When Kid’s Play Spaces Take Over YOUR Spaces!
Guest posting today is Amy Fazackerley, creator of the awesome Lay-n-Go toy storage product line that I love. Amy is also one of our terrific sponsors for the 29 Day Organizing Challenge. Welcome Amy!
It happens to every household: once your kiddo is about 5 years old, “the plastic toy tide” begins to rise.
The small toys and bits and pieces from sets of LEGOs, Polly Pockets and various tiny toys begin to spill out of the child play spaces and an ocean of feet puncturing tiny thingamajigs flood the grown up spaces of your home!
You CAN fight it. There are ways to stuff the toy tornado back into a tamed play space environment.
5 Tips for Organizing and Containing the Toy Clutter
1. Give ‘em Responsibility
Coaching kids on organizing their own gear in the first place is key to teaching them future responsibility skills (and keeping the clutter out of the living spaces!). Make sure there is a place for everything and help kids slow down and play with a few items at a time cleaning up before moving on. Make clean up a game—as Mary Poppins suggests! Use a timer for competitive personalities, and dress up as the ‘Cleanup Monster’ for creative tykes!
2. Think Safety First
As older siblings become more interested in toys and games with smaller pieces, it’s important to pay attention to where those pieces land especially with toddlers around! Use a gate to corral the older kid and keep potentially choking-hazard toys away from the toddler. Another option is to only use the tiny toys during nap time of the younger sibling. Make it fun time for your ‘big kid’ by sitting down with them to play with marbles, magnet toys and other itty bitty baby no-nos!
3. Travel Tips
Shared family spaces exist in more than just the home.
- Long Road Trips
- Airline Travel
- Grandma and Grandpa’s house
- Beach House, or Vacation Rental/Hotel
It’s a given that kids will want to bring along family toys and gadgets on vacations, but they tend to take over the small spaces! Be judicious in what you choose to bring along. Precious toys might get lost, larger items won’t fit in luggage or store well in a tiny hotel room and think about toys that can double as a pillow on an airplane!
4. It’s a Cinch…Literally
Use the patent pending Lay-n-Go or Lay-n-Go LITE activity mat and cleanup solution to keep the chaos contained, and encourage kids’ personal responsibility and safety all in one! The Lay-n-Go lays flat with a roomy 5+ feet of play space. With one cinch it transforms into a carryall and storage solution. So, kids can play for hours and cleanup in seconds! (Bonus TIP: Use Lay-n-Go LITE on airplanes and at restaurants, keeping the area tidy and not loosing any precious pieces!)
5. Make it a Fun Space they’ll WANT to Play in
If they love the play space they’ll want to be in it more, paint the playroom (or even an extra under the stairs space) bright fun colors and help their imagination go wild. Hire a budding artist to paint a mural on the wall, or paint one side in chalk board paint and let your own child become the budding artist!
About the Author:
Amy Fazackerley, mom of three young rambunctious boys, needed a solution to organizing the mountain of LEGOs growing in her living room. Sheets and bins weren’t cutting it and she invented the Lay-n-Go activity mat and cleanup solution (It’s a cinch…Literally!). She and her husband love finding new solutions to create a clutter free lifestyle for their family of five both at home and on-the-go. To learn more, visit them at www.layngo.com and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.