I wasn’t going to ask but have you ever heard of a stuffed animal zoo? I’m a hundred percent sure that every parent reading this have struggled with getting their kids to pick up their messy room. Regardless of what age your kids are, it will always be a challenge to get them to clean their mess.
Understandably, your toddlers would not be in charge of the same level of personal chores as your older kids. But, how do you get them to make it a part of their habit at an early age?
The secret? You target the center of their interests. For example, your toddlers would be at that age where their toys are their most priceless possessions. They get possessive over them to the point of not wanting to share them.
You can use that possessiveness to your advantage. Build them a stuffed animal zoo!
Don’t know what that is? Check these out.
It Looks Crate!
A stuffed animal zoo basically looks like this. Though there are plenty of colors, designs, and concepts, the main purpose is to have a sense of organization that your child can keep on their own.
This particular concept is that of a shipping crate. Makes you think of the movie Madagascar, does it not?
Small But Efficient
I love how multi-purpose this design is. Bookshelf and stuffed animal zoo at the same time. In hindsight, this concept would make it easier for your kid to tidy up her room. She doesn’t have to go to different places of the room to store her things because most of them are in one locale.
Side By Side
If you’re not a big fan of a stuffed animal zoo too high, you can opt for a side by side one just like this. It will be more accessible and easier to reach for your toddler. Also, you do not have to worry about it falling on your child in case he thinks it would be a good idea to climb. :)
Filled to the Brim
A stuffed animal zoo filled to the brim shows two things. One, your kid has a lot of stuffed animals. Two, the organizing technique works and your child is following it!
Up and Down
You can try this up and down the type of stuffed animal zoo. There could either be bungee cords in the middle of a full-on plank. Either way, this makes it look like you have more space. It would be good for role play for your kids, too. The good animals stay on top while the naughty ones are stuck at the bottom.
Putting your stuffed animal zoo in one corner of the room is wise. It takes up less space that can be utilized for other things. For example, a reading area or a bookshelf. It also looks great on the corner because it seems like the toys are very visible.
Free & Caged
If you don’t like the full cage idea, you can make one like this. The top shelves can be used for books, lamps or other display items while the bottom serves as the stuffed animal zoo. This is perfect for a kid with a smaller room especially one who doesn’t have that many stuffed animals.
Mid-Sized Stuffed Animal Zoo
If you can’t decide between high and low, go for the in-between. Usually, you end up not regretting and totally getting satisfied with your choice.
It’s plain and simple and perfect for either gender. You can re-use this for your next child as long as you keep it in pristine condition! And, I just love the rustic brown color!
Put Me in the Zoo
I love the colors, the dots, and the alternating colors of the bungee cord rails. It has the feel of a carnival slash circus cage. This might very well be the greatest pop of color your kid’s room can get!
Up Against the Wall
Another option if you do not have enough floor space is to attach your stuffed animal zoo to your wall. This would be great as a decoration and clears more floor space at the same time! You’re hitting two birds with one stone!
Stuffed Animal Zoo – How to Make Your Own
This set of materials and instructions is from Buzzfeed Nifty, and it’s totally awesome that they can teach you how to make such a nifty item with a very simple article! What’s even cooler is they tell you where you can order the materials! Check them out for the original content.
- Four 1/2-IN x 1-1/2-IN pine boards: 4-FT/121.92 CM pieces
- Nine 0.75-IN x 3.5-IN pine boards: 1-YD/91.44 CM pieces
- White paint
- Drill bit
- Ceramic figurines
- Hot glue and glue gun
- Eye screws
- Nylon rope
- Wooden letters
- (A) 1/2-IN x 1-1/2-IN Pine Boards x 4
- (B) 0.75-IN x 3.5-IN Pine Boards x 8
- Put together four (B) boards in a square, with two screws for each corner. Drill a pilot hole before drilling in the screw. Repeat for each corner.
- Attach the (A) boards to the corners of the square base as pillars.
- Put together another square using four more of the (B) boards, then attach to the pillars.
- Paint the whole structure. Let dry.
- Measure out so that there would be 5 inches between each hook. Drill pilot holes, then screw the Eye Screws into the pilot holes. Do eight sets of 5 hooks each on each edge, for a total of 20 hooks.
- Thread the nylon rope through the top and bottom hook, then tie a knot on one end. Pull tight, and tie the knot on the other end. Cut, then seal the end with hot glue to keep from fraying.
- Paint wooden letters and the extra (B) Board and let dry.
- Place the Last (B) board face down on the top front of the ‘Zoo.’ Make pilot holes and drill.
- Make pilot holes in the wooden letters after positioning them on the front of the ‘zoo.’
- Drill the letters in. Hot glue ceramic animals onto the (B) board placed on top.
Go through the materials list, get what you need and get ready to feel accomplished by building your child his very own stuffed animal zoo! If you can’t force them to pick up their toys, tickle their imagination to make them do so!
Easy and Fast
As a busy parent probably this is the best option to create a stuffed animal zoo for your kid.
So you have more than ten great inspirations to get ideas from but, of course, you can always inspire your own. One piece of advice: design it according to your child’s likes. This will increase the chances of you getting him to commit to putting his toys in his stuffed animal zoo.