What to Look for in a Toy Chest
Toys, toys, and more toys! From the moment a child enters your life your home will be inundated with toys of all kinds. Initially, it may make you feel warm and fuzzy to have a colorful array of toys strewn about your home. But eventually, the toys will become overwhelming, and you will want a place to put them. A toy chest is just the thing. Like magic, toys go in, the lid comes down, and all the environmental chaos of having children disappears…at least momentarily!
If you are trying to find the perfect toy chest, your efforts are no doubt being circumvented by all the choices. Plastic, wooden, big, small, deep, wide, and decorated toy chests are widely available. Some come with attached book cases, while others are in the shape of a truck or castle. So, how to choose? Esthetically speaking, the toy chest you choose will be based on a matter of taste; however, you should ensure that certain safety precautions are met before you purchase any toy chest for your child's room! Things to look for in a toy chest are:
- If you are purchasing a wooden toy chest, ensure that all hardware and hinges are sunk in to prevent injury. The lid should have a locking mechanism or slow release closure feature that keeps the lid up when a child opens it. This prevents it from slamming on your child's head or fingers.
- Plastic & wooden toy chests should have ‘cut-outs' under the lid which prevent them from fully closing on little hands. You should be able to reach your fingers under the lid without having to actually move the lid.
- The toy chest should be completely washable, regardless of the material used for constructing it. Eventually crumbs, spilled sippy cups, and other unpleasant things will accumulate on the inside.
- If choosing a wood toy chest, check it inside and out to make sure it is sanded smooth and splinter free!
- There should be air holes cut on the inside of the toy chest in case your child crawls in and pulls the lid shut. This will ensure they do not become entrapped and unable to breathe. (Yes, this can happen)
- Toy chests that have sections or storage areas inside and out make organizing a plethora of toys easier. It also enables children to find their toys more easily and can be less frustrating for children.
- Many toy chests double up as book shelves or benches. This is a great feature and can help you to preserve space in your child's room, which will eventually become a commodity. The bigger and higher the chest, the more likely it is to be climbed – so check it well for stability.
- Casters can make a toy chest more versatile and enable you to easily move it from the family room to your child's room.
Keep in mind when purchasing a toy chest for your child that they might outgrow the Winnie the Pooh, fire truck, or Minnie Mouse motif long before they outgrow the need for storage. A good, solid toy chest is something they may even take off to college to sore clothes or bed linens in; or it may even sit at the foot of their own bed during adulthood. No matter what type of toy chest you find, it will always feel like treasure to your child!