Guest post by Dawn Castell
There are never enough toys. Kids may have toys busting out of their playroom, yet they think they need more. The truth is that they just need to rotate those toys. There is an art to labeling and creating a special rotation of toys. Creativity and focus flow while they get their hands on “new” toys. You get to declutter and smile that you don’t need to buy more junk. Everyone wins.
Why Rotating Toys Matters
A baby milestone chart will tell you that children learn to love toys as young as possible. They start to chew on toys and fiddle with things at a few months old. As a parent, you start to buy toys to see this joy come to life. Somewhere in the middle of the joy, you notice there are simply too many toys. When you make a rotation system, you’ll start to notice there can still be that joy without the clutter. Kids have a capacity for a deeper sense of play. They don’t get stressed out over too many choices. They’re able to be creative with what’s in front of them. Rotating toys is about simplifying everyone’s world while keeping toys available at a level that is manageable.
Fewer Toys Leads To Bigger Smiles
It may seem silly to think that fewer toys actually reduces over-stimulation. As a kid, you may have thought too many toys was the perfect world. The truth is that a smaller amount of toys leads to more creative play. When you bring in a new rotation of toys, the child has probably forgotten about many of those toys. To them, they’re seeing the toys in a new light. They won’t beg you for more either.
Cleaning up toys with children still at play is often like cleaning up during a tornado. Instead of storing all of your toys in specific places, set up different play stations. You can set up a specific play area with cars, a costume station, and a place for arts and crafts. You can make a little reading nook. Once you cycle in new toys, you can make new stations or stock these stations. By displaying the toys in rotation, you’re encouraging the child to use their toys in creative ways. It’s also easier to keep up with the clutter.
Time to Reflect
Toy rotation may surprise you. You may notice that it calls attention to way too many toys. Many parents buy a kid a little toy here and there. Once you start digging in the bins setting up new toy stations, you’ll notice 100 Hot Wheels cars. This money could’ve been used towards more meaningful toys. You’ll begin to reflect on the toys that are never used. The kids may beg for them, but they end up in the junk bin. Making a toy rotation will help you realize what toys really matter.
It’s a great idea to put your toys in groups to easily rotate them. Put together toys like books, costumes, puzzles, motor skill toys, dolls, and building toys. You can easily sort these into bins to change out every few weeks. The kids may have a few they love that they cannot live without for a few weeks, so those may be an exception. If you’re lost about what toys are best for which ages, check out a baby milestone chart. Different ages of kids will enjoy different types of toys in their rotation. Your toddler may love the cars while your five-year-old may go for the Legos.
Little ones will appreciate their “new” toys in rotation. They won’t beg you so much to go to the store for more toys. They’ll show off their imagination and creative skills. You’ll smile at the organization and cleanliness of your home. Enjoy every moment as they play and you smile watching them learn and grow.