The article had me thinking and ranting about the unnecessary genderfication of toys. I was one credit shy of having a minor in Woman's Studies in my under degree, so the Grrrl rage comes easily. We've tried to avoid gentrification for Molly and Jack giving them a gender neutral nursery rhyme themed bedroom along with equal access to all sorts of toys. On the other side of the coin, the article got Chris thinking about segregation of the minions toys in a practical and literal way. Specifically it had him brain storming ways to prevent their continued spread taking over rooms that we deemed our adult space.**
For over a year now we have used one of our pack and play playpens as a toy storage bin in our living room. It's fast for tidying up when the minions go to bed, but is similar in look and contents to the trash compactor in Star Wars, often becomes a black hole to shoes, socks and a source for finding random containers of penicillin.*** We also need to load all of the toys into giant garbage bags whenever we need to "pack" both pack and plays.
A while back I'd taken an old IKEA coffee table from our garage and sprayed it with some chalk board paint so the kids would have a fun surface to draw on. Molly loves to draw and we debated getting a traditional easel style chalk board, however I have seen Jack purposefully knock over two of these at other people's houses and I didn't want to see if he'd flatten his sister under her chalk board at home.
The only issue was that Chris and I couldn't agree on a spot to put the spray painted chalk board coffee table until recently. So it just satin the garage. We went back to IKEA and purchased some handy toy storage boxes, assembled them in a way that would allow for decent toy rotation as well as giving us our living room back, at least a little bit. It cost us less than $25 including chalk spray paint and storage boxes.
Wooden Train Box Storage
Tidy(ish) toys - yes there are toy cars "parked" in our living room.
Chalk board that Jack won't be able to overturn, at least for a few more years...hopefully.
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*How fitting that the nation that brought us The Spice Girls and Girl Power eradicates the Pink Aisle (there is only a little bit of sarcasm there).
**When I was pregnant I remember going on about how there would always be areas unaffected by our progeny, yet I can't step into the bathtub for a shower without emptying it of a fleet of toy boats, water squirting fish and a shark bath plug.
***Expired bottles and sippy cups of milk.