The words "toy rotation" sounds daunting and it is a lot of work at the beginning to get it start but through Jesus anything is possible right?! In my opinion a toy rotation is so worth it. So in our house we get asked about how do you keep toys organized and really what I am hearing parents say is, "help there are toys everywhere and I can't handle it anymore." Yep. I get it. Our house still can look like a tornado went through but it doesn't feel near as overwhelming when it comes to clean up. Check out some of my clean up tips here.
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Why I choose to rotate toys
There are less toys to pick up when it comes to clean up.
If it takes you hours to pick up everyday this is your way out.
My kids know where things go and are able to help with clean up.
I feel less stressed/overwhelmed and so do my kids.
If you told your child that they were allowed to choose one piece of candy. Which situation do you think your child would feel less overwhelmed if you offered her choices between two candies or if you said you can pick whatever you want in the candy store? If you give them the entire candy store to choose from they are thinking about which would be the best or maybe last the longest. As they continue to analyze which candy is the best choice you are now siting becoming impatient that they haven't picked a candy yet. You begin to pressure them to hurry up and pick. Now you are both feeling edgy and no one is feeling good at this point anymore.
They learn to play with their toys in different ways, which helps them build their creativity and imagination. Now think about it with toys if you give all the toys it becomes overwhelming. A cluttered space becomes a cluttered brain.
It gives the feeling of "new" toys without actually buying new toys.
When I rotate toys out it gives them the sense they are getting a "new" toy without actually needing to spend them money. Do you ever get excited when you have organized something or just rotated a space around in the house? This the same feeling but in a kid version.
It helps me realize what toys I can get rid of that aren't being used.
Rotating toys is the perfect way to get rid of the ones that aren't being used. If the first time I put a toy out on the shelf and it doesn't get played with, then the next time I will present it in a different way. If it still doesn't get played with I will most likely donate it to another child that will enjoy it. Now if it is just getting to be too "baby toy" l I will pack it away for the next child to use when the time comes.
1. Take all the toys you have in every part of the house and bring them to one room
Woah Kylee, I am not trying to make a bigger mess I am trying to contain the mess! Yes, I know but things must get messier before they get easier. Here is your chance to go through toys that your children have out grown, broken toys, or missing pieces. Get rid of these-they are taking up unnecessary space.
2. Decide what categories you would like to rotate and how often
When we only had Briella I often rotated toys weekly, then with Owen it was about every two weeks. Now that Emma has joined our family and my time is much more limited I rotate toys about every few weeks. Right now the "extra" toys I have just sitting in a plastic tote and I just consciously know what categories. Once the basement is done I will categorize them better but for now this works for me.
Some category Options
These are just a few ideas you choose what works best for you maybe it's 4 categories or maybe it's two bins like I have right now and you just pick and choose.
3. Use cubicles to display the toys
I like the idea of cubicles because I can assign each toy out to it's own shelf. By having only one toy on a shelf the kids know (even Owen 2yr) that when putting a toy away they know it goes on a shelf. It might not go on the shelf it was on before but it's being put away and I appreciate the effort. I usually use the 6 cubicle and place it on the side so there is three on top and three on the bottom. I like it this way because the top is still small enough for them to reach their toys and I don't have to worry about them needing to climb to reach a toy like a 9 cubicle. When it comes to putting them out on the shelf if there is a toy that has multiple parts I like to put them in shallow baskets or little bins.
4. Put away the extra toys
The best part put all the toys away. You choose where this works for you for me it is in their closet. At the old house I had stored them in the storage room and even underneath the beds.
I have never had a problem with the kids wanting to use a toy that was put away. If it were to happen I would most likely just say yes or I let them know I will make sure to put that out next time. It would depend on what the situation is.
I usually switch toys around when 2 out of the 3 kids are napping. Briella is either helping me by putting the toys on the shelf or she is watching a tv show. If there is a toy that one of the kids has been playing with a lot I will keep it out as well. There is no right way to do this. Everyone is going to find what works for them. I usually pick about 9 toys out for each kid and some open ended toys out as well. If you are wanting to learn more about open ended toys follow the link here.