Too Much Screen Time Remedy #1: Organize Toddler Toys

Too Much Screen Time Remedy #1 Organizing Toddler Toys

Recently, I confessed about my nephew’s exposure to too much TV and how it has affected him negatively.

Organizing Toddler Toys: Too Much Screen Time Remedy #1

The following are noticeable changes we noticed on Seb after having too much screen time:

  • Lacks patience doing things that he normally enjoys
  • Shorter attention span than before
  • Cries more often
  • Tends to push for what he wants and doesn’t listen to instructions- or he totally ignores it
  • Displays more aggressive behaviour
  • Talks less

Towards the end, I listed down our plan of action to remedy the problem. And it includes organizing toddler toys. Which leads me to this post.

Read here for our full confession: Bad Effects of Too Much Screen Time on Toddlers

Organizing Toddler Toys

To solve our problem about my nephew’s too much screen time, the first thing we did was organize Seb’s toys and delegate a day when he can play with them.

This may sound OC to some, but I believe that one of the reasons my nephew is drawn to the TV is because he’s already bored with the toys that he plays with.

I mean, who wouldn’t be bored if you keep seeing the same dinosaurs and blocks every single day? I know I would!

And so I channeled my inner Monica Gellar (from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) and started with the crib.

Why the crib?

Well, when Seb grew and started climbing out of his crib, we turned it into his toy bin. More like a toy dumpster actually!

Baby toys that no longer fascinate him end up in the crib. Toys that got left on the floor are tossed in the crib. Trinkets that were found while cleaning are kept in the crib, too.

I’m pretty sure the cast of Toy Story would cringe at the thought of ending up at the crib!

Oh! And did I mention that old shoes, baby clothes and a couple of cereal boxes are also  in the crib?

So you see, it’s really sensible that I start the organizing from the bottomless cube that used to house Baby Seb.

Thus, one fine afternoon, armed with a big black garbage bag and a couple of paper bags, I sat in front of the crib. And started organizing toddler toys!

It seemed daunting at first, especially when I was trying to match egg toys and putting small Lego set together. But after that, it was a breeze. Or at least that’s what I told myself. 😛

Organizing Toddler Toys
Photo by li tzuni on Unsplash

Anyways, I was able to sort all the toys into the following piles:

  • Bath time toys- or things that float
  • Outside/Gardening toys
  • Stuffed toys
  • Recyclables
  • Play dough
  • Fine motor skills toys
  • Transportation-themed toys

I know the categories are quite out there, but if you have a lot of toys to sort (and running out of patience), you’ll just sort them quite randomly, too.

I picked my battle on this one. The Sanitary Department won’t penalize me for sorting the toys wrong!

And those that are completely garbage, or toys that cannot be used anymore because either they’re already broken, misshapen, and/or destroyed, were put in the black plastic bag for disposal. 🙁

If you’re curious, here are the toys that I piled under each category.

Bath Time Toys

Organizing Toddler Toys: Bath Time Toys

  • foam animals
  • plastic balls
  • and other things that float

Outdoor/ Gardening Toys

Organizing Toddler Toys: Outdoor/ Gardening Toys

  • watering cans
  • spray bottles
  • spades
  • funnels
  • pails

Stuffed Toys

Organizing Toddler Toys: Stuffed Toys

  • well, stuffed toys

Recyclables

  • cereal boxes
  • tissue roll spines
  • bottle caps
  • yarns and straws

Fine Motor Skills Toys

Organizing Toddler Toys: Fine Motor Skills Toys

  • blocks
  • Lego pieces
  • toy eggs

Transportation-themed Toys

Organizing Toddler Toys: transportation themed Toys

  • helicopter
  • dump truck
  • race cars

Whew! A lot, right? And those are just toys from the crib!

My sister is in charge of the other toys. So that’s another story. 🙂

Now some of you may be wondering, why did we think of organizing the toys first rather than take away TV time right away?

I’d like to think of my nephew as a recovering TV addict. (Am I being too much here?) As an “addict” we know that he would throw major tantrums if we suddenly declare no TV.

So we decided to ease him into it.

Day by day, we lessen his exposure to TV. We introduce more activities and we bring him out more often.

Simply put, we provide him alternative ways to enjoy rather than just take away something that he likes without any replacement.

