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The Plexiglass Non-Train Table | FAB 50:2

The plexiglass can be found at Lowe’s and they will cut it to size. My dad gets the credit for this idea! He rounded the corners with a utility knife then sanded them smooth, so there are no sharp edges that make it dangerous for little everett boy, or everett-zilla, as we like to call him around the trains. :) Right from the start we talked about how fun it was to fix broken tracks, in an attempt to minimize big sister freak outs. It’s worked out reasonably well…though the little dude still drives his sister nuts a couple times a day. Not enough for it to be a major issue though. He’s usually content chewing on an engine. Boys!

The baskets were purchased several years ago at Target (part of their banana leaf collection, you can find a comparable product here) and they are zip tied together in the middle so they don’t separate. In each cube is one set of my toy rotation, which is made up of five separate collections of stuff. I change the toys out every two weeks (new toys are put in my recent project) and the rest are unaccessible under the train, so there is no disruption to my system by sneaky fingers! Four collections are stored away, one collection is out for play. I rotate the train track too, building new loops and using various pieces, then packing some away for the next remodel. The trains were all scored from craigslist by my mom. & you can always do this set up on any old coffee table or leather cubes or whatever you have. It would not be hard to glue tracks to the plexi if you wanted to do that, then slip it under a bed for storage. Lots of options!

I swear, this thing is used several hours a day! A much better solution for us than a big ‘ol train table. & it’s nicer on the eyes. ;)

(& thanks for your facebook feedback on the font. Hopefully this one is easier to read!)

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  • Jenn - Love this idea!! We don’t have a lot of extra space and the last thing I need is a big ugly table in our way. One question- how do you go about cleaning toys that you find on Craig’s List (that is somewhat eco-friendly)? I am always curious if vinegar/water is sufficient or if you should just lysol and wipe them down?ReplyCancel

  • Donya - Love this, Shawna! Such a fantastic idea.
    Question for anyone who does the toy rotation: What do you do if your child asks for a toy that’s been put away? I’ve tried to switch out toys occasionally, but he always notices that certain tots are gone and asks me to take then out or find them. Do you just say no? And explain that we’re now playing with a new set of toys for a few weeks?ReplyCancel

    • JoAnne - I’m not an expert (and due to lack of storage in our small house, I don’t do a toy rotation) but I’ve read a bit on the topic from several sites. I think that some would say that it’s ok to get it out since he clearly wants to use the toy. Others may say to wait. I say, do what you feel is right for you & your child! :)ReplyCancel

  • JoAnne - What a great idea! My only concern would be the plexiglass sliding off the surface. Has that been a problem? Oh, and my husband would be thrilled to hear your clever use of zip ties! They are one of his favorite “tools”! ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Staci Abel - Love it! I have twin 16-month old boys, so a toy train is definitely in our future. I’ve been dreading having another big toy item in our house, but this I can handle. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Love this idea! I’m always thinking of things for the future for my son who just turned one! He has a cousin who has a train set that he plays with and my son is always so interested! I also like the ideas of the storage bins as your rotating toy solution! I’m getting ready to do that myself and was trying to think of how I wanted to do it!

    PS – Font is SO much easier to read!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Vigil - Bravo on the font change!! And love the idea. May copy you on the ottomon/coffee table solution.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - What a clever idea! I will keep it in my mind for when my 11 month old is a bit older. Also, love the toy rotation idea. After my daughter’s birthday I need to figure out a rotation that works for us.ReplyCancel

  • Carmen - My neighbors actually just gave us a box full of 2 collections of trains. My Audrey loves it, thanks for the great idea in using the plexie glass. Love it ;) And yes the font is so much easier to read.ReplyCancel

  • MaryBeth - Such a great idea! My boys are really starting to love trains but the pieces sure take a lot of time to put together.

    We use the big plastic totes for toys and have them pretty well labeled for rotation. Christams has thrown a wrench in our system but I am sure it will feel good going through all the toys this Spring.

    I love, love you blog!

  • Victoria - Love this. I love the idea of having the rotation for toys. Nice to see you back too. :)ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - Love this. Love the idea of having the rotation for toys. Nice to see you back too. :)ReplyCancel

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