So your kids have a few new toys, huh? Are they playing with all of them, or are they already showing favorites?
We spend a ton of time here at BC talking about which toys are the “good” ones that kids actually play with, and I’m sure you’ve made some fabulous choices. Even so, it’s natural for kids to gravitate towards one or two toys and play with them semi-exclusively for a while.
But what about the perfectly good toys that never seem to see any action?
No need to ship them off to the Island of Misfit Toys. There are some things you can do to encourage them to play with more of their stuff.
First, make sure your kids can see and access their toys. When toys are out of sight and/or out of reach, they’ll most likely be out-of-mind as well.
Of course, when we see the same items in our rooms every day, they become invisible to us over time. The same goes for toys on the shelves and in the toy bin. Enter the idea of toy rotation.
In addition to encouraging kids to play with more of their toys, toy rotation helps solve the problem of being short on storage space and cuts down on the time it takes to tidy everything up. It works with books, too.
Setting up a basic toy rotation system is a lot less time consuming than it may sound. You don’t need any special bins or supplies, either.
You can get as complicated as you like with your toy rotation system, but the essentials are as follows:
1. Divide up the toys. How many go in each set depends on the space you have, the number of toys you have, or you or your child’s personal preference. A dozen is plenty.
2. Keep one set of toys out at a time. Put away the others.
3. After a week or two (depending on your child’s continuing interest in the toys that are out), switch to another set.
There are many variations on this them. Check out these articles for more toy rotation strategies.
- Toy Rotation: Step by Step Guide (Intelligent Nest)
- Play Time: The Benefit of Rotating Toys (Seeds of Discovery)
- Caring for Kids’ Spaces: Rotating Books and Toys and Knowing When to Downsize (Simple Kids)
- Getting Organized Monday: A Toy Rotation (Dirt and Boogers)
- Rotating Toys, The Real Deal (Little Stories)
- Toy Rotation The Rest of the Story (Little Stories)
- Talk to me about toy roation (Mothering.com)
- Toy Rotation (Picklebums)
- Toy Rotation Bins (Imperfect Homemaking)
- Rotating Toys Part 1: Organizing toys into bins (I Can Do That So Can You)
- Rotating Toys Part 2: Labeling and Storing (I Can Do That So Can You)
Have you tried implementing a toy rotation system? How did it go? Have any tips? Share them in the comments!
photo in top image by Elizabeth/Table4Five [via Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/table4five/377763536/]