Please Ring Bell for Service

  The Toy Closet is one of the main hubs at our house. 

It gets 99% of our daily traffic, and when necessary, the privilege of getting toys out of the toy closet is removed.  Sorta like what happened here: “Closed Until Further Notice”.

    Losing their toys for a week was a really good lesson in what mommy means when she says “PICK UP!”

  Effective January 2012, when you walk to the closet you’ll see this:


Actually if you were a little person at my house, you’d see it more like this:


    The kids aren’t in trouble this time, we just decided to implement this new system after we worked so hard after Christmas, doing a Toy Closet Clean out. 

I gotta say, I am IN LOVE! 

  The kids think its super cool to ring the bell for service…..and I don’t trip over a bazillion toys all day long! 🙂



  Pax thinks its pretty cool too!  He gets a running start, heading towards the jingle bells with arm raised…..And WHACK!  He hits the bell for all he’s worth!


029After he smacks it a couple of times, he decides enough is enough, and proceeds to let himself in. 


Anybody in there?


Lil’ Stinker!


  Here’s how it goes:  Bell rings, child seeks permission to get out a toy basket of their choice, mom says yes after checking to be sure the former basket was completely clean up first.  They enter the closet, put away one basket and choose another.  Repeat. And repeat.  AND REPEAT.  But it works like a CHARM!!!!!!

  Another thing I have been trying in the mornings, is rather than letting the kids go in the closet to pick their toys, I’ve been getting out just a few toys of the same “Theme”, like this:


It’s been a while since these vehicles were played with regularly, and guess what? They played with them ALL MORNING long! And it was just a few vehicles!!!!!!

  Another day, when Ty was in school, we played with the Doll House.


Or sometimes we get out Stamps, Paint, Play Dough, or play a game. 


   Sometimes I set up the Little People construction site, farm-house and doll house.  They love that! Especially now that Pax is older.  Last time we did this “Tankzilla” came to visit, and the kids weren’t too thrilled about it.

  This method of play reminds me of “Centers”, which we used to do when I worked at a preschool.  It makes for really good structured play and I feel like we are really utilizing all the toys we have at our disposal this way.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love creative play too, and the kids do a lot of it, especially after school! 

  I don’t know how long this Ring Bell For Service method of Toy Control will work, but this Momma is one happy camper! 🙂


Some pics of playtime from the archives:

The Singing & Dancing Show

Mr. Postman, delivering the mail.

Mrs. Pennyfeather and her children.

7 thoughts on “Please Ring Bell for Service

  1. Oh how grand! I love it all – the photos of the kiddos are just adorable! And the bell! What a fancy schmancy bell Mama Ferguson! I think many mamas would not want to be ‘bothered’ to come to the closet every time the bell rings, but you are not the everyday mom, and I think if it works for you…hallelujah! Great idea! Ring on! =)

  2. What a great idea…
    Like you said for now :))
    I think we all need to do what works for each of us and for now this works for you..Celebrate!!
    You have a very creative mind… go girl:))

  3. Just like everyone else has said: What a great idea!! I’m sure that someday we’ll have a house with a toy closet (or at least more than a toy *box*)…but right now, in a 2 bedroom condo, I’m really praying toys are kept to a minimum, so as to keep my sanity at a maximum!!

    • I bet you will love the toy rotation system: A fun variety of toys in medium sized canvas bins, that fit in a darling cubby hole type organizational system. {Target} Bring out a new one every week or so to keep things exciting for baby! And it grows with her to eventually house baby dolls, dress up clothes, more babies, crayons and more! Cute and functional – SCORE!

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