When you use neutral colored shelves, instead of a toy box, they offer the possibility of displaying a toy in such a way that it attracts and lures the child to it. Each toy should be washed periodically and have all its parts. If a toy is difficult to store and keep neatly on the shelf, make an attractive box or use a colorful basket for it. Each toy that has removable parts should have a beautiful small box or basket for the storage of those parts. Using a wood awl and making a small hole in each piece can make marvelous handles, for wooden puzzles that do not have knobs. Put a little glue in the hole and insert a mini eye screw.
Toy rotation is a great system to implement for better use of toys. Children always tend to feel their toys are “new” when this system is employed. 8-9 toys is a sufficient enough quantity to have out on the shelves at one time. The others can be the “stored toys”. Of course, if the child asks for a stored toy, he should be able to play with it upon request. When this does happen, simply replace the stored toy, which was taken from storage, with a different toy on the shelf, and then put that toy in storage.
Books are best displayed face-up, so that the child can see the front cover of the book. This can be done on a display shelf that houses 6-7 books, or in a basket. The remaining books are stored away and rotated like the toys.
Resources for Toys and Books
Michael Olaf Montessori
Melissa and Doug Toys
Discount School Supply
Barnes and Noble (best local resource for books, educational toys, and CD’s)