One of my favorite tricks that has proven to be a huge hit with the child I nanny is our daily toy bins. My sweet sister-in-law gave me the idea and I put them together immediately! It seems like kids have toys in every corner of the house, and I don’t know about you, but I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Especially since we were at the stage where baby A would just pull ALL of them out then play with only one. Nope. Not for me.
After seeing how well this worked for my little niece, I couldn’t wait to set this up. I basically just took all of baby A’s toys and divided them up into 7 different bins (one for each day of the week). The goal is to only bring out one bin a day so that the child only has those toys and books to play with. Let me tell ya, it’s not easy at first! Of course, having a new bin made each day different and exciting because there were all different options. However, she had become accustomed to having all of her toys, not just a few. So it took a few days for her to get used to it. But once she realized the toys and books in whatever toy bin I brought out for the day were the only ones that she was getting, she began to focus more on each one!
This limited her focus on 3-5 little toys and a few books, rather than 35. It’s funny that before the bins, she wasn’t very interested in books. It was more of a bedtime activity and she didn’t want to sit and read throughout the day. After I put the bins together that totally changed! Some days, there were more books than toys. Because I only allowed her to have what was in the bin, that meant she had to entertain herself with books and we would have a reading day!
Having one small bin a day also made it much easier to feel clean and organized. Then I could even teach A to help clean up and put the toys back into the bin before we moved on to something else. Keep in mind that not all of the bins have to be filled to the brim. If you have a bin or two that are not as full, use those on the days that you’re planning to leave the house anyways!
As for organizing each bin, that’s for you to decide! Everyone has a different selection of toys and books, so just use what you have. You can label each bin with a day, so every Monday, Tuesday, etc. you’d have the same toys, or you can decide based on how you’re feeling. You can have themed days, (farm animals, tea party, puzzle day, etc.), or just always have a variety. YOU are in control, so have fun with it!
Some toys/activities you can put into the toy bins are:
1. Play doh
2. Coloring book/crayons
3. Books, books, BOOKS
4. Stuffed animals
5. Finger paint (so you can prepare yourself for the cleanup, HA)
8. Kitchen utensils (plate, fork, cup, teapot, etc.)
10. Plastic farm animals