Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your child’s toys? I know I have. We have two small children and I am astonished at how many toys we’ve accumulated. The toys were taking over our house, and I knew I needed a better approach to managing them. The best solution was to start a toy rotation.
Reduce the Amount of Toys
My first step to tackling the toy box was to cut down on the number of toys we had. I went through all the toys one by one and decided whether they could be donated, thrown away, or put into storage.
Even though it makes things more difficult, it’s important to get your kids involved with this process. It helps teach them how to better manage their stuff, and gives them hands on practice with organization.
After that was done, I decided to implement a toy rotation system.
What is a Toy Rotation System?
Have you ever noticed that your child will play with the same few toys day after day? Meanwhile, their other toys are ignored or forgotten about? Young children can be easily overwhelmed when they are given too many choices. A toy rotation system helps alleviate this problem.
A toy rotation system is an organized method where you only give your child a small selection of toys each week. Divide your kid’s toys into four boxes. They get to play with one box for a week. Store the other three boxes out of sight and out of reach of your child. Then you rotate to a new box at the start of a new week.
F.Y.I. this rotation system works best for children that are younger than five.
Benefits of a Toy Rotation System
This system helps your child to play with a larger variety of toys throughout the month, which allows them use their imagination in new and different ways.
It also helps encourage them to play with their selected toys with more engagement. By using less toys, and being more engaged, children naturally lengthen their attention span.
Rotating toys also helps kids to have more independent play because they are excited about receiving “new” toys each week.
Another benefit of a Toy Rotation System is less clutter and less time spent cleaning up. You know all the toys will fit into the designated weekly toy box, so all of them can be easily put away each night.
Sounds amazing right?
How Do You Set One Up?
You’ll want to give your kids a variety of different types of toys to interact with, so the first step is to go through all the toys and separate them into categories.
The categories are:
- Cognitive Development Toys. These include puzzles and fine motor skill toys like Legos.
- Gross Motor Development Toys. These are moving toys like cars, balls, etc.
- Social/ emotional Development and Language Development Toys. These include dolls, stuffed animals, most “talking” toys.
Don’t stress If you’re not sure what category a specific toy goes in. These categories function as a guideline to help make sure your child is offered a variety of toys throughout the rotation.
After seperating the toys into categories, you may notice that you have an abundance of a certain type of toy and not enough of another. This can help you in the future when you’re looking for gift ideas for your child. Now you know what type of toy your child could use more of.
Once the toys are separated into categories, then you can assemble your weekly boxes, making sure there is a variety for each week.
What about Favorite Toys?
Feel free to leave your child’s absolute favorite toy (or two) out and available for them at all times. If they play with a certain toy more than others, there’s no need to take the toy away from them for three weeks.
I hope this gives you the confidence you need to tackle the toy box mess, and that your kids enjoy playtime more with the toy rotation system.