Boxes Boxes Boxes! I am mad for shoe boxes!
Seriously! I can't throw away a shoe box - ever! It took my breath away when my Mum bought shoes the other day and told the lovely lady 'I don't need the box'. What? Umm...hang on....what? What do you mean 'you don't need it'? It's a nice black and white one. It has a separate lid! Are you crazy woman?
So of course I end up with a stack of shoe boxes and no idea what to do with them. (What a dilemma!)
Since having a little car crazy boy ( AKA Lucas ) my shoeboxes have been put to use! One shoe box was used very early on as our Lightning McQueen 'home' for all the CARS toys. We had some Lightning McQueen contact that I used to decorate the shoe box. And now when we are looking for Guido we know to look in this box.
Then the other day we were bored. Lucas wanted to play and I was really over driving cars around in circles, round and round and round. 'Let's race again Mummy!' So we went to the trusty computer and printed out some free printables. You know - the sort from Kidspot.com.au or huggies.com.au.
We decided to colour in Planes, and of course, Dinosaurs! Hang on....what? Not cars? You guessed it - Mummy had a hand in making that decision! While searching through the images I came up with an idea which would 1) keep us busy 2) use my shoe boxes and 3) tidy up the toys!
Can you see where this is going? We printed out a plane and a dinosaur and enjoyed some time together colouring them in.
That night I laminated the pictures and the next day Lucas helped me to tape each picture to the top of a shoebox. It really was that simple.
Now we have a home for our planes (and rockets) and one for our dinosaurs (we have 4 now!). When they are being put away they are 'going home for the night'.
On another quiet day I cut a rectangle in one of my beloved boxes and now it is our post box.
We are lucky enough to have friends and family who send Lucas postcards and we keep them in the box and play postman with them. It's also a great place to keep our special product information forms too. Like the card that lists all the Automoblox cars that you can get. It's a very important piece of literature for Lucas, he spends hours looking and telling me which ones he has and which ones he needs. He is determined to have everything on that card. (Good Luck with that kid.)
When you have toys that need to be put away we think it is easier to teach the kids to put the toys away when they know where they go! This is a simple storage solution that helps teach kids to put their things away and might even save you from stepping on cars that have been left all over the floor. (that has never happened to me....well not today!
P.S. - If you still have Nappy boxes they work just as well! And they are perfect for bigger toys and they even have handles. We have one for books and one for our coloring-in things