If you have children or grandchildren, they probably have an assortment of outdoor toys. Young children will have large balls and plastic-wheeled contraptions. Older children will have more sports-related toys, such as bats, balls for all kinds of sports, cleats, lawn darts, water guns, and you name it.
If you have a pool, you’ve got to have pool toys. All of these need a place to be stored, and not necessarily in the house, garage, or carport.
Outdoor toy storage for these items will be the perfect place. It will keep the toys from clogging up your garage or carport, and keep these items separate and easy to find. It will also make it easier to teach the children to put away their toys when they know they have a specific place for them.
There are many ideas for outdoor toy storage areas, some of which consist of bins or mini sheds that can be purchased or made yourself, and other types. We’ll go over ten of the most popular types.
10 Outdoor Toy Storage Ideas
Pegboard Organizer… This is a great idea for a special space for toys inside your garage or shed. Pegboard is easily obtainable, or you can make your own by getting a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood and drilling holes where you want them. The beauty of a pegboard is that you can insert hooks or pegs wherever you need them on the board, then move them as the children grow and their toys change.
Getting a sturdy pegboard can even enable you to install small shelving on the pegs, small baskets, or buckets for small toys on hooks, hang clothes and anything with a hole that will fit a hook. A pegboard near your pool will be a great place to hang towels and sandals.
Storage Bins… Storage bins come in all sizes, from the typical storage bins sold in discount stores to some that are actually built as sort of horizontal plastic sheds, complete with hasps to hold a lock and the sturdiness of plastic shed siding. Of course, this is where you can view various configurations online and get ideas to make your own.
You can probably find some metal brackets made for adjustable shelves that can be fastened around the sides of a large bin, enabling you to use hooks for hanging small baskets for those smaller toys that always seem to get lost.
Storage Benches… Storage benches can do double duty. Besides providing a place to rest in between outdoor chores, it can also become a parking garage for small ride-on toys, small storage bins underneath, or anything else you can think of. You can even make one yourself with small PVC pipe and the top of your choice. This will enable you to install some plastic fabric such as from an old shower curtain. Put it on rings that run across the outer pipe frame, and you have sliding curtains to hide the toys and protect them from the weather.
Storage Caddies… These can be any size that you need. One good idea is to utilize various sizes of laundry baskets. Some laundry baskets are made to be fairly sturdy and will hold toys with ease. The upside to using these is that the contents are visible.
You can mark the outside for various toys, such as one for balls, one for helmets, etc. This also reminds the children to put things away in their proper places and makes them easier to find the next time they want them.
Galvanized metal or plastic pails are another good way to store smaller items. They are easily labeled with what goes in each and either can be placed on racks or hung on hooks. They can do double duty in building sandcastles on the beach.
Storage Pantry… You might be surprised at the number of styles there are of vertical sheds. These are almost like wide lockers meant to back up against the house or garage. Many are made of sturdy vinyl and provide a hasp so they can be locked if they are not in a secure place. They usually have a tilted roof to allow rainwater to slide off.
For garage storage, there are all sorts of styles. One of the more interesting consists of storage baskets on a rack. Some even are built so that the baskets are stored in a tilted direction to allow small children easier access. Some are built more like bookcases with both shelving and cubicles. You can even get a style with regular or sliding doors. If you like the idea of building your own, why not browse what is available for purchase to give yourself some new ideas?
Rolling Storage Carts… These come in a great assortment, from rolling racks of baskets to combinations of baskets and shelving to deep styles that can hold bats and rackets upright while still giving you plenty of room for basketballs and the like. If you’d rather, do it yourself, it’s fairly easy to purchase wheels for these that attach with brackets to the corners of your main box.
The deeper ones are especially great if you usually have groups that like to play baseball or basketball, as everything needed for that sport can be stored in one cart that just rolls out into the yard to supply the players.
Toy Shed… Of course, you can get a small resin shed and use it strictly for outdoor toy storage. This is great for those with a pool, as pool toys are often bulky. There will be plenty of room for ride-on toys as well. Some resin shed kits come with metal framing inside that allows for hanging shelving or hooks. A bonus with these is that they come with hardware that enables the shed to be locked up at night. They are usually fairly easy to assemble.
Toy Storage Racks… There are plenty of storage racks featuring baskets, shelving, or a combination of the two. Some even have wheels on them. Others are made especially for books or smaller toys. Some are freestanding while others can be mounted on a wall.
For older children, racks that will hold larger items, such as clear or semi-transparent tubs are great for outdoor toy storage and to categorize toys and sports equipment. Smaller containers can hold easily lost items such as sidewalk chalk and small wheeled toys, while larger ones are great for sports equipment such as gloves and helmets. Hang a couple of umbrella holders on the side for bats and the like.
