Staying on top of toy organization can be overwhelming. The mountain of toys seems to grow day after day and just when you think you’ve got it all sorted out – another holiday, birthday or special occasion rolls around and the pile doubles in size!
And, even with all these toys available, the kids seem uninterested or even bored with their selections. The truth is that all of the stress and overwhelm you feel when looking at your kids toys – they feel it too.
When there are too many toys lying around, kids aren’t able to focus amongst all the noise and this often stifles their creativity and prevents them from the crucial skills that they learn from play including hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay this way! Toy rotation is a great solution to such a common household issue.
What is toy rotation?
Toy rotation is a concept that centers around dividing toys into smaller groups and rotating them on a regular basis.
There are many perks of toy rotation, the most obvious and immediate benefit being that it cuts down on the clutter in your home! This benefit is two-fold because not only does it help keep young minds clear and more focused, but it also prevents creating a hectic play environment.
This means that kids are able to better concentrate on a specific activity for longer periods of time because they aren’t constantly distracted by the other toys around them. And when they’re focused on fewer toys, kids get the chance to hone in on their creativity and imagination through repurposing their toys.
For example, a set of Legos may be a castle one day, but can be morphed into an aeroplane the next.
How often you choose to rotate can depend on the type of toys and their uses. A general rule is that you want to keep the toys accessible for long enough that your children can explore the toy to its full potential, but make sure that it’s rotated out before the kiddos find them boring.
Further, more complex toys like building blocks may last longer in rotation than a thread and beads that are only entertaining for a small window of time. Of course, this will vary from child to child and it will take some time to figure out what works best for them.
That’s another advantage to toy rotation – the rules are not set in stone! You find a routine that works for you and your children and tweak the rules as you go.
Separating the toys can be intimidating but can be simplified by initially grouping them by similar toys.
Common groupings may include:
– Pretending toys. Think: teddy bears, soft dolls and dress up costumes
– Building toys. Think: building blocks, cups, and Lego
– Creative toys. Think: crayons, paints, and coloring books
– Musical toys. Think: wind instruments, drums, and guitars
– Active toys. Think: balls and motorized riding toys
The idea is to bring out one or a couple from each category per rotation. This allows the children to fully engage with each toy that is brought out for that rotation.
For the “out of rotation” toys, they’ll ideally be stored away from play rooms and where the current set of available toys is put out. Remember, out of sight – out of mind! If you have available space, it may be best to store the unused toys in a spare room closet or a cabinet that’s out of reach.
You may think that removing toys will be taking away from your children. But the truth is that by implementing a toy rotation schedule, you’ll actually be gifting your kids with the chance to get the most out of every toy they own and make them seem brand new over and over again.
The possibilities are endless when toys are used to their full potential. Toy rotation is the perfect way to de-clutter your home while building crucial skills and promoting your little ones imagination.
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