Never step on another stray LEGO again
Nothing, and we mean nothing, hurts more than stepping barefoot on a tiny little LEGO. Same goes for Barbie shoes, trains and Hot Wheels, puzzle pieces and all of the other miniature toys that your kids love, but never seem to want to pick up. Thankfully, some very smart, innovative parents and companies are trying to make our lives easier and these products prove it. They'll save your life... or at least your feet!
Invented by a mom of LEGO-loving boys, Swoop Bags ($48) are the answer to your feet's prayers. The heavy-duty canvas bags serve as both a playmat and a toy organizer — your kids can happily spread out their tiny toys on their Swoop Bag and when they're done playing, just cinch up the sides with the drawstrings and all of those little pieces get swooped up inside! We love Swoop Bags because they are made so well and with design features that are tried and true — at 44-inches in diameter, they're the perfect size for play (not too big to get in the way, but large enough to hold a lot of toys!), the edges of the Swoop Bags curl up a bit to keep the toys contained and best of all, they come in fun colors and look great, so you won't mind having it out in your living room. Other great uses for your Swoop Bag? Take it outside for LEGO sessions in the sunshine this summer, pack it up for trips to the grandparents' house or use it as an emergency changing mat or picnic blanket when the grass is wet at the park!
It's never too early for them to learn! Teach your preschooler to pick up >>
We're pretty sure that if you tell your kids that they need to use something called a Toydozer to pick up their toys, it's going to put a smile on their face and get them moving! Much more than a glorified dustpan, the Toydozer ($19) has been very carefully designed to make picking up small pieces as easy as possible. Naturally, the Toydozer was designed by another smart mom who was looking for a way to make toy pickup easy for herself and engaging for her child — the design started as a cardboard box that she cut the end off of and developed into the innovative product that it is today. You'll love the Toydozer because the design is simple and thoughtful — there is a hole on the back for a handle that lets you scoop up pieces with ease and the dozer part of the set — the side you use to corral the toys in, is sturdy for cleaning up heavier toys like blocks and toy cars.
You can even look around your house to find a way to make tiny toy pick-up easier (and more fun!) for your kids. Use a dustpan for a big mess of little pieces (just make sure it's clean first) and even give them a little dust brush to make it go quicker. Or the next time they have friends over to play, lay a fitted sheet down on the floor underneath the toys — king-sized, if you have it — to contain the mess. If these are successful at your home, considering picking up a dedicated dustpan or fitted sheet for your kiddos to keep their toys in so that every pick-up session is an easy one! This cute, kid-sized version dustpan from Melissa and Doug ($12) is a good option.