Kids bored? Dump the toy box!

Ah, the pleasure of forgotten toys. From Duane:

Every once in a blue moon, just dump the toybox completely upside down, every single toy out on the floor.  If your kids are anything like mine they'll have a blast rediscovering assorted toys that they've forgotten about for months.  All morning I heard my daughters (5 and 3) yelling "Look what I found!" and "I thought I lost this!"  Works best with dolls, action figures and the like…not so much with board games.

Of course, I'm sure they'll promptly forget about them / lose them again within days, but it's fun for a quick blast when they don't know what to do with themselves.  Your mileage may vary, especially if "dump the toybox completely upside down, every single toy out on the floor" is the way your kids play every day :).

Related: Rotate toys to keep them interesting


  1. Mel says

    We achieve the same effect by keeping at least half of the toys packed away in the closet, kind of like the “Rotate toys to keep them interesting” post. Every so often my kids go “closet shopping” and swap in a toy from their toybox for something from the closet.

  2. Chris says

    My 2 year old has just started doing this, not as a way to look for old toys but as a way to be a trash worker. He dumps the bin out (on the floor or occasionally in one of our dump trucks) and then flings the bin away in perfect mimicry of the actual public works employees.

  3. Kim says

    We keep a toy box in my office and one in the living room and rotate the toys between the two, so there is always something to discover.

  4. Nedra Zeall says

    This is so true. My daughter every once in a while does the dump herself and I always hear a WOW! out the room. I thought getting clear tubs from Ikea would help her find her old “lost” toys more often but it doesn’t work. The dump is the best way.

  5. JenL says

    I’ll comment that this indeed works wonders. However, this is has also been my MO when the “big bedroom cleaning” needs to happen…you know when you sort through toy boxes, closets, drawers, under the beds…in an attempt to weed out all the trash, broken toys and Happy meal filler. IN THAT ONE CASE (for me at least), this hack backfires. ;-)

  6. Anthrodiva says

    Also, take a bunch of toys that you never want to let them play with in the house (tootling, rattling, flying, bouncing, buzzing kinds) and tote them to a big grassy space – let ‘em run wild. I did this for my son’s last birthday and it was a huge hit. No entertainment besides this and a big tree and some cupcakes.