Sanitizing from Hell

Legos 2-crop

Some toys are so difficult to sanitize. I have given toys that are magnetized, blocks and legos the title THE TOYS FROM HELL! The students and I really enjoy these toys, but they are so difficult to sanitize.

I take the time to pull all the magnetic toys apart, put them in the water and I can see them gradually reconnecting in the water. Once I pull them out, the water has gathered in between the toys which make it necessary to pull them apart again. Then they must air dry, but they have to be set far enough apart so that they don’t reconnect, which means I have to cover most of the drying space with the magnetic toys. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is when I have 5 more boxes of toys to sanitize, and I can’t start them until the other toys dry.

small building-vert

Then there are the blocks, they are easy to sanitize but they take forever to dry and what about the large ones, they can’t be submerged under water, they are too big, so they have to be cleaned one by one. But you can’t use a towel, cross contamination; paper towels only.

Wood Blocks 2-crop

My final toy from hell is Legos, all the little holes that are used to connect them together gets full of water, and so they have to be turned so that all the water drains out. I know what you are thinking, why not just sit them outside.  I tried that, it still takes forever.

As much as I love keeping my student’s toys and classroom clean because I know it keeps all of us healthy, sanitizing toys can be so time-consuming and tedious. I know it sounds like I don’t like it, but I do, and I’m good at it, and fast, but some days, it’s just too much.

Each school uses different things to keep their toys clean, my favorite is bleach. What’s yours?

Do you have any Toys from hell that makes you want to scream? Share them in the comment box.

Below I have provided some sanitizing techniques and solutions.

  • All toys should be sanitized every week, but if you can’t, try to sanitize the toys that are used more.
  • If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth have them put it in the sink immediately. My students already know, now they tell each other. “Get that out of your mouth, go put it in the sink.”
  • You can also put toys in the dishwasher,
  • Pick a day to sanitize a center; I’ve always started with dramatic play.

I use a cap full of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Make sure you let them air dry.


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