Bungie Cord Ball Storage… This is a great way to keep balls from getting lost. You can easily make this holder yourself out of some scrap wood and bungee cords with hooks.
There are many ways to build one. The basic design consists of two matching frames for the top and bottom, and some vertical posts to connect them. The vertical posts should be tall enough so that the bungee cords will have some tension on them when they are stretched between the upper and lower frames. Drill holes in the upper and lower frame on three sides to connect the cords. The back leans against a wall.
You can put a base on your bottom frame or leave it open and let the floor be the base. Smaller balls go onto the base, while large balls are stacked on top. Kids only have to stretch the cords apart to get or return balls. Another plus is that this allows air to get to the balls, allowing wet ones to dry and deterring problems such as mildew.
Some people with open studs in their sheds construct these holders between studs, or you can construct one to fit across a corner. If you don’t have to build a big one, you can put cords all the way around to make them movable.
DIY Toy Storage… This is where you can really get creative and build a storage solution just for your needs. Remember that as the children get older, their toys will change and likely get bigger or bulkier. This is where you can make use of scrap lumber and those odd pieces such as sections of screen material.
You can make things such as a ball storage hammock. You don’t have to use a real hammock; just gather the ends of an old sheet, attach a couple of wood strips to both ends and hang it up.
Don’t limit yourself to one solution for everything. You may find that you could do better with a combination, such as a rack with containers and an outside box for larger items. You can build a shelf unit in sections to allow you to add higher tiers as time goes on.
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Two tiers will serve small children and more can be added as the child grows. Of course, there are many variations you can choose, such as shelves or cubicles for small items above a larger cabinet below for larger items.
One thing you should keep in mind when building your own toy storage solutions is to make sure there are no sharp edges or corners and no chance of splinters. Sanding them down a bit will help a great deal. If you have a lid, make sure it has a locking hinge so that it won’t fall down when the child raises it to look for a toy.
How Do You Make an Outdoor Toy Box?
You can find plans online for such a project or you can design your own. One great idea is a box with a few slats to allow air to flow through and keep the contents dry. If you build it the right size to fit an 18-gallon tote you can put the toys in there inside the box to keep them dry over the winter.
You’ll need some exterior-rated 2x6s for the sides, bottom and lid. Putting a sealant on it will be less expensive than using weather-resistant wood such as cedar. You’ll also need heavy-duty hinges and a locking brace. You can add casters to make it mobile. The outer boards are nailed to vertical supports that are on the inside, allowing you to keep a little space between the boards for airflow. The top should be solid.
Can You Store Toys in a Shed?
You certainly can store toys in a shed. You can put any kind of storage racks or boxes in the shed and be certain that they are kept secure when the shed is locked. This also keeps them out of the weather. Just make sure that you have some airflow in the shed to keep any leather items such as baseball mitts from mildew. Check out my article How Do You Store Outdoor Toys for Winter? if you need some storage options for toy storage for the winter.
How Do You Store Wooden Toys Outside?
Wooden toys are usually coated with some sort of sealant. After all, small children do love to put things in their mouths. Keep them in a storage bin or container of some sort that is weatherproof, and you should have no problem.
Outdoor Storage Ideas Moms Will Love
Let’s face it, mothers usually have the job of picking up toys after the kids, especially when the children are small. Having some sort of outdoor storage will help keep this to a minimum and will aid you in teaching your children to put things away when they’re done with them.
Outdoor Storage Bin – The ones sold for storing lawn furniture cushions are great for this as long as your children are old enough to reach the bottom. Otherwise, you’ll have to get the toys for them. Cleanup is a breeze, especially for younger children as the kids just gather up everything and throw it all in the box when it’s mealtime. One drawback is that small items tend to get lost at the bottom.
Playhouse or Shed – A tall playhouse can serve as toy storage, as can a small resin shed. You can attach a hasp to lock it. Just don’t store anything in it but toys to keep it safe. Having all the toys in one place does make it easier for young children to find things and put them away.
Storage Bench – This is a seat that has a storage area underneath. While it probably won’t hold everything, it will be a great place to put baskets or containers to store the smaller things. Those that are made for the outdoors will have a weatherproof cushion on top.
Garbage Can Shed – Sheds are sold just for hiding garbage cans, but they are also great for storing toys outside. They usually can hold ride-on toys or just about anything else. The front doors permit easy access for the kids. Attach a pegboard inside for containers to store smaller things.
Rolling Carts – One good tip is to have two of these, one tall and one shorter. Not only can they accommodate children of different ages, but the tall one can be used strictly for things such as bats and rackets while the other holds containers of smaller things. They can be rolled inside the garage when bad weather threatens or to keep them safe at night.
There are plenty of ways to keep toys out of the way and out of the weather. Browse online to either see what will fit your needs or get some ideas to build your own. Either way, you’ll be able to find the solution you need and keep those toys safe and out from underfoot.