If you feel you spend the majority of your time tidying up after your toddler instead of enjoying their company, there are a few tweaks you can make to the things you buy to reduce the amount of clutter, as well as saving you some pennies in the process. Here are my top swaps to keep control of their mess. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

  1. Swap jigsaws for jigsaw books: The main problem with jigsaws, as most parents will know, is that the pieces never stay with the box. You tend to find them under the couch or with other toys but not where they are supposed to be, meaning you can never complete one and toddlers can get stressed when they can’t finish something. Jigsaw books are a total game changer as you have to complete each one before you can turn the page so the pieces stay in place and in their rightful order each time you put them away. No more guessing if you have gathered up all the pieces- you can clearly see if it’s complete or not. 
  2. Swap individual books for complications or collections: Rather than buying all the Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl books separately for example- just buy one of their collections instead. This way you have many stories to read to your toddler but without the hefty price tag or lots of books to lug around. They take up far less space on your toddler’s bookshelf and are great for packing for weekends away or holidays because you just need the one. 
  3. Swap pjs for all in ones: Rather than matching tops to bottoms when one might be in the wash while the other is in the wardrobe- invest in all in one nightwear so there is just one piece of clothing to worry about. Children’s clothes often get separated so this saves you having to worry about pairing them up. 
  4. Swap pens, crayons, pencils and drawing paper for a magnetic drawing pad: No mess, zero fuss and you only need the one piece of kit rather than multiple items. Plus you won’t be left with tons of drawings that you will feel compelled to keep!  
  5. Swap branded plastic cars and track for the wooden variety: Big brands tend to come with their own set of track, that only their bespoke cars will fit on. Wooden track is more versatile as it will fit most other brands of wooden cars and trains too, so depending on what your toddler wants to play with, they will have the choice but be able to play with the same base for both. 
  6. Swap individual toys for activity cubes: Activity cubes are ideal because they have several different things for your toddler to do but all of them are fixed onto the unit so there is zero mess with lots of opportunity for varied play. 
  7. Swap wooden/plastic blocks for stacking boxes and cups: While toddlers do enjoy stacking- choosing the plastic variety means they can take them in the bath and play with them in the water, in their paddling pool or just at the sink. They can be lined up and even better if they have numbers or letters on them so your toddler can learn while they play. The greatest thing about this toy is that they stack into one another post play so they take up very little room so are ideal for packing unlike stacking blocks which are both heavy and bulky.

RELATED: Seven parent approved zero mess, no fuss toys for toddlers

As a mum of a two year old, I feel I spend most of my days picking up bits of plastic from the floor, hoovering up glitter and cleaning paint marks off my surfaces. In desperation I realised that I needed to seek out some clean toys and thankfully found that such a thing does exist!...

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