I think we can all high-five to organizational solutions that are inexpensive, quick, easy and effective. That said, Chelsea deserves some major high fives and low fives and on-the-side fives! She is stopping by today from her blog, Two-Twenty One, to share with us her brilliantly simple solution to all of those toddler toys that contain multiple pieces. It leaves me wishing I would have done something similar when my boys were younger. Here she is now to spill her secrets.
My answer to the where’d-that-puzzle-piece-go conundrum? Mesh lingerie laundry bags. That’s right. Lingerie bags aren’t only for your unmentionables, friends.
I use two different sizes of zippered, mesh bags. These larger bags, which I purchased from Walmart, hold larger puzzles and the pieces well.
While these smaller mesh bags are perfect for smaller puzzles. Plus, I scored them from the dollar store – 3 for $1.
But I didn’t stop at puzzles, I kept the mesh bag party going and used it for other toys with small pieces.
Now, I must also add that before I became a mom, I worked as an infant and toddler developmental therapist (DT). And the basis of the therapy I did was play therapy. So while using the bags and teaching your kiddos to clean up after themselves, you can also throw in some educational components. For toddlers, you can sing the “Clean Up” song, and teach words like “in” or “put in”. The kiddos I worked with also loved when I would say “boom” every time we put a toy in the bag. And then you can say “zip” when you or your kiddo zips up the bag.
And instead of giving a child all the pieces at once, I would give them the puzzle board first and withhold the rest of the pieces. We would work on either signing or verbally saying “more” or “more, please”. Once the kiddo would sign or say “more” or “more please”, I would give them one piece at a time.
While we’re on the topic of mesh laundry bags, I also use one in our bathroom for Owen’s bath toys and cup. I used a Command Brand bath hook to hang the bag on the side of the shower.
Now all of his toys can dry while staying out of the way.
I’ve seen other bath toy storage organizers for $13-$15. I’m happy to report that my solution cost less than $5.
Now, let’s talk about bigger puzzles with more pieces. I picked up some pencil cases from the dollar store to organize those puzzle pieces.
And back to referencing my DT days, zippers are great for strengthening fine motor skills.
Plus, there’s an added educational aspect because kiddos have to match the correct bag to the puzzle when grabbing the puzzle piece bags.
I store the puzzles and other toys in fabric bins in my son’s nursery closet shelving system. I love using fabric bins because they’re easy to grab, play with the toys inside, and then slide them back into the cubbies.