by contributing writer Angie.
Toy organization can be a difficult task to keep up with, especially when there isn’t a clear place for each toy. We found ourselves struggling with this a few years ago until we finally found a system that worked for everyone. Today I’m sharing our method for how to organize toys with picture labels.
While there are many ways to tackle toy organization, this system was very successful for us and works for young children who don’t read.
- Containers of your choice to hold the toys. We opted to use plastic baskets that would fit well on the shelves we had installed.
- Laminating paper
- Yarn or adhesive
1. First go through all of your children’s toys and sort out any that are broken, missing parts, or are no longer played with. Throw away or donate toys, as appropriate.
2. Group toys into piles based on similar attributes. Examples of this might include grouping all the Littlest Pet Shop toys together or all items that are used for pretend kitchen play.
3. Once you have decided on your groupings, put all toys into their new containers.
4. Take pictures of a good representation of what will be in each container. When we did this, we kept the surface and background the same on each picture. We had fun with this step, and often set up a little scene, if we were able to do so.
Here is an example of the scene that we set up for the label of small Care Bear figure sets:
5. Print and laminate one picture for each container. We also opted to write a printed description of the theme of the container, such as “Barbies,” on the back of the picture label.
If you do not have your own laminating machine, you can purchase self-sticking lamination papers or use contact paper.
6. Attach your new picture labels to their respective containers. Since we used baskets with holes, we hole punched each picture label after it was laminated and strung yarn through the holes to hang the label on the basket. You could use tape or other adhesive to attach labels to baskets without holes.
We found that not only did the picture labels help our daughter to pick up her toys more easily, but it also helped everyone else in the house who might be helping her clean up. Nobody had to guess which toys went where, and I didn’t have to get upset when I found that older children weren’t reading my mind and keeping similar toys and sets together.
While we eventually grew out of the system as our children got older, had fewer toys, and no longer needed picture labels, it really saved our sanity for several years and was well worth the extra time to implement.
How do you organize toys at your house?