I love having my kids’ toys out where they can get to them easily during the day. If the toys aren’t close, the kids don’t play. And if the kids don’t play, they get bored and go looking for trouble. But, I don’t exactly want stacks of plastic bins in primary colors in my living room.
So, of course… crates. My favorite hiding place.
I mentioned in my shelf built-in post that I loved how the wood accents woke up this wall, and the crates are a huge part of that.
I’m telling you folks, never pass up a wooden crate at a yard sale or antique store. They are seriously undervalued, and even the crustiest of them can be cleaned up or patched back together. The beauty below came from an estate sale and was $12. It was deep in an old barn and was so covered with age that it was black when I found it. A little Dawn soap, a lot of hemp oil, and look at her now.
This crate holds my boy’s box of Legos and his current favorite, the Millennium Falcon. The contents will change over time as they find new favorite toys, but having a designated space for the things they’re obsessed with is so valuable.
If your crate is dusty, could give splinters ,or if the bottom has gaps, you could always hide another bin inside it. When my little girl wants to build, all I have to do is take it out, plop it on the floor, and she can entertain herself with Legos long enough for me to write about her entertaining herself with Legos.
I try not to let these crates become a dumping ground for all the things they leave around the house, because that would defeat the purpose. These front-and-center crates are for special toys that need a little bit of supervision during the clean up so that sets stay together.
When everything is back in its place, it all looks nice and tidy.
Of course, more often it looks like this…
Just kidding. That’s a half-way picked up, staged “mess”. In real life all the Legos would be mixed together, on the floor, and in the dog’s fur. But for the most part, little girl plays with her Duplos on the kid table while big brother plays with his big kid Legos on the dining table. Or they both color or do puzzles here. It’s a sweet little area that is theirs for the mess making.
Flying a plane with flowers on the wings and a boombox in back seat. That’s how I’d do it!
Do you have any crates harboring secrets? Tell me what you stash!