What toy box is working for you.....

AnnDecember 25, 2001

Help! I'm desperate for a toy box. They're either too small, has a scary lid,or poorly made. Anybody make their own? I could use bins + toybox. Any ideas?

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All I can say on the matter is once some men from a church made a toybox for a nursery. It was a good gesture, but the toy box was dangerous with a hinged wooden lid (the entire box was wooden) that would mash little hands. Bad choice for any child as the lid when propped would just fall shut. Finally...someone wised up and took the lid off..Then it was better, but actually the wood should have been sanded and had the edges sanded to have smooth surfaces before the toybox was ever painted in a safe paint.

I think a plastic toy box with an easy open lid that just sits on top is good..even better no lid at all-they seem to be the safest.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 12:19AM
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We have a wooden one that we bought in the baby section in Wal-Mart about 2 years ago. It was made so that the side has a cut out section and the lid doesn't rest completly on that so fingers can't be pinched. It also has hinges that will stay open at any spot. You can have it open only 1/4 of the way or whatever and it will stay there and not slam down. It's worked so far for us. Well, besides the fact that we just can't fit all his toys in there! We're looking into some shelves for the bigger toys.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 10:12AM
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I think ds's is Playschool brand. (I'm not at home so I can't go look.) It has a removable lid that sits on top, but for ds it's not practical to use a lid so the lid just sits in the corner. The toybox is a nice size (about 4'x3'), but ds has so many toys that we've overflowed it and are using other containers for stuff also. Since I'm having more children, I'm not ready to give away extra toys yet.

I almost think it would be more practical to use larger sized clothes baskets or the big rubbermaid containers for storage. These are more stackable and could be put up in a corner or pushed under the baby bed when not in use.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 10:28AM
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I use a clothes basket and the big Rubbermade storage chest. They work great!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 2:04PM
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Oh, we also have a large basket that I bought at Wal-Mart for $3. It's made like a regular basket and my Gram has one for laundry. Anyway, that's in the living room overflowing with toys andt he toy box has some things. We're just running out of room! We're thinking about getting some shelves to replace the white stackable shelves we bought when our son was a baby. It worked great to hold diapers and wipes and burp pads and all those little things. I'm just thinking a few more shelves will be helpful for now.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 3:35PM
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I just bought this one today. Priced around, and Costco has the best price going $42.99 for a nice storage area. The box says the bins can be installed slanted or level. I think even if I had DH make it, it would cost more.

I plan on using it at first, for all her puzzles and books. If any bins are left-over, I will store small toys (like the Toy Story set of little figurines that are all over the house) :-)

Also - I swear by the Rubbermaid storage boxes with hinged lids. Very inexpensive at K-Mart. I have one upstairs and one downstairs to gather stray toys in.

Here is a link that might be useful: Costco Storage Bin

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 3:49PM
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I have the one in the picture. I got it at BJ's a few years ago. It is much better than a toy box. We use the toy box in the garage for the big sports stuff like baseball gloves, bicycle helmets, etc. The little bins are great for little cars, action figures, and the like.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 3:54PM
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toys break in toy boxes, and little stuff falls to the bottom. The only toys that are visible (and therefore inspiring) are the ones on the top.

Many child-development experts recommend against them. I hate them. I do have a smallish wide open basket, and otherwise we have shelves, plastic drawers, and bins.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2001 at 10:37AM
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Oh, another organizng idea I did with stuffed animals and some smaller jackets~I took a piece of lattice that was laying out back of the shed rotting that the previous tenants left there and stained it. Then I hung in on one short wall in our son's room and painted clothespins in bright colors to match in his room and glued here and there on the lattice. It has some animals and coats and hats hanging on it. It was an easy and simple way to organize and the wall looked so bare before. Might work for some of you.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2001 at 2:03PM
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Leslie, that's neat! I want to glue clothespins on the side of the shelves for hanging Beanie Babies on. Did you use wood glue AFTER you painted them, or glue first, paint after?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 10:00AM
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I don't know if they still make these, but my son has one of the Little Tikes football shaped plastic toy boxes. It looks small, but it actually holds tons of the smaller toys and a few big ones. We also have plastic shelves for him that I've set up in the closet, so we don't have to look at a mess scattered all over.

