11 Reasons Why You Should Rotate Those Toys and How To Do It!

Lets just jump straight to the goods. Rotating your children’s toys will not only benefit the play and growth of your children, but it will benefit you and your home as well! Here are some reasons why:

  1. It helps de-clutter your home.  The sheer volume of toys that are out will decrease, which will help keep your home looking somewhat like adults live there too.  Everything will have a home (which does not include your kitchen counter, under the couch, in your closet, in your dog toy basket, and in the hallway).
  2. Too often a child has too many options of toys to play with.  Too many options can lead to anxiety, frustration, over-stimulation, and feeling overwhelmed.  Adults feel this too when faced with too many options, and our kids are the same.  Simplify.
  3. Toys that have several pieces or moving parts will be used again.  Have you noticed that a shape sorter is rendered useless because the shapes are always nowhere to be found in the mass of chaos? A puzzle is pointless when half the pieces are missing.
  4. Fewer toys encourages focused play, not scattered play.  Does this image seem familiar: your child picks up a toy, looks at it for 20 seconds, drops it, moves to the next toy, looks at it for 20 seconds, drop its, and within 10 minutes they’ve gone through the entire playroom and they are bored.  Which usually causes them to go find things they shouldn’t necessarily be playing with or demand that you entertain them.  Fewer toys lets our children fully engage with a toy, learning its inner workings.  Skills and concepts can now be mastered instead of quickly being passed over. 
  5. Rotating toys allows your child to use the same toys in new ways.  Its exciting when a toy they haven’t seen in a month appears again.  Its almost like new! As they develop and grow, they can start using the same toys in different ways which encourages creativity and inventiveness.  
  6. Clean up just got a lot easier.  Instead of picking up an entire room of toys, you and your child have significantly less to pick up – which makes cleaning up a lot less overwhelming!
  7. You can more easily pick-up on what toys are ready to be donated or sold.  When there are less toys to monitor it’ll be easier to see which ones your child has outgrown. Condense, clean out, and stay organized.
  8. They will be engaged longer as their time is used more productively.
  9. Toys that were once overlooked and lost in the chaos will now be played with.  All toys are now more visible and available!
  10. It encourages independent play.  While playing with your children and engaging them is incredibly important, it is equally important for them to be able to play independently.  They’ll be better able to master this skill when they aren’t feeling overstimulated and overwhelmed.
  11. It provides a healthy attitude towards their toys.  When rotated, their toys are tools to play with that come and go – not their possessions that can’t be taken or shared.

If I’ve convinced you at this point, the next step is how to do it.  There are several ways, and you’ll really need to do it in a way that fits the needs of your home, children, toys, and family.  I’ll give some general suggestions and guidelines, and then you can make them your own! 

  1. Start by sorting your toys into categories.  Put those category piles spread out in a room. Categories to consider are things like: Stuffed animals, books, puzzles, games, costumes and make believe, stacking and building, sorting, music/sound, etc.
  2. Once you’ve got your toys into categories, bring in several clear, stackable bins.  (However many you think your toy supply will need).  Take the first category of toys, and put one in each bin until they are all gone.  Move onto category two and do the same.  The point here is that your children have different types of toys and skills to master in each bin.
  3. Take into consideration seasonal toys, toys that foster their current developmental skills, and their absolute must-haves.  When spring rolls around, bring out the bugs, balls, nets, etc.  When its summer, bring out shovels and pails, water toys, etc.  There are also some toys that should stay out all the time.  If your child is starting to sit, leave a few toys that encourage that skill.  If they are starting to pull up, leave out the toys to pull up on, etc.  And if your child has a toy or two that they love and have all the time, leave it.  No need to cause stress or anxiety.
  4. Decide how often you want to rotate.  Every week? Every day? Once a month? Once every few months? Depending on how much are in your bins and knowing your child, use your best judgment.  Do what works for you!
  5. Big toys will stay.  If you have a kitchen set or a tool bench, leave it.  Moving the giant things would get you frustrated with rotating real quick!
  6. Consider typing or writing up an inventory of each bin and taping it on the inside of the lid.  Helps keep track of toys and where they go.  Not necessary, but an option.
  7. Number your bins so you remember which ones need to be brought out next and rotated through.
  8. Make your children a part of the process if they are able.  It’ll be fun and give them ownership over the process!
  9. Tweak the rotation and organization as needed… your toys, uses, and circumstances may change – be flexible!
  10. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “11 Reasons Why You Should Rotate Those Toys and How To Do It!

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