This is such a good idea, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it first!

After the holidays, is your home just a minefield of toys? Get up in the middle of the night to grab yourself a glass of water and you trip over a bunch of LOL Surprise dolls in the hallway.  Take another three steps and step on a LEGO.  Your kids are cute, but they're human tornadoes and you wish there was an easy way to get them to put their toys away when they're done with them.

Enter the new parenting hack that's going viral in the Treasure Valley: #toyjail. The concept is absolutely brilliant! Find some sort of container that you can "lock" or keep out of the reach of the kids.  It's no longer a container.  Now it's a toy jail cell.  When you come across a toy that hasn't been put away, you put it in that jail cell and refuse to give it back to your child until they've completed a chore around the house.

According to, most toy jails have the rules posted right on the outside of the box:

You left it out, I picked it up.

I have your stuff.  You are out of luck.

To get it back you must do a chore and again it is yours, just like before.

Hopefully your child figures out that they'll have to do more chores if they're not responsible enough to put away their toys like you've asked them to.  The idea is absolutely BRILLIANT!

Some parents have gotten really, really creative with their "jails." Here's some of our favorites from Instagram.

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