The Small Store
We have three kiddos in our family: two boys, ages 7 and 5, and one girl who is 13 months. As you can imagine, the two older boys have many small toys that are a hazard for a toddler who still puts everything in her mouth. We've done a pretty decent job of keeping the small toy area inaccessible to the baby, but often random items get brought downstairs and forgotten. And, of course, Little Angel Girl can spot those tiny toys from miles away and lives for the moment when she can break free and eat them.
So, we've created The Small Store.
It started with Silly Bandz. If you don't yet know what those are, just wait. They are only the latest craze to sweep through every elementary school between here and Timbuktu. Well, I exaggerate a little, but these crazy-shaped rubber bands are really quite the rage.
Anyway, our Silly Band Store was a way for my boys to buy them one at a time, for a quarter each, rather than the $3-5/pack that they go for at the drugstores. Five dollars is a lot for rubber bands, if you ask me. So is a quarter, but it is much more manageable for someone who only earns a couple bucks a week. But that is another post for another day. So, we already had the Silly Band Store, and it was going well. Then we hit on the idea that if a grown-up finds a Silly Band in a place where the baby can get it, it goes back to the store and must be bought again. Well, who knew? It was an instant success. Somehow, we managed to speak the language of a 5 and 7 year old.
So, of course we immediately decided to expand upon our success, hence The Small Store. The store contains any small object (read: choking hazard) that is found in a place it shouldn't be; namely any spot accessible by the Little One.
While we have occasionally found an item here or there, for the most part our tiny toy woes have disappeared. And, as an added bonus, it makes clutter more manageable too. And that definitely Works For Me.