Toys, toys everywhere! Most parents accumulate an abundance of toys and books for their little ones. It can make a room—or the entire house—look cluttered if all that kid stuff isn’t contained. The solution is to look into toy boxes to hold children’s playthings, bins for organization, and bookshelves to keep their favorite stories in order.
How do I pick a toy chest for my child’s room?
Start with a style you like. Wooden toy boxes are a classic complement to any room. Choose a chest that comes in a variety of wood finishes, which lets you match it to the style of your child’s room or select a finish that will stand the test of time as a family heirloom. When shopping, look for sturdy, hardwood construction and smooth edges. If you want to jazz up your wooden toy box, select one that’s available in colors that please both you and your child. What child wouldn’t love seeing his or her name on the chest? Personalizing wood toy boxes with a name or phrase is a great way to make your child feel special. For a piece that’s truly unique, purchase a wood toy chest that’s ready to be painted in any design you choose.
In addition to the style you prefer, make sure you select one with dimensions that fit your storage needs. While a smaller toy box might be perfect for the minimal toys your infant has, remember that your child will soon amass an astounding collection of toys.
For ultimate versatility and added seating in your child’s room, look for a toy chest that features a bench. If the chest includes a cushion for comfort, select one with removable padding for flexibility in use and ease of cleaning. If you would like the option of a mobile toy chest, purchase one with wheels.
Are toy boxes dangerous?
Not if you know what to look for. The lid is a potential danger source for little fingers, which is why it’s important to select a toy chest that includes a slow-closing metal safety hinge. Even if you decide on a toy box with this safety feature, it’s important to inspect it periodically to ensure that it’s still functioning properly.
The second danger is from children accidentally getting trapped inside the chest. To reduce the risk of suffocation in such an event, purchase a toy box with ventilation holes or handle cutouts that allow for the flow of oxygen inside the chest. It’s also important to avoid lids that lock—especially ones that lock automatically. As with everything pertaining to your children, the best way to keep them safe around toy boxes is to supervise them.
How can I keep smaller toys organized?
Toy chests are great for holding a lot of large kids’ items, but some of the smaller toys can get lost at the bottom of the chest. If you want to keep all of your child’s playthings safe and within easy reach, look into toy storage options that include smaller bins for organization. Plastic storage bins should preferably have a see-through lid so your child can easily find what he’s looking for. Also, bins with a locking lid are a great way to prevent contents from spilling. For even greater organization, select bins that come with their own sturdy storage unit. These units are also great for storing art supplies, clothes and more.
If more than one child will be using the storage unit, consider selecting bins in one color for each child so he or she knows exactly which bins are his.
So far I only have a few books for my baby. Do I really need an entire bookshelf?
Ask any experienced parents and they’ll tell you that books seem to multiply by themselves in their house! Before you know it, you’ll have more books than you can count, which is why bookshelves are a great addition to any child’s room.
The great thing about children’s bookshelves is that they serve a variety of purposes; they can hold books, mementoes, trophies and other important items. Until you have a huge collection of books, think about using it as a toy shelf as well. Whether using it for bookshelves or toy shelves, however, bear in mind that removable and adjustable shelves offer the greatest flexibility. Also, if you select a heavy, wooden unit, make sure it comes with an anti-tip kit.
Kids’ bookshelves are available in a variety of styles, so think about both functionality and style when making your selection. Bookshelves that match the decor of a room or your child’s interests - anything from safari animals to dollhouses - will add personalization to your selection.
If space in your child’s room is at a premium, consider a corner bookcase or a revolving kids’ bookcase that offers compact storage and easy access to items.
Toy boxes are a great way to store your child’s playthings, but make sure to select chests that have safety devices such as a slow-closing metal safety hinge - and avoid lids that lock. For small toy storage, plastic bins make organization a breeze. A bookshelf is the ideal place to hold your child’s collection of books and other small items.
Our Mom Expert
Caron Webber, 37, is the mother of five children, ages 2 to 12.
“The best gift I received at my first baby shower was an adorable toybox, complete with several stuffed animals inside. I didn’t realize until my son was about six months old just how useful of a gift it was! When his toys started piling up, I had the perfect place to store them - in his very own personalized chest. It was such a great idea that now, when I’m invited to a baby shower, that’s the gift I give. All of the recipients love it immediately because it’s so cute, but I receive the real heartfelt ‘thank you’ about a year later!”