Hello! Starting a general thread to discuss Kid Stuff. A good place to post about sales, recommend big bang for your buck toys, what to get new and what to hunt for used and where you might find it, etc. Maybe also, how do you store this stuff? How do you manage the growing out of and into swaps? All that and, I’m sure, more.
I am putting together a highly requested birthday/holiday wish list for Ravioli. He turns one in like three weeks AAAAA. What should I include? Also, we live in an apartment, so I’m looking for clever storage ideas and ways to handle the “this is too big, this is too small” clothing shuffle of handmedowns and toy rotations. Do you have a good system?
A subscription to Highlights Hello!
Winter clothing in his current size and spring clothes in the next size up
The busy toddler website has gift lifts by age that are usually great.
Ahhh thank you, busy toddler is new to me but exactly what I’m looking for!!
For storage we have 8 of these (two stacks of 4 in fun colors) for all the “two small” things. One drawer has general detritus, one has baby doll clothes, one has stickers and crayons and paper. We got these when she was one and the contents have changed slightly but they’ve served us well.
We have a small soft sided basket for blankets and a larger one for stuffed animals.
From her gift list for one year olds, we have a dump truck (same brand slightly different model), pop up toy (firetruck instead of school bus) and push cart (IKEA!) That all still gets used and have been great long term gifts.
I think I’ve mentioned before that Pipsqueak isn’t a fine motor/puzzle kid so I can’t speak to the shape sorting toys. That’s not our jam here
High Five is the 3-5 year old subscription, and our 4 and 7 year old both like it. I think if your kid is able to sit for stories, that one is also a good option.
As for storage…we also struggle. We have an old dresser in our toy room that works great for lego/duplo blocks, train tracks, lincoln logs, cars, etc. It’s nice because you can remove a drawer if they want to take it to another room, but it always has a home. Other than that, it’s a mish mash of square bins and bookshelves that is not working super well, haha.
Oh nice, I have one of these plastic dresser things in my closet and it’s not being used intentionally at the moment… I will test it out in the toy space!
Thinking of sneaky storage options, we have a folding pop up tent thing that, when folded up, goes under the couch. We also had a hoolahoop under there too. We also have a Melissa and Doug train table that I put a ton of bins underneath with various toys. I attempt to keep them sorted, I’m not always successful. The under the table bins are all cut down cardboard boxes - usually the boxes don’t fit perfectly so I might have to trim off an inch, but it’s boxes from diapers/wipes/Amazon. No one can see them so who cares if they look pretty. For my kid, if it was under the table he forgot it existed so it was a handy place to rotate toys away (assuming they’re small enough to fit in that space).
On the flip side, I use old towels/blankets rolled up to stuff under couches or one bookshelf sometimes so toys don’t roll under them and disappear forever.
I try to reuse those boxes in other ways since they’re remarkably sturdy. Hadn’t thought to cut them down to size.
I was inspired by the first box being only a quarter of an inch off and thinking “Oh no you don’t, I will MAKE you fit!” lol
My small space kid clothing tricks:
I mostly buy only every other size of clothes. Eg for baby stuff I have newborn, (skip 3 mo), 6 mos, (skip 9 mos), 12 mos.
In the closet I have a “too small” bin, things get tossed there as we try on and they don’t fit. 1-2x/year I sort and repack everything.
I didn’t save everything after Spore (we were not 100% positive about wanting or being able to have more). I kept a little more than half, and it turned out to be plenty especially with the unpredictability of baby seasons and sizes.
For storage, I use a series of HUGE labelled ziplocks, rolled up and with the air squished out, and all stuffed inside a giant plastic latching bin. That’s been the most space-efficient way for us to manage all that inventory.
Gifts: Zoo or aquarium membership, that the grandparents can take Ravi to?
We are so lucky that my in-laws live near the FREE Lincoln Park zoo, but good point…a membership somewhere else would be a great gift!
I suppose I should share some ideas too lol. So far the best best best thing we’ve done is accept any and all hand me downs from friends, including one of these fold up floor mats that is perfect for apartments. Easy to move room to room and toss in the car for Grandma. I didn’t realize how expensive they are!
This high chair boostery thing fits our little dude better than the big ol’ Graco one I registered for. TBH if I could go back in time I would not register for a high chair, they’re on Buy Nothing in my area regularly. But we’re using this one til he’s bigger. Plus, the tray is just one piece and so easy to fit in an apartment sink and small dish drainer. Tray stores in the bottom when not in use.
I always keep 3 bins in the closet: current size/as she outgrows it, next size up, favorites. A small amount of every size goes into favorites as a guaranteed nostalgia/don’t have to sort later bin. That was if we didn’t have a second we could just get rid of the whole other sized bin and just keep the favorites, if that makes sense.
Some of our best things:
Green Toys Recycling Truck in Green Color - BPA and Phthalates Free Garbage Truck for Improving Gross Motor, Fine Motor Skills. Kids Play Vehicles https://a.co/d/5pV02pG
Magna-Tiles 32-Piece Clear Colors… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CBSNKQ?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Baby Care Play Mat - Haute… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XQJQH31?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
Green Toys Dump Truck in Yellow and Red - BPA Free, Phthalates Free Toys for Gross/Fine Motor Skill Development. Pretend Play , Red/Yellow https://a.co/d/0o3KxVe
Playsilk Sets – Sarah's Silks
Pause for kid play lol
Also, containers. Random seasonal dollar spot baskets from Target have been a big winner. Right now there’s a $5 pumpkin and acorn are being used as gathering baskets etc and are a huge hit. Wire reinforced on these last much much longer lol. Their $5 dollar spot shovels and rakes have been winners too.
There is MUCH dollar spotting in my future
Bottom of the acorn basket turned “important item purse” with the addition of a shoe lace, a “math phone” (calculator), a notebook, a purple pencil, and a teether. Oh and a tiny book about ducks.
Only the essentials!!