How To Improve Toy Boxes: 5 Tips

Learning how to improve toy boxes can help to increase their usability and possibly extend their lives. Toy boxes can take a lot of abuse during the growing years. Additionally, child interests change and a particular toy box that once appeared vital and exciting to them winds up tucked away in a corner or closet out of sight and unused. Here are 5 tips on how to improve toy boxes.

Periodic Cleaning

Make sure you periodically clean your child’s toy box. Wooden boxes can be cleaned with a mild wood cleanser. Plastic boxes can generally be cleaned with a commercially available cleanser like a window or glass cleaner. Check on the hinges and other hardware connections to make sure they're tightened. This will keep the toy box in shape, as well as safe, for your child’s use.

Transform Into a Bench

If your toy box is a simple storage container, consider adding a chair back to the top and attaching a seat cushion to the lid, transforming it into a piece of bedroom furniture. You can even locate bench transformation kits for wooden toy boxes that already have pre-cut and pre-drilled component pieces that you assemble and attach to the existing box. You can match existing décor when selecting a tie-on cushion to complete your bench transformation.

Refurbish the Toy Box

Often your toy box needs a facelift to restore it and compel your child to use it more frequently. Remodeling your old toy box will save money when your child grows tired of its color or theme. If you have a homemade wooden toy box, stripping its present color to re-paint or even stain the box will bring it a new life that may be more attractive to your child than the old look was. Involve your child in the decoration step of the newly refurbished toy box by allowing them to choose colors and designs to paint on the box.


If your old wooden toy box is a simple rectangle or square, consider embellishing it. Adding “wings” or possibly “tires” and painting on propellers or doors and steering wheels can transform a once dull looking box into a fantasy airplane or race car. Sometimes you can easily add a shaped piece of plywood or draw an accent that gives an old box an exciting new look, which might translate into putting toys away more frequently.


Personalizing the toy box to reflect your child’s “ownership” also is a great tip for creating familiar use. Involve your child using an alphabet stencil to trace out their name and then have them paint it in their own way. Also use stencil cutouts of favorite animals and or designs that can also adorn the new toy box, adding to your child’s involvement in its recreation.

Attach a slip in frame on one side of the toy box to place a photo of your child that can be replaced from time to time as your child grows up.