Re: little toys that come in sets...like barbie or lego
We keep them separated. We use plastic pencil boxes for small lego sets, plastic shoeboxes for bigger sets. Duplos sets go in larger tubs. The random box of duplos that came from a garage sale just tumbles in a bucket, though.
For Strawberry shortcake, all the dolls go into one small bin and the little plastic do-dads that come with each set are in sandwich baggies and then in another plastic shoebox. The kids can check out all the dolls at once, but only on set of the accessories. They can also have the bigger pieces, like the cafe or dollhouse to go with it, but as far as the tiny things go, they get one set at a time so that after playing, it all goes back into its own bag.
We also use a checkout system for all of the toys beyond their sleeping toys. They have a big playroom with a table, chair, toy fridge, toy stove, and doll cradle. All of the other toys are in bins and boxes in our closet and they take out one set at a time. You might think that's a bit harsh, but we found that yelling and crying over having to clean up a trashed toy room each night was worse. Cleanup never takes long now! And they can check out ANYTHING they want at any time as long as the previous toy has been put away. Works like a charm.
In love with my DH since 2003, mama to one fabulous kindergartener and one amazing preschooler.
My Ravelry My blog