And with our fingers crossed, we’re hoping that soon, he will not look for the remote control anymore. Instead, he’ll look forward to the activities that we planned for him.

Teacher’s Advice:

For children who have had too much screen time, it would be best if you provide them with alternative ways to enjoy rather than just take away something that they like without any replacement.

And when organizing toys, don’t let the categories stress you out. We all have our own way of sorting things. 🙂 Just go with what you think belong together.

How about you? What’s your story about organizing toddler toys in your household?

Do you have tips on how to sort toddlers/children’s toys?

Please feel free to share your story in the comment box below. 

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Organizing Toddler Toys: Too Much Screen Time Remedy #1

Organizing Toddler Toys: Too Much Screen Time Remedy #1

37 Responses

  1. These are awesome ideas! Although I’m not a mom yet, will be suing when I visit my nephews, looks like and easy way to keep organization! Thanks for sharing

  2. It’s good to have everything organized, especially with a toddler’s things. I love that you’re doing your best to lessen the screen time and make sure that he enjoys more of what the world has to offer.

  3. This takes me back to the days of organizing things for my daughter. It’s so important to give them something to do if you are going to try to limit the screen time. Help them develop their own imaginations. It will help.

  4. I used to work at a daycare where the toys were really organized similar to how you organized your nephew’s toys. That organization carried on here at our house. We have cars together, blocks together (Lego and wood blocks are separate), trains, puzzles, etc. Keeping them organized helps with clutter and clean up for sure and we get different things out each day. I love that you used a Friends reference. 🙂

  5. Totally agree about screens. We have to use a tablet to Skype the grandparents who all live hours from us… and I already feel uneasy when I see how fascinated our daughter is by the screen. At least we turn the blue light off.

    1. We can totally relate. We also Skype a lot with family members abroad. I’ll be researching more about blue light. I’ve read about it a couple of times but have forgotten what it’s about. Thanks for the tip!

  6. While I also spent my childhood playing with toys, today’s kids would rather be on screen. But I actually love how that can be switched with arranging toys. That’s so convenient, still fun and good for the baby’s health .

    1. At first we thought of buying plastic bins but they’re expensive. And we’re pretty there’ll be more toys to come in the future. For now, paper bags are just quite right. 😁

  7. My oldest daughter is also a TV addict. But I’ve noticed that when she had either a creative activity or someone to play with she doesn’t miss it

  8. I like how you sort all the toys into the different categories. That way is easier when toddler is having a bath time or outdoor gardening time as we know which toys to pick up for them.

  9. I don’t have kids, but I can talk through my own perspective growing up.
    I love that you have come to that conclusion about screen time (see far too many children rather watching TV than playing with toys or going outside) I wish more parents would!

    I remember as a child I only had 3 hours of screen time, not that I ever used it, I was outside almost every day! If not with my parents then with friends!

    I like the idea of organizing as well, I would also say, if a toy vanishes for a period of time it could become interesting again! So organizing might make the child more attracted to toys it used to have because it hasn’t seen it in a while. At least I was like that. Organizing is also nice because then you know where everything is haha. But it also creates a different environment for the child, but that might just be me thinking back, I needed to have things organized as a child otherwise I couldn’t stand being in my room.

    1. We had the same childhood! I rarely watched TV then. And I spent most of it playing outside. 😁 Fun days, indeed!
      This is our problem now, since there are no kids in our neighborhood. Maybe if there’s someone his age, he would be more excited to go out and play. Though, we’re working on that.
      Hopefully we can arrange for play dates with kids his age. 😁

  10. This is a great idea. My daughter doesn’t have an overload of screen time, but it would be nice to cut it down even more.

  11. This is such an interesting read! I love the teacher’s advice: “For children who are addicted to screen time, it would be best if you provide them with alternative ways to enjoy rather than just take away something that they like without any replacement.” It reminds me on how it also applies to adults. For example for those who are on diet and need to take away sugar and carbs intake, they would want to replace such with healthier alternatives, rather than stop taking anything. Sort of the same, right? 😀 Anyways, thank you for sharing this!

    1. True! A replacement is much better than totally eliminating something. Though most of the time, it’s easier said than done. 😝
      Oh! And I can totally relate with the diet analogy. lol! 🤣

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