I got the football at a second hand store, but it was perfectly usuable. It actually looked like it hadn't been used. He likes it, we even have funny pictures of him sitting inside it. Also, it has two nice sized holes in the back, so if a child was inside, they could breathe.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 11:14AM
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Talley Sue - Glue the pins on before you paint. Glue bare wood to bare wood. If you glue them to paint or paint them before you glue, they will fall off. It there is paint or stain present, try lightly sanding to give the glue something to sink its "teeth" into. I found this out the hard way. :)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 11:23AM
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That's what I thought, Lori. And of course, the next challenge is going to be finding a clothespin w/ a really good spring.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 1:29PM
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I painted my clothespins first. Some of them didn't hold but that was because I was in a hurry and used a hot glue gun to hold them. The regular clothespins seemed to work fine and I figured if it didn't work, I could take it off and start from scratch. It was just a cheap idea and I wanted to see if it worked. I also was going to do the clothespins on shelves idea. I made a shelf to go over my son's window and I thought I could make bee clothespins to glue to the edge of the shelf. My plan was to hang pictures and things he made off it! I just didn't get around to it and have to wait until I take the Christmas stuff down because he has stockings and lights hanging from the shelf now. Just some simple ideas that will save space! Good luck!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 2:09PM
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We have shelves and stack the toys on them or put them in small bins. We did have a large toybox but it didn't work at all for us. The kids just threw everything out and got in it themselves.

I have a large rubbermaid wrapping paper box underneath our train table and that is where we store the tracks etc. when the train table is being used for something else, like puzzles. Most messy toys (like paint, playdoough or games or things with a zillion little pieces) i keep boxed up in my china closet. The china closet is my real toybox! LOL Guess that shows you my priorities, eh?

The dolls go into a large wicker basket (lidless).

My vote is for plain old laundry basket.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 3:46PM
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We just assembled our own bin storage shelves and they are just wonderful. Home depot, Ikea or any lumber store has wooden shelves that you have to assemble yourself. Plain and usually used for a workshop or garage etc. Sand them, paint them and then we went to Ikea and bought glides that the storage bins slide through. Attached them to the underside of each shelf. The small 3 shelf unit now holds 8 bins (white dish pans) and the upper shelf holds lots of stuffed animals. We're really pleased. Inexpensive too!! Next step is to attach them to the wall with 'L' brackets so there will be no accidents.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2001 at 2:18AM
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Hopefully this link will show you the toybox we have. It works great. I put DD's books (ones she won't tear apart) on one shelf and little toys on the other. Bins could easily be put on the shelves too.

I like this toybox (which we've had for 1 1/2 years) because it's safe. DD cannot pinch her fingers and she can't suffocate if she were to get in it. It has a whole open space at the bottom of the lid. It's really great.

It's by Step 2 and you can find it on their website if this link doesn't work. Good luck!

-Tara W

Here is a link that might be useful: Step 2 Toybox

    Bookmark   December 31, 2001 at 6:42PM
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Right now, we are using just about everything as a toy box. We have 4 of the generic plastic totes (30 gallon or more) these hold big things mostly, like the tonka trucks, etc. One is dedicated just for dress up clothes, purses, costumes, etc. We also have one of those 3 shelf dealies with all the bins. I don't really like it, becase it is hard to get to the thing in the lower bins and almost impossible to remove the lower bins with out first raising up the ones on top. We also have a doll sized cradle that is big enough to hold all my girls' baby dolls in an attractive way. However my favorite storage spaces are the book cases and dressers in my son's room. He has a small dresser inside his closet for clothes along with the bar, so all his clothing is there. He has one bookcase with all his stuffed animals on top, trophies and banks on top shelf and the other 3 shelves with books and puzzles. His desk drawers hold all his video games, play doh, and Leap Frog stuff (OUT OF SIGHT). A third shelf has 3 shelfs (holding all videos, flash cards, learning materials and it also has 3 drawers which hold hot wheels, action figues, and race tracks respectively (AGAIN out of sight!) I love walking into his room and not having toys everywhere, the drawers are my favorite! I would recommend a low dresser ( where your child can reach all) that is not top heavy with easy to open drawers...makes the bedroom or playroom look SO much neater when clean!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2002 at 11:08PM
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I use wicker laundry baskets that I spray painted white. The toys are separated -dolls and animals in one and everything else in another. The baskets don't hold enough for items to be lost at the bottom and are very portable. I really like the shelves/lattice with clothespins idea.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2002 at 6:19PM
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A lot of people end up putting something like this stay on the lid. The stays stop the lid from slamming down and are easy to retro fit. I thin they can be bought online from the sugatsune uk site too

Here is a link that might be useful: Toy Box lid stays

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:28AM
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Our nursery closet has bi-fold doors. We put a two foot tall piece of wood across the bottom. Instant toy "box" that disappears when the closet is shut. The closet remains useful for clothes and the toys and clothes never mix.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:59PM
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