Training Games: Tidy Up!

February 22, 2021

by Ambie Valdés
This is part of a series called Training Games, where I review children's games when playing (with modified rules) with my twin toddlers. This review was written when my twins were 17 months old.

Tidy Up! Is a game where you have cardboard squares representing different types of toys - stuffed animals, vehicles, or blocks. The box itself has a storage shelf of cardboard with slots in it, so you take a piece and put it into the correct slot to match the type of toy.

I started letting my boys play with this at around 16 months. Since the pieces are entirely made of cardboard, I need to make sure they don’t put them in their mouths. Before 16 months, they didn’t try to do anything else with the pieces other than put them in their mouths.

I only use the cardboard squares and the shelf box, but not the cat token. I’ve been holding onto the shelf so that they can’t grab it and take it apart (it’s really easy to take the cardboard cover off and then the inside shelf separator falls apart easily). Then I give them the pieces one at a time to put into any of the slots. My boys love putting things away into boxes, cabinets, and drawers, so they have a lot of fun with this. But they sometimes try to put the pieces in the side of the box and try to open it, so I have to hold on to it.

Baby A trying to open up the side of the box while Baby A puts a piece into the slot

Since playing this game, my babies have started putting more of their thin toys (like books) into slots around the house (like under doors), so be prepared for that as well!

Chew Test
  • Toy Pieces: 3/5 - thick cardboard and withstand slight chewing
  • Box/Shelf: 2/5 - thinner cardboard and get warped from pulling, the cardboard that makes up the inside of the shelves falls apart easily, and the cover of the shelf also comes off easily
  • Wooden Cat: 5/5 - probably good quality judging by other wooden HABA components, but I haven’t tested it.
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