Posted by: purityseekers | July 2, 2010

Mom's Toy Library

I wanted to share with you all an idea I got a couple months ago!  I have been SOOOO tired of toys and organizing and got this bright idea to start my own little toy library!   I usually steal ideas from other people, but this is actually my very own idea!! lol

I explained it to the kids… how a REAL library has order so that they always know who has what book out.  That way they can hold the borrowers accountable for returning them.  I told them about my plan and then I got started.

First off, we organized like CRAZY!!!  I mean… CRAZY organization goin’ on!!!  We got every little toy from every little room in every square little inch of this house and put them in their own places.  I marked totes with stickers that say what the totes contain and put every single bucket in our LOCKED spare room!  Not everyone has a spare room (and we won’t for long, once it’s a bathroom) so I think what is important is just making sure they are all in places where they won’t be easily accessed.  Our rule is absolutely NO TOYS IN BEDROOMS but if that isn’t an option, then it’s all about placing them somewhere and insisting with discipline that children do not get into them without asking.

So… once the toys were all in their places, I got started with “Mom’s Toy Library”.

Here are the things I used (with suggestions for other options):

Old magnetic dry erase board (or you could do it on a fridge, metal door, etc)

Card stock strips (I had some I had purchased pre-cut, but you can easily do it yourself with a cutting tool or scissors!)

Index cards (which I used in my printer but you can easily just cut smaller pieces of cardstock for the labels)

Magnets ( I used a strip of magnet that I cut myself, but there are lots of other options out there!)

Printer (or you can just hand write the labels)

Glue (I used Rubber Cement to mat the labels in hopes that when I used it on the magnets it would be stronger.  It wasn’t…so I needed hot glue!)

Hot Glue 🙂

I had one of my daughters wash off the dry erase board we never use…well except for drawing scary looking skeleton ghost thingys and little weird people…

and I just realized she’s wearing her skeletons & rock guitar jammies that looked like “Hello Kitty” when I bought them online at Target.  I’m glad the zipper ripped because I thought they were hideous for a sweet little girl 😉

I set my printer up for use with an index card and just typed the kids names and “all” for when they were all playing together, different toy groups  & made some stars (which I’ll explain why in a minute).  Whenever I thought of another set of toys, I would have the little index card thing open on the computer, type a few and print them off.  I actually did this off and on for a few days as things came to mind!

Then I cut out the words, matted them on a different colored piece of card stock as you see above with the words “Mom’s Toy Libary” (just to look extra cute & to be a little more durable) and glued a magnet to the back.

Here’s that cute little girl close up and a few of the toy cards…

My oldest son was arranging them in alphabetical order as I went along…

and this is the board at the end of the first day.  I have since added lots of other little things that popped into my mind!  It’s a great tool for learning to read also!  Along the top it says “Mom’s Toy Library” and then lists the kids names (including “ALL” at the end.)  You can see that the child that took out “clay” has a star along with the child over to the right.  THAT means those 2 kids were playing with clay together, while one child had the Legos.

And that’s it!!!  And it looks like we own a lot of junk BUT we really stick to “groups”.  At times I’ve thought maybe we have too many toys, but since I homeschool, I like them to have a good array of things to keep them occupied, as long as their is order.  All of the things listed fit very neatly in one area since they are in totes.  And there are smaller buckets for markers, crayons, scissors, etc. which we keep in cubbies.  I don’t let them use ANYTHING without taking it out of the library!  Even if they are using one pair of scissors 😉

I love being able to look up at the library and remember what is out!  Hope someone finds this a fun project to help keep their life with kids organized!!!

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