Where are your garden toys right now? Crammed into a garage or a garden shed to protect them from the bad weather. Good for you. Keeping them dry and protected over the Winter will help extend their useful life and keep them looking presentable.
But in a few weeks' time, that strategy is going to fall apart. On the first sunny day of Spring your little one will ask for a bike, or scooter, or go-kart to be wrestled out of its storage space so they can spend a few hours playing with it. And at the end of the day, you will diligently return it to its protected storage area. This will work fine until the good weather really kicks in and your children want all of their toys out all of the time.
Then you've got a choice to make. Do you keep returning all the toys to the shed at the end of the day, creating even more work for yourself, or do you risk leaving the toys out overnight?
So before we get to that point, now is the right time to begin planning some child-friendly garden storage.
Here are a few ideas to keep toys tucked away from rain and wind, but still within easy reach of the little people that want to play with them.
Climbing Frame Car Port If you have a climbing frame with a large platform, it will make an excellent shelter. Encourage children to park their bikes and scooters underneath every night to protect them from the worst of the rain.
Sandbox Tidy Pockets Wall mountable moon-shaped flower baskets make great tidy pockets for sand toys when mounted on the outside of sandboxes.
Ball Pots Jumbo flower pots are ideal for storing balls, as the drainage holes in the bottom lets any rainwater flow out. You can paint them yourself or buy glazed pots that match the colour scheme of your garden.
Re-purposed Recycling Units Stackable recycling boxes, with tilted front openings are designed to be accessible even while stacked one on top of the other. This makes them ideal for storing small outdoor toys in, especially as they are also weatherproof. There are also weather proof, enclosed shelving units designed to store garden tools or recycling bins, which make great toy storage units.
Flexible Plastic Trugs These flexible buckets are designed for use by the building trade, so they can certainly withstand anything your children have to throw at them. They are available in a wide range of colours, so you can sort toys into categories, and ask your children to dump their toys in the right coloured bucket. The buckets will fill with water if left outside in the rain, so ideally they need to be moved to a place of shelter, but since they are lightweight and flexible, this shouldn't bee too difficult.
Organizing your garden toys into a system that is accessible to your children will make tidy up time quicker, and help them gain independence over toy selection and retrieval. When they have the freedom to get out whatever toys they want without bothering you first, you might be surprised by the games they come up with.