What’s in Your Toy Box?

The toy box sits in the corner of the room. The metal wire-framed basket replaced the fabric covered cardboard toy box which the puppies chewed up the same day we bought it. I like this sturdy indestructible toy box even better because they can see each item inside. Koda and Summer will actually go over and hunt for something they want to play with, select it, and then dig it out. The wide assortment gives them many choices.

There are the original two stuffed monkeys made by Kong. They have lasted since the first week we got the puppies. A few little tears here and there but still intact with the squeaker still squeaking. I can’t say the same for the crinkly squeaky turtle, he was disemboweled last week and makes no more sounds. This morning we had another casualty, Kylo Ren (who I thought was a bad Darth Vader knock off) lost all his stuffing and the noise maker was extracted. Not to worry, there are more toys that produce high pitch sounds in the box: the squirrel, the hedgehog, the fox, and the elephant with the extra long legs meant for chewing. Different colored rope knots can also be chosen for gnawing and tug-a-war. There are balls of various sizes and colors.  I have not added to the toy collection in weeks, somehow the puppies are still entertained with what’s inside their toy box.

It reminds me of the deep plastic Little Tykes toy box my children had. It was filled with random toys: blocks, legos, Rescue Heroes, barbies, Mattel cars, stacking cups, nesting cups, Fisher Price Little People, instruments (xylophone, maracas, and drums), fake steaks for the talking bbq, and pull toys. There were also stray items that got separated from their storage boxes: dice, jig saw puzzle pieces, light bright bulbs, dried out play dough clumps, a rainbow colored clown wig from the dress ups, and a domino or two.  Our blue and gray Little Tykes toy box moved with us to several houses. In Connecticut it was next to a floor heater and  a huge hole was melted in the side. Yikes! I rotated toys out after each Christmas and purged as they grew out of toys. I can still picture the kids standing over the open lid making their selection, just as Koda and Summer choose what they’d like to pull out of their toy basket.

The best part of the toy box concept is the ease of cleaning up. We would open the big safety lid and chuck all the strewn around toys into the box, like it was another game. “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up, clean up, everybody do your share!” We’d sing (from the Barney show I think).

That is what happens these days here in our family room, I make a little sweep around the room and grab at the stuffed animals, balls and ropes, depositing them into the toy basket. I then make a second trip around the room to pick up the clumps of white fluff from whatever the puppies have chewed apart. On occasion I do come across somethings the pups mistook for toys: shoes, remote controls, newspapers, my reading glasses, my cell phone, a hat, my sweater. I am not sure how to teach them that they are limited to the contents of the toy basket for their chewing pleasure (and that items on a countertop are definitely off limits).

The Toy Box

Constant supervision is needed with these puppies, they are still only in second grade after all!

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