A child with a toy box will grow up to be a better-behaved child down the road. That is the view by Joshua Becker and I’m fully behind that statement. I’ll also explain why building a toy box with simple toy box plans can help your child’s development in many ways.
A toy box is essentially a storage space for toys and it can come in many forms and sizes. The most common toy box is usually a painted wooden chest with a lid at the top of the chest. It is very simple to build with a set of basic toy box plans. The challenge is to add additional functionality and attractiveness to an otherwise ordinary wooden chest. Time to get creative!
How Can a Simple Toy Box be Linked with a Child’s Development?
Before we begin looking at the ways to make a standout toy box, I’d like to address a simple but often neglected aspect of child development – teaching a child to be responsible early on.
The main advantage of having a designated storage space for toys is to avoid toys cluttering everywhere in the house. It keeps the home neat and tidy and also makes it easy for the child to find his or her favorite toys.
But having a finite toy storage space also indicates that the number of toys is effectively limited. It is a good opportunity to teach a child that if they want extra toys, they will have no choice but to purge the old and unwanted ones away to make space for new ones.
It can make them treasure the toys more and realize that they might not need new toys after all. They are more equipped to make good choices for themselves by having to decide wisely.
The old ones can either be given away to friends and relatives, as well as being donated to some children’s home. The lesson to be had by the child is to only keep possession to a minimum, while discarding those that are of little use. It is a value that we adults sometimes forget ourselves.
It is also a good time to introduce them to other activities other than toys. Getting them outdoor or engaging into some hobbies will keep them occupied while reducing the time spent on toys and also television. After all, the demands for new toys are usually created by marketing messages in the media anyway. Less exposure to the advertisement equals less demands for “that next best gadget”.
Besides that, make it a point to enforce clearing up of toys and storing them into the toy box after each playtime. By enforcing responsibility this way, you’d pave a way for the child to develop tidiness and a clutter free mindset.
Creative Ways to Make your Toy Box Plans As Interesting As They Could
Having addressed the child’s development through a simple toy box, it’s time to look at some of the suggestions to make a toy box extraordinary.
It should be note that since building toy chest from toy box plans is a relatively simple project, I’d definitely include it in one of the woodworking projects for kids for those who show an interest in woodworking.
Here is the list of tools needed:
- Measuring tape
- Table saw
- Mitre saw
- Carpenter’s square
- Other common woodworking accessories like sandpaper, drill bits, glue, etc.
With these simple tools, you’ll be able to follow through most plans without any hiccups. If kids are helping out with the project, be sure to supervise closely especially when they’re dealing with power tools.
Next, we’ll look at ways to make your toy box even more functional with some simple modifications.
Turn the toy box into a bench when the lid goes down
You can have an extra bench in the house by simply adding an extra piece of wood at one of the long sides of the toy chest. Feel free to add patterns to the backrest by tracing it on a board. For the best visual experience, consider including 2 armrests and trace your desired shape before cutting them. A word of warning though – this bench will not be anywhere as comfortable as your backyard Adirondack chair!
Add wheels for mobility
Storage chest does not need to be rooted to a spot. By adding wheels at the base of the toy box, you’d have created a piece of mobile furniture. It can also help your child to bring the chest around if you have a huge house. However, if your flooring is of a wooden nature, I would not recommend it as it might leave scratches when the wheels are worn out.
Make the toy box a part of learning station
While you can encourage your children to play with toys with educational nature, you can certainly transform the toy box into a learning station as well. Place the toy box against a wall and extend the leaning surface as high as needed. The extra surface can then be converted into a chalkboard, whiteboard, a notice board, an interactive duty roster, and so much more! You determine the possibilities here.
Build the toy box as an extension of a bookcase
Most toy box plans available will not include this, so you’ll have to improvise on the existing plans if you have some carpentry skills. I personally like building a bookcase attached to the toy box as it makes for a piece of unique furniture, but also encourage children to pick up a book to read from the bookcase, after putting away the toys into the toy chest.
Compartmentalize the toy box
By simply inserting some removable planks in the box, you’d introduce an additional level of tidiness in your child’s behavior. Card games belong to a compartment on its own, chess sets in another, all depending on the types of toys that your children are getting.
Building a toy box isn’t just about working with a few pieces of wood; it can actually encourage positive child development as well.
To build a functional toy box, you can download a set of toy box plans from Ted’s Woodworking for a small cost, and receive a host of plans for other projects as well. These plans are very well received by other woodworkers and I’m sure you will benefit greatly from it too!