Hello Readers and Happy New Year!
Honestly, what better way to start the year than to write on the topic of toy rotation.Many kids received so many toys over the holidays from parents, aunties/uncles, grandparents and loved ones. Most of us are probably wondering “