Personalized home organization
Entrepreneur, mom, & wife
It’s no question. We all love our children and want the best for them. And sometimes, that becomes buying them too many toys (or grandparents and family members buying them too many toys). Then, our play areas become disasters that no one wants to clean up.
Then, you discover a toy rotation system for your playroom. And life gets easier.
Toy rotation just means having a limited number of toys for your children to play with at one time. This creates less overwhelm for kids. Have you ever had too many choices and just shut down? Our children feel the same way. When there are too many toys around, they get overwhelmed and can’t choose.
It also creates an environment for creative and independent play. It gives children the opportunity to become engrossed in one toy for a longer period of time. This doesn’t normally happen when there are too many toys around. And, your children can get “new toys” after you rotate them. Since they haven’t seen these toys in a while, they feel new.
My favorite reason for a toy rotation system (besides all the good it is for our children) is the easy clean up. We all know, less toys means less to clean up!
So I have gone through and looked through my steps to creating a toy rotation system that you can implement in your playroom. Or if you’d prefer, contact us and we are happy to help set one up for you!
After you gather all the toys, get rid of the obvious ones.
If there are missing pieces, throw it away.
If it’s worn out, throw it away.
If your children have outgrown it and it’s still in good condition, donate it.
If you hate it, donate it or throw it away.
I use this time to go through and decide what toys our family no longer needs.
After sorting the toys, look through everything again. Make sure these are the toys you want to keep. This means, these toys will be in your rotation and your children will play with them. Right now is also a good time to check that toys are age appropriate. For toys that aren’t for my children’s ages now, but I want to save, I put them away as well. I have three children, each 2 ½ years apart, so I have lots of toys that are saved for the younger two when they are at that developmental level.
Once you have all of your categories, you want to create toy sets. This is 8-10 toys maximum that will be rotated together. You may create as many sets as you’d like, but between 3-6 is most manageable in my opinion. That way, your children will see the toys again in a couple of months if you rotate every two weeks.
When creating your sets, think about what toys can go together. Have a set of dolls? Maybe put them with the blocks so you can build a house. Or put the blocks with some construction trucks to knock over. Think about how your children can use the toys together and develop more creative play.
Once you have your sets, choose your “current” set and place it in your play area. Make sure the toys are out and your children can see them. This invites them to play with them. I love the IKEA Kallax shelves and placing toys on there for my children to see. This helps invite them to play with the toys when we are in our playroom.
After you have your sets and have decided on your first set, create a rotation strategy. For younger children, I suggest rotating the sets every 1-3 weeks, depending on how much they are home. This will keep the toys interesting for them and you can change them out when they start to get bored.
My 2 ½ year old does well with a rotation system. He’s not too attached to specific toys. He’s pretty happy as long as there are cars for him to play with! A train track or car road is a plus as well. But he doesn’t mind if he’s playing with the trains one day and then a car the next.
For older children (4-5 +), you may want to have a different strategy. My 5 year old does want to play with specific toys. I have out our current rotation, but if he requests a toy from memory, I will get it down for him. The key is, he cannot just look in “my cabinets” and decide on a toy, he has to know what toy he wants to play with.
The final step is to maintain your system. And since this system involves children, you have to keep tweaking the system. As your children are playing, observe them. See what works. Do they only grab toys at eye level? Put what you want them to play with there. Are they still getting overwhelmed? Have less toys out. The answers to the questions may change as well. Just keep taking time to observe what works.
In our house, the system is not perfect. When it comes time to change up the toys, I keep some the same that the boys are really into. That’s what works for us.
There are no set rules – do what works for you and your family! And if you would like some help, contact us and we can help you set up your system, either in your home or come up with a plan virtually!
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Wildely Organized 2024
Based in Houston, TX, Wildely Organized offers compassionate, professional in-home organization services that empower families to live functional lives in a space they love.
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