean mine isn't the only one?

I personally think it's a better idea to have your child be able to reach the toys. However, with a linen closet, she'll be able to open and get into that within a matter of months or at most a year or so, so if you're both happy with it, it sounds like that will work just fine until then.

I really like the china hutch idea. I may have to peek at my great-grandma's china hutch to see if it would work for that purpose. She is always telling me I can have it anytime and I always say I don't have room, but I'm always thinking I don't have room to store fancy dishes in it. Maybe I will have room to store toys and other stuff in it in our new place...hmm...

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#8 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 10:15 AM
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My kids are 11 and almost 5 so they have access to all their toys because they are really good about putting things away now. When they were little though I used to rotate their toys keeping some in the basement storage and some in their room.
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#9 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 12:22 PM
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My DC have access to all of their toys, games, books, puzzles, and arts & crafts. Except the legos. I have these on a high shelf and they have to ask for them, only because our puppy like to eat them. So I have to make sure he is locked out of whichever room they are going to be playing legos in.
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#10 of 21 Old 06-04-2010, 12:54 PM
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We have always kept the toys in reach of our DC...well, except the playdoh and art/craft supplies when ours were 3 and younger (and more prone to make a MESS!). It really enabled them to become creative, make their own choices, bond with the special things, etc. Good luck!
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#11 of 21 Old 06-05-2010, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
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She has a few toys accessible at all times-legos and stuffed animals, which are her favorites at this point anyway. Also her board books. She is the kind of child that enjoys getting in the pantry and playing with pots and pans too. I also like the china hutch idea but I can't really find a place in my apartment that would work. I COULD take the door off the linen closet and put a curtain there instead-I wonder how much management would frown on that? Nothing is up high, but she isn't able to reach the doorknob and I can't really hang the door completely open or her bedroom would then be accessible to her. Perhaps I could open it just a tad so she could pull it open the rest of the way? Hmmm. I'll have to ponder things. I'm pretty happy with the organization aspect of it and the fact that I didn't have to sacrifice toys or space, but I don't want to deprive her either.
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#12 of 21 Old 06-05-2010, 03:35 AM
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Everything is in their rooms, and everything is within their reach.

Craft supplies are controlled substances here.
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#13 of 21 Old 06-06-2010, 07:52 PM
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Other than art/craft stuff, everything is within reach. BUT, we are constantly pairing down their toys so they don't have too many toys anyway. I have a few toys in the closet for a rainy day, but they don't get played with very much. But even that is one bin (Maybe a little smaller than a recycle bin) of toys. The rest of their toys could easily fit in a similar size bin.

I don't see anything wrong with the system, we just don't like having enough toys to make it worth while.

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#14 of 21 Old 06-06-2010, 09:18 PM
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Supervision-necessary toys, e.g. paint, sharpies, the salt pouring activity, are all out of reach and where she can only see them when she's being carried by me or dh.

All other toys are at her level.

I do a bit of toy rotation as well, so at any given point she's got toys in a closet as well.

My inclination would be to clear a few shelves in your living room for her toys and rotate the toys at a rate that works for you guys. What having her toys at her level has done for dd is also let her put the toys away herself.
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#15 of 21 Old 06-06-2010, 10:56 PM
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we control craft supplies (anything that would be messy for him/house/etc), "fancy books" and ukulele access.

fancy books are the nice picture books that we read to him. he has other books (card board books, used books, etc) that i allow hiim to read on his own, without supervision.

there are rules with the uke (no standing on it, no dragging it, no banging it against the wall, etc). so, if it looks like music is digressing into somethig that would damage the instrument, then i just put it up. we have a ritual for putting it to 'sleep' and it's out of his reach. now, we don't use the "no" aspect of the rules. it is literally, if this is happening, then it's time for the uke to go to bed.

otherwise, all of his toys, books, and other instruments are within his reach on the bottom two shelves in our living room. a drum and basket of instruments, a basket of soft toys, a box with wooden trains, blocks, and his books.
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#16 of 21 Old 06-08-2010, 09:59 AM
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All toys and even craft supplies are accessible (for a 3.5 year old) except paint, glue, glitter, paintbrushes. Actually she "can" reach them with a stepstool but she knows she's not allowed to, and it would take actual effort on her part to get to them. I do have to straighten up at least once a day but she has to help me.

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#17 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 04:10 PM
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while my kids can reach the craft/games they know they need to check with me first before pulling them out.... all other toys are accessible to them ie their bedrooms/playroom/livingroom. We have minimal toys though compared to most. My dc are 11,9,5,3 and 14m.

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#18 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 02:13 AM
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Craft supplies are in a kitchen drawer and most of them are limited to kitchen use, with pretty good compliance.

Other toys are either in their room, or our "junk room". Everything is accessible as long as the floor is clear. If they've been dumping bins onto the floor and the stuff has not been picked up, then the toy shelves are not very accessible.
This is only an issue in the junk room; their bedroom gets picked up every evening.

Toys that I get fed up with - usually those that have lots of little pieces - I often will put away for awhile, up out of sight and reach.
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#19 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 09:24 AM
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I rotate toys a lot b/n attic, top of closet and accessible in room. This keeps minimum toys within reach and I believe my kids play with them more b/c they are not overwhelmed by too many at one time. Everything has a place like a shelf etc. They can make messes, but at 4.5 and almost 3 I expect them to put things back in their place. This saves my sanity. The only thing that is not within reach is craft toys. I have no desire for written on walls and thus far have prevented such events.

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#20 of 21 Old 06-13-2010, 03:18 AM
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Craft supplies are mostly out of reach. I would like DD to have access to some of the less messy stuff but as DS still has a tendency to draw on the walls I think it will be a while.

I also keep most games and puzzles out of reach, though they can see them they have to ask. If loosing a piece would result in the thing being unusable then I prefer them to ask for it and we put one away before getting out the next.

Other than that DD (nearly 6) can reach most of her stuff. DS can see his but a lot of his shelves are too high for him to get it himself. Again I kind of like that he can only empty so much onto his floor.

When they were smaller they had a basket of books which I didn't mid too much if they got ripped. Now they are able to turn pages carefully they have most of their books in reach. CDs we copy and let them have the copies, we've had enough broken discs not to want to give them the originals.

I;m always slightly torn about how much access they should have. I love it when they use the wooden blocks to build tunnels for the trains or set up shop but at the same time they are easily overwhelmed by clearing it away at the end of the day so for now we still have some limits.
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#21 of 21 Old 06-15-2010, 04:44 PM
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We have half the toys accessible and half of them are in bins or on the top shelf of the closet.

DD is almost 4. She has an art drawer in the kitchen with a school box of washable markers, a school box of colored pencils, and a box of crayons. There are also coloring books, blank paper, and notebooks, and pens. The more messy art stuff is in the big art tote.

Puzzles are in the closet--she can reach them but she has to ask for help getting the door open. We have to get one out, then pick it up before getting out another or she'll lose all the pieces!

We keep her wooden castle with Schleich people in the living room because she plays with it all the time!

She has way too many toys and refuses to get rid of any. I'm getting ready to put even more of them into totes so that we can get out one tote everyday or something like that. I think she'll appreciate the toys more and her room will be look less like a walk-in-closet that's been hit by a tornado.

Wouldn't it be fun to make up a rubbermaid tote for every few days? Each one could have a couple different puzzles, a game, some coloring and craft stuff, and a couple toys...

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