How to Rotate and Organize Toys to Promote Intentional Play
January 12, 2021
Do you feel like you are drowning in toys? Your kids are bored and have nothing to do after they have gotten out every toy in the house and played for a total of 5 seconds? Do you feel like as soon as you organize things it gets all jumbled up again? Would you like your kids to play more purposefully? Do you want to keep toy sets together for better play? How to Rotate and Organize Toys to Promote Intentional Play can help fix all these problems I have mentioned.
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The Art of Toy Rotation
How can toy rotation solve all those problems mentioned above? What even is toy rotation? It might seem overwhelming or unnecessary to add to the “mom’s to-do list” but I promise it’s worth it. Have you ever been away from home and when you come back all your child toys seem new and fun? They hold their attention longer than normal. This is where the idea of toy rotation really started to make sense to me.
Toy rotation is basically- organizing the toys and storing away half of them. Then after some time has passed the toys that are out are switched with the toys you have stored away. Ever hear the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Benefits of toy rotation include fewer chances of boredom, new experiences to enhance intellect, and less toy clutter in your home.
Organize and Inventory
Organize all the toys and take notice of everything you have. When choosing which ones to keep out and which ones to store. I try to pick some that focus on different types of play or different skills. There are a lot of great ideas for toys based on age and education skills in this post on Pre-School Education Based Skills.
Always have something for each area of Learning Development.
Pre-Reading- Books and Dress Up.
Pre-Writing- Toys that promote fine motor.
Pre-Math- Toys that promote shape, sorting, patterns, and numbers.
You don’t just want to have all the puzzles out and nothing else! That would get boring. Your kiddo will not get the chance to play and learn in other ways. Even if your kid loves puzzles and they are a favorite- always supply a variety.
Storage for the Play Area
When storing toys for play its best to use clear totes, baskets, and boxes. Think about organizational ideas that are easy to use so the kids can get the toys out and put them away with ease. Having the toys in easy view will help them know what is available and can foster that intentional play. Below are some play area storage solutions for you.
Storage for the Away Area
When storing toys for the rotation, or the “out of sight out of mind” toys, your best bet will be totes or boxes that are not clear and see-through. Find a corner, closet, garage, or basement area to save these boxes of toys for another time. When filling these boxes I encourage you to be intentional about what you put inside. It might be tempting to put all the puzzles in one, all the dress up in another, etc. For ease of this toy, the rotation process is sure to put someone each. Then you can just grab the box and switch them with the toys already out. You don’t have to make decisions about which ones to choose.
Modeling and Attention Cup Filling
It is very important to spend some time modeling how to play with intention and fill those attention cups! You will want to play with your kids and model how to get the toys out and how to put them away. These all lead to more independent play. Eventually, you can even add some Busy Boxes to your play rotation.
When to Rotate
Depending on your mom motivation and your Childs attention span- the idea amount of time before rotating to a new set of toys is about 2 weeks. Just enough time for that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” concept.
What age kid does this work best for?
Usually, kids ages 2-5 are the ones who will benefit most from this toy rotation concept. I still use it for my 5 and 8-year-old as well but it is more about saving special toys or crafts for special times. I save away some fun toys for when I need to entice them away from screentime, if it’s a rainy day, or if we are celebrating a holiday or family tradition.
How to Rotate and Organize Toys to Promote Intentional Play is an intro to rotating toys and creating an intentional learning space for your toddler, preschooler, or even Kindergartener. This is another simple way to promote learning through play and help you keep your mom sanity!
If you want to learn more about Busy Boxes to Include in Your Toy Rotation Check out some of the ones I have created here and subscribe to get the printables!
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