I have a very active 20 month old and he loves to play with his toys.
Lately, he has only been playing with one toy. His train table and he seemed like he was getting a little bored and frustrated with his trains. Eli has always been very patient with his toys and if something wasn’t working or fitting or doing whatever he wanted the toy to do he would sit and try until he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish. But, instead he seemed to have a short fuse and kept getting frustrated.
This is what it looked like before:
Looking at his play area I could not figure out what was wrong. Everything looked pretty clean and organized to me. Toys all had their own bins and they were neatly placed in each bin. He recently got a toy box and played some with the toys but this was the only area where the toys were just thrown in. I tried looking at it from his perspective. He loved to look at books but never pulled them out. I was reading another blog about toy organization and that blog was talking about how to look at the situation from your kids eyes. I have tried switching out toys and rotating them so he would have something new to play with but that still didn’t work. Then the lightbulb went on and I realized that my neat and organized toy area was the problem. He didn’t quite get the idea that if you pull out a bin there are other toys to play with. So I took away the bins and organized the toy box and like magic he started to play with a lot more toys and his frustration started to disappear. For his age if he can’t see the toys he doesn’t play with them.
So here is what I did:
On the bottom shelf I put all his favorite trucks so they were visible to him and on the second shelf has all his books. For the top shelf I have a basket with all of his little cars and people. I also have his diapers in a bin.
I organized his toy bin and put animals in one section, extra cars and balls in the next and construction toys in the last.
He also has a wheeley bin for his play food. Everything still has its place but it is all visible.
Below is a picture of what the whole thing looks like now. I was worried that having everything out and visible would make it look messy. Instead, I think it looks great! Now with more playing comes a little more clean up but Eli is playing more and happy!
I still have some toys in bins like his blocks and duplo but right now he only plays with those with us. So I keep them in the hall closet because theres not enough room in his play room. I also still suggest to switch out and rotate toys. This keeps toys fresh and kids feel like they have new toys all over again.
I think there are a lot of situations in life where something just doesn’t seem to work. If we have tried different tactics and it still doesn’t work, then try looking at it from a different perspective and see what happens!
Thanks for visiting,