You now have all these beautiful, open-ended and loose-parts toys. But thats it exactly–they’re on the loose. How do you contain them while keeping them accessible? We use clear storage bins to keep ours visible and available for easy play access. Our big puzzle and block sets live on the floor for easy reach with no risk of smashed toes, but the smaller pieces take a little more organizing.
If you’d like a shortcut to many of our organization items, click here.
This is our corner of smaller pieces and loose parts. This is (roughly) what it looks like all of the time–(at least when things are put away)–sometimes things change shelves, but for the most part we keep everything out. My kids are 6 and 9, and for them it works well to have access to everything. If your kids are younger, this same approach can still work really well, but you may consider putting out a little less at a time–in particular leaving the top surface of the shelf clearer.
Our primary shelf is the Ikea Trofast with the Ikea Trofast shelf inserts (also available overpriced, on Amazon) . I’ve tried to organize everything so it’s as visible as possible. It isn’t perfect, but the goal is to set everything up to minimize the extent to which other things need to be set aside to reach the desired item. The far right column does have stacked sets (Grimm’s Indian Square, Grimm’s Cornerstones, Grimm’s Square puzzle and Gluckskafer Slats). The Grimm’s Sloping blocks sitting on top of the shelf are too wide to fit inside.
Also sitting independently on the shelves are Grimm’s stepped roofs , the Grimm’s building Boards and the Grimms’s bridges. Each of these fit in neatly without stacking with other sets.
The clear storage bin is the star of our organization. They’re used for the color rally charts, the Grapat bowls and Grimm’s Pebbles, the Grapat mandalas, the Grapat pegs and Coins, and the smaller accessory blocks like The rainbow forest, Ocamora Bonsai, and other small parts. The bin we have is no longer available, but this one has the same dimensions (14x8x4 inches). It holds a full set of the Grapat Mandalas.
If plastic doesn’t work for you, the Maple and Lark Gather Basket also holds a full set of the Grapat mandalas, and fits similarly in the trofast shelf. The handle can either be tucked in or left out.
A three-inch-wide tray fits alongside the eight-inch-wide bins in Tofast (please note, the Amazon measurements on these match those that we have, but we do not have these personally to confirm fit). We use one like this to hold the Grimm’s balls.
The floating shelves above the Trofast come from Cube44. Available on etsy, but with high shipping costs, these are more affordable on Amazon (note the amazon model is listed as aluminum and would not be magnetic). The low profile shelves don’t take up much visual space.
In particular, we like it for birds, and love it paired with a poster of local birds. The kids love comparing our bird figures with the birds in the poster. Here is a link to many similar posters, for different regions in the US.
Listed below are few more storage tools we love as well as links for many of the pieces we use to organize
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