Toy Storage and Organization: Get Your Kids to Play More

Toy Storage and Organization: Get Your Kids to Play More

This post may contain affiliate links.

If you judged me by my desk at work or the inside of my car you’d think I may be a good candidate for an episode of hoarders, but my husband can attest when it comes to our home, if it doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t put away I’ll throw it away. So much so that whenever we can’t find something we both assume I’ve probably thrown it away. I hate clutter.

Before I had children I swore I would never sit at the table and beg my kid to eat, and that I would never let toys take over my house (along with 500 of things I swore I’d never do). Also side note, after having two kids I’m going to definitely say “never say never,” but I do stick to those two goals.

My first attempt at containing the toy chaos was buying two large wicker baskets, similar to these, that fit the decor of our home.

These baskets fit underneath the end tables in our living room nicely, but I noticed they still weren’t solving my problem. Over time they began to overflow with toys, and at the end of each day I was left with a huge pile of toys to put back in them.

Another problem was that toys that had multiple parts were getting more and more mismatched. Pieces were missing and the toys were becoming useless because half the pieces were scattered all around.

One day I made a point to pay attention to exactly what toys my son was playing with, and you know what?! I couldn’t figure it out, he seemed to mostly be pulling all the toys out of the basket and then sporadically picking up and putting things down. He rarely seemed to engage with, and actually play with any of the toys.

I decided that we needed a new system. I’d seen several blog posts about rotating toys, but I wasn’t sure that would work, however the toys were becoming more overwhelming, and I needed to do something. I purchased 12 containers from Amazon to start my process, 6 short and wide and 6 tall and narrow.  (This is definitely doable with only 6 containers, instead of 12, but I wanted to make sure I could distribute my son, and (infant) daughter’s toys.)

I made a huge pile of all the toys in our living room and started sorting them into each of the boxes.

I did my best to make sure each box had a ball, toy car, musical toy, electronic toy, book, stuff animal, etc. I was very pleased with how much I could fit into each box, and glad I bought two different sizes because some toys would only fit in one type of box.

There were a few things that were too big for the containers. My plan for these toys is to keep them in the closet and bring them out occasionally, that way they maintain that “newness,” and are actually played with.

I placed all the boxes in a closet and only pulled out one a day. I noticed that my son is excited to see “new” toys each day, and he has started to actually play with them.

I’m now also able to keep toys and their parts together. And best of all is I have a lot less toys to clean up at the end of each day. I emptied 4 boxes to show how many toys I can fit in a box. Keep in mind my son still has access to his large toys, like his play kitchen and fire truck, and these are the only toys I have to clean up at the end of the day (I think I hear angels singing).

Thank you so much for reading my post. How do you handle toys in your house?

Toy Storage and Organization: Get Your Kids to Play More

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. This post may contain affiliate links. If you judged me by my desk at work or the inside of my car you’d think I may be a good candidate for an episode of hoarders, but my husband can attest...

read more

12 Things About My 12 Week Maternity Leave

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. 1. It was 13 weeks long. I’m a teacher so after 12 weeks I returned to work for two days, and then we had a week off for Spring Break. It really helped me ease back into working mom life. 2....

read more

A Teacher’s Plea to Parents

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. I’m not sure if it’s the mom in me or the teacher in me, but I absolutely cringe at the sound of baby talk. When I say “baby talk” I’m not referring to high-pitched...

read more

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me:

A Teacher’s Plea to Parents

A Teacher’s Plea to Parents

This post may contain affiliate links.

I’m not sure if it’s the mom in me or the teacher in me, but I absolutely cringe at the sound of baby talk.

When I say “baby talk” I’m not referring to high-pitched sweet tones we use when talking to a baby or toddler. I’m talking about purposely using wrong sounds and pronouns because we think it is cute…because there is absolutely nothing cute about teaching a child how to speak incorrectly.

As an early childhood teacher, I’ve seen time and time again, students that are so confused because what they learned at home, and what they are learning in school contradict each other.

One may think it’s cute to count “one, two, free, four” when talking to a child, but I promise, it is not cute in a first grade classroom. Children learn to speak by listening to the people that interact with them. So why in the world would we speak incorrectly, on purpose, it absolutely blows my mind.

I’ve even noticed on some shows my toddler has watched that characters may use the “ur” sound for the “ir” sound, such as saying furst instead of first; or Heaven help me, using “w’s” instead of “r’s” such as “The wed wacecar was fast.” Maybe people think that babies and toddlers grow out of this type of speech long before they start school, but I promise they don’t, and then they are starting school behind and confused.

