Monday, August 29, 2016

Operation Andy || Toy Organization

You guys.  I've been wanting to do this project ever since I began working in Preschool!  Talk about drowning in a mess of toys since Cam was mobile enough to dump them out of his toy box!  Yea.  That was the end of any trace of neatness around us...

What is "Operation Andy?"  I'm glad you ask:)  

Just a way to help Cam better understand how we are changing the way we treat our toys.  Right now, all he does is dump them out & pile them up (if I'm lucky) when I ask him to do his chores.  The o n l y way to help his little three year old mind make sense of our new organizing system is to relate it to Toy Story! :)
You know how all of Andy's toys had a special place in his room?  And when they were not in their special place it made them sad?  Andy wasn't able to find them when he wanted to take them somewhere or play with them when they weren't in their spot- was he?  We are going to make your room like Andy's & give all of your toys a special place so you will always be able to find them!  
*I think it's important to give credit where credit is due SO -I got this genius-ness from the Pre-K teachers;)
Back to the Pre-K rooms... the toys all have a labeled place (picture & word to assist in print awareness*) for kids to know where they belong when the clean up song starts playing.  This absolutely solved my problem with Cam!  When I would say "let's clean up" he just started chucking toys in a pile in the corner because he had no idea what to do with the madness.  Where did his toys belong besides the storage bin(s) or toy box?  And then, when the bins/box were full...we definitely had a dilemma.  
Y'all, the truth is...I didn't even know where to put them!

So, here is my version of the preschool toy organization at home:)  This idea has me feelin like a rock star #justsayin

1.  I've had this Ikea Cube Shelf for a year now...
2.  I finally was frustrated enough with our mess to make organizing the toys a priority in our budget.  I ended up at Target & found these cubes on sale for $5!  There are lots of cute colors & fabric combinations:)
3.  After I got the cubes, I took pictures of the toys with my phone, labeled them with the app "Rhonna Designs," printed them, glued them to a pretty silver poster board, & laminated!

4.  I punched a hole in the top & tied the picture to the storage cube with twine through the hole in the storage cube.
5.  Before I put the toys in their new home, I went through & wiped down the ones we were going to keep, & (shhhhh -keep this a secret-I guess this isn't a good time to channel Toy Story, huh?) trashed or donated others that were messed up or those we weren't playing with anymore.  Cam has a thing about keeping ALL the toys e v e n if they are messed up or missing parts...
5.  Now, all our toys have "a home" just like "Andy's" toys!  AND I can almost guarantee you, your kids will think it's Christmas again because toys are so much easier to find.  BOOM:)
Another idea would be to switch out a box or two seasonally! 
You know me & the holidays;)
Wouldn't a Halloween or Christmas box be fun?

I bet those of you reading already did this decades ago, but nevertheless, I had to share...I'm proud of my hard work & our solution to what has been a never ending mess!  Cam has rediscovered so many new toys since I finished this project-which is even more worth it:)  How do you tame the toys at your house?  
(Besides donating & trashing...oops did I say that out loud again;)  
*print awareness: ability to recognize words as distinct elements of oral and written communication. Both skills are acquired in the child's natural environment.