montessori toy storage

Montessori toy storage

Having lots of toys to choose from is super fun, but can make for stressful cleanup. Here are the basics to Montessori toy storage that will help your little ones keep their toys off the ground and save you from stepping on Lego or tripping on blocks (or any other toy, for that matter)!

Some storage ideas work for children, and some don’t. Here are some that are both functional and visually appealing! You will also find some bonus tips to help teach your children to put their own toys away, too.

montessori toy storage bins

What is Montessori-friendly toy storage?

The Montessori approach is all about promoting independence, encouraging open-ended play, and making things easily accessible for your child.

In a playroom, you can easily apply Montessori principles by offering open shelving, age-appropriate learning materials, and other activities they enjoy and using toy rotation to avoid toy overload. The idea is that they should be able to access their toy without adult assistance!

So, opt for shelves that are at the child’s height and display art at eye level. This way, they can play with whichever toys are most interesting to them.

Traditionally, the Montessori method favors natural materials and can often be recognized by the beautiful toys with simple designs. This is intentional as it is meant to not distract the child with lights, sounds, and bright colors, but to encourage creative play with simple and versatile toys.

Now, if you have plastic toys or toy boxes, nobody will be the wiser! Montessori playrooms are beautiful when strictly adhered to the Montessori method, but how much or little you stick to this in your home is totally up to you. Store toys in what you have and what you can afford, above all!

Storage bins

Storage bins are a great way to tackle playroom storage if your little one has a lot of toys. While cubbies and cupboards are a little bit more organized from an adult perspective, having doors blocking the toy bins will often mean toys are left on the ground rather than put away. With storage bins, though, your little one can see the contents… And can consequently see where they should be put away!

My favorite are these IKEA toy storage bins, which are actually pretty cute when it comes to storage! This bin shelf at Bed Bath and Beyond is also super cute too.

P.S., Tara Michelle Home makes adorable vinyl labels made especially for the IKEA bins that are perfect for Montessori toy storage.

montessori toy storage shelves

Montessori toy storage shelving units

I talked a lot about shelving over in my post about Montessori playrooms. Now, whether you choose to organize your home in a Montessori-Friendly way or not, this type of organization is great either way.

Giving each toy a designated space, and that space being easily accessible for the child, is beneficial in multiple ways. This makes it easier for them to see what is available for play, easier to figure out where it goes once they’re done playing and lets them engage with all their toys. We’ve all seen the toys that never leave the bottom of the toy bin (even though your child may promise it is their favorite). Having items clearly displayed lessens the chance of this happening – Making for a clutter free playspace!

I adore these Montessori Toy Shelves by Sklejkove (on Etsy).

Toy sacks

While not as visually appealing as the last two options when they are stored, toy sacks are so practical! How much easier can cleaning get than simply picking up a bag and pulling the drawstring shut?! These are great for on-the-go play, as well as when your little wants to play in a room other than their play space.

Like these Smallable’s Mini Rainbow Toy Sacks, which are simply adorable.

Toy Storage Ideas for Kids Toys

Individual storage bins and baskets

So, maybe you don’t have room for shelving units or storage bins. Having individual bins are a great alternative in this case! This is definitely great for toddlers, too, as they don’t have to pull bins out and can just reach in to grab the toy they want.

Extra bonus? Bins are super versatile and look adorable. My advice if you’re using these, though, is to stick to one kind of toy per bin. This way children don’t have to dig through a pile of toys to get what they’re looking for. I can almost guarantee that a toddler is not going to precisely move a bunch of stuffies out of the way to find their favorite cars when stuck at the bottom of a bin – They’re probably going to toss them on the floor.

Bins are also pretty easy to find! Many stores like Walmart, Homesense, and Ikea have cute bins for a reasonable cost. If you’re wanting an online shop, I’d suggest Smallable again. I mean, look at how cute these Giraffe Organic Cotton Storage Bags are!

Toy Storage Bins
Crowded toy storage can be overwhelming even if it is somewhat organized! Follow the 1-In, 1-Out rule and also rotate the toys to minimize toy overwhelm.
Montessori friendly home
Another example of a Montessori-friendly toy arrangement

More tips for organized Montessori toy storage

While having cute storage is helpful, there are some other things you can do to help keep toys organized.

Here are some helpful tips:

1 out, 1 in rule

I personally love this rule for two reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, if your children are taught to put one toy away every time they take one out then things will stay a bit tidier during playtime. This makes for quick cleanup, too!

Another reason that I love this is that some children get overwhelmed by too many choices. It’s also overwhelming for children and adults alike when there’s a huge mess to clean! With only a few toys out at any given time, your little ones will be less stressed when they have to clean up at the end of playtime. This also makes it much easier for them to learn to clean up after themselves (which is the dream, right?).

Rotate the toys

Your little one’s interests will change over time, as will their learning needs! By rotating toys, you can offer engaging items that get used frequently and can focus on the skills you want them to learn at any given time. How often you do this is totally up to you and your family, but biweekly is a good goal if you can manage it!

Another thing to consider here is limiting how many are out at one time, too! Having 10 items out at a time is a good general rule because there’s enough to be exciting and engaging but not so many that items are left unused for a long period of time.

I know that children have special connections with some of their toys, but there isn’t really much of a reason to keep toys that are no longer functional. That doll missing a leg, cars missing their wheels, and the toys that are no longer age-appropriate are best let go of. While this can be tough at first, try to make this an exciting thing! After all, letting go of old toys means space for new ones! It can also make for a great lesson in recycling.

Donating old toys that are no longer used is also a great thing to teach your little ones. Explain to them that some children don’t get to have new toys, so by giving away their old items children can continue to enjoy them! Once this becomes normalized, the experience can be both fun and rewarding.

Have a designated play space

Of course, this depends on your home and the layout of your space, but having a designated play area keeps the mess contained! Rather than having toys throughout the home, your child will come to know where they can play (and where the toys go after). It also makes for tidier organization, too!

Create a reading nook

Montessori toy shelves are great for their simplicity, and they look even better filled with books! You can display books on shelves at their level, which will encourage your children to read them whenever they’re feeling inclined to.

Shelves for Storing Toys - Plain Wood


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