Hint Mama’s resident organizing expert Crystal Sabalaske recommends storing baby clothes and gear for future use in clear, plastic storage bins. My mom, meanwhile, uses the bins to store toys in the grandchild play area at her home, and the bins can help you keep your car organized too.
But the bins (without their lids) also have another use: They make great toddler playtime props and an easy toddler activity that is today’s hint.
Case in point: My 20-month-old daughter and her 18-month-old cousin recently spent a good 20 minutes or so playing in the large and clear plastic toy storage bin at my mother’s place.
My sister and I sat our girls together in the bin with a bunch of toys, telling them they were in a boat. Though they didn’t jump at the boat analogy, playing with Legos from the comfort of their bin provided good entertainment (for their parents too).
And this wasn’t the first time my daughter participated in no-prep-required bin playtime.
She has enjoyed sitting in a plastic bin being packed up with clothes ready for storage, and just this past month she spent 20 minutes in her room pushing around a bin about to be packed up with too-small clothes, saying “choo choo” and pretending the bin was a train.
To be sure, the Internet is full of other toddler activity ideas. But if you’re looking for an easy one that requires no prep (beyond having a bin around) and that is still guaranteed to entertain your little one and stimulate his or her imagination, bin play fits the bill.
And if you want to get creative, you can make bin play more elaborate. For instance, you could easily turn a plastic bin into a DIY ball pit or “sand” box, as Anna over at The Measured Mom and Mary Catherine at Fun-A-Day both did. And if you want to get really fancy, just look up “plastic bin sensory box” on Pinterest and you’ll find a host of additional ideas.
So, before you pack up those hand-me-downs for storage in a large plastic bin or put the toys away in that play area bin, plop your little ones into the bin and let them play a while. Looking for more easy activity ideas? Check out this one (only props needed: crayons and a cardboard box) and this one only requiring coasters.
How do you incorporate plastic bins into playtime? What are your favorite easy, no-prep required toddler activities? Share your thoughts below.