I don’t believe any parent has purposely tried to sabotage their child’s language development, but I do believe that many parents are doing just that. I even catch myself sometimes; just today I asked my little boy if he was excited to go “simmin.” I’m not really sure what “simmin” is, so I repeated myself and asked him if he was excited to go swimming instead.

The proper form of baby talk is highly encouraged, especially in birth to 12 months. By adding emotion, tone, and exaggerated vowel sounds to our speech around babies, they are better able to learn the language.

But in no way, shape, or form should we be speaking incorrectly to the little ones that are soaking up everything we say.




 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Thank you so much for reading my post. How do you feel about “baby talk?”

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me:

I Used to Love a Police Officer

I Used to Love a Police Officer

If you’re a police officer, you have to accept the fact that any day could be your last, if you love a police officer you have to accept it too.

Its easy to be proud that your husband is a cop. He looks d@mn good in his uniform. He saves lives, kicks a$$, has a special kind of respect from many, and he’s all yours.

But what you hate is how absolutely sick you are with worry sometimes. Maybe you’ve just had a bad feeling all day or you’re listening to the police scanner and know he’s out on a dangerous call. You see local wanted criminals on the news and you worry your husband will be the one to find them.

You pray your socks off everyday for him and his safety, and you pray even harder on the days he actually works. You spend half the month home alone at night and countless holidays without him. I used to love a police officer.

One evening around 7 pm my police officer was working nights. It would be the last night he ever wore the uniform. I was sitting around goofing off on my phone when a text flashed across the screen “I’ve shot someone, I’m ok”.

Little did we know that our entire worlds would be turned upside down in the days and years to come and that we’d be engaged, married, and parents, before it was ever resolved.

Little did we know that the world would have to power to push us closer together than we’ve ever been and pull us further apart than we could ever imagine.

There were days of uncertainty, tears, anger, hope, and set backs that had no end in sight.

We found hope in unfamiliar places and lost it in places that felt comfortable. We learned a lot of lessons along the way and like to think we made it to the other side stronger.

I used to love a police officer, but now I love a man.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.




SaveSave

Toy Storage and Organization: Get Your Kids to Play More

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. This post may contain affiliate links. If you judged me by my desk at work or the inside of my car you’d think I may be a good candidate for an episode of hoarders, but my husband can attest...

read more

A Teacher’s Plea to Parents

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. I’m not sure if it’s the mom in me or the teacher in me, but I absolutely cringe at the sound of baby talk. When I say “baby talk” I’m not referring to high-pitched...

read more

I Used to Love a Police Officer

If you're a police officer, you have to accept the fact that any day could be your last, if you love a police officer you have to accept it too. Its easy to be proud that your husband is a cop. He looks d@mn good in his uniform. He saves lives,...

read more

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me:

To the Mom with the Loud Kids in the Waiting Room

To the Mom with the Loud Kids in the Waiting Room

Recently I found myself in a crowded waiting room with only one empty seat. I was waiting for a routine prenatal check. Several women had babies with them, but one mom in particular had a 4 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. Her children had not yet mastered the art of whispering and were quite vocal in the dialogue with their mom. The older sibling was drawing with some crayons and paper her mother had brought for her, while the little boy ate a snack.

Later she blew bubbles for them to keep their boredem at bay. Her only request was that they stay close to her proximity. She never once shushed them. While the children were behaved, it was clear that the noise brought on by them had gained the attention of everyone else in the waiting room, the majority of us silently glued to our cell phone screens sporting epic double chins as always.

I noticed a few women locking eyes with each other and smirking in annoyance over the children’s noise level; a few sighing in aggravation.

So, to the mom with the loud kids in the waiting room… Thank you.

Thank you for giving your attention to your children. Thank you for interacting with them and allowing them to interact with each other. Thank you for meeting their age appropriate needs and not giving two flocks of seagulls what others think. Thank you for not shoving devices in their faces while having your own shoved in yours. You rock!

Being a mom is tough, it kicks my a$$ daily, but this mom set a clear example of the type of mom I’d like to be. So often I stress myself out trying to make the people around me happy instead of trying to make my child happy.



If you take kids in public, things will get interesting. I’m personally thinking back to when my son put the death grip on a buggy he didn’t want to get out of in a grocery store parking lot, and once I literally pried him from his seat, he yanked the neck of my dress down exposing God knows how much of my boobs. Well God and the guy sitting in his truck next to my car. I was certain bystanders were dialing 911 to report a kidnapping and/or indecent exposure case. All the poor child wanted was to ride in the buggy a little while longer.

Sometimes motherhood in public can be so stressful that it starts to effect the way you do things. But this mother put her childrens needs above everyone else’s and that is just plain awesome.

SaveSave

9 Must Have Products for Pumping

Subscribe to danacarolyn.com to have new post sent straight to your e-mail. I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to...

read more

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me:

14 Things That Happen When You Join Amazon Prime

14 Things That Happen When You Join Amazon Prime

Once upon a time I signed up for a free 30 day trail of Amazon Prime, and I’ve never looked back.




1. Family members hit your up to use it.

2. You can’t go into stores without hating life.

3. You declare if Amazon doesn’t sell it, you don’t need it

4. If you order something from a different website. You go into the 5 stages of grief waiting for the package to arrive

5. You buy so much random sh!t.

6. You come home to boxes at your door almost daily.

7. You literally have no idea whats in the boxes because you can’t remember what u ordered, due to #5.

8. Your significant other questions your income and your spending habits.

9. Your constantly trying to convince others to join Amazon Prime.

10. When your subscription expires you try to convince yourself that you can live without it.

11. You’re a sucker for the suggested items.

12. Even though they have the easiest return system ever. You still keep what you don’t want and just give it as a gift later.

13. The one day shipping has gotten you out of a bind more times than you can count.

14. You have at least one of Amazon’s credit cards.

SaveSave

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me:

18 Reasons I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid

18 Reasons I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid

Most women have to opportunity to be a bridesmaid in their lifetime.  It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be HELL. Recently one of my BFF’s had a friend get engaged, and she laid low for days trying to dodge the epic question “Will you be my bridesmaid?”  Unfortunately her attempts were unsuccessful, and she didn’t have the heart to say no.  Instead we created a list of 18 Reasons I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid for women everywhere stuck in horrible dresses.

1. I’m already married, I’m over “this part” of life.

2. I don’t know any of your other bridesmaids. So every function I’m forced to attend, for the next 10 months, I’m gona be texting my bff’s telling them how miserable I am.

3. Your fiancé sucks at life. I seriously want to shake you and tell you to run in the other direction. I’ll even help you find someone more suitably. What do you see in this guy?

4. I think your making a mistake. You’re so young. You’re getting married in those primal years that your supposed to be finding yourself.

5. I’ve let myself go. You and all your friends still have flat stomachs and metabolisms in overdrive. Meanwhile I’ve perfected dinner #1 and dinner #2, and it shows, on my hips.

6. I’m jealous. How the hell are you paying for all this sh!t?


7. I don’t care for some of your friends, and I don’t want to be forced to chummy with them up until we send you off on your honey moon.

8. I barely know you. Are you desperate for a certain number of bridesmaids because I’m literally shocked you asked me. I don’t even know your favorite Netflix show.

9. I have a life, and the 800 functions leading up to your wedding are cramping my calendar style something serious.

10. I love my dog too much to leave her alone all day. Can my dog be a bridesmaid?

11. I have a kids, my hands are already full. I barely have time to take a solid poop, much less be in your wedding.

12. I’m broke. I don’t have unlimited funds for all your showers, excursions, lunches, brunches, and lets not forget the dress. Any chump change I manage to scrape up is usually blown on Amazon Prime or a dollar menu.

13. Where you high when you picked the dresses? I can’t believe I have to pay for that dress, in that color, and then wear it.

14. You’re kind of a biatch, and I can see that bridezilla look in your eye already.

15. Your going to regret having me around.  I already have an attitude, and I’ve already unfollowed your annoying a$$ on Facebook. So no, I didn’t see the “just because” flowers you recently received.

16. I’m bitter. Marriage is hard, so I’m not in the mood for your fairy tale adventure.

17. I’m bitter.  I’m still looking for Mr. Right. My life is like one long episode of Seinfeld.

18.  Did you not read my 30th Birthday Post?  I’m too old for this sh!t.


SaveSave

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Hi, I'm Dana.  I'm a teacher by day, blogger by night, and a mom always.  I try not to take myself too seriously, and I'm not in the business of telling people what they want to hear.  Join me in balancing a career life, mom life, wife life, and staying true to yourself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Follow Me on Social Media:

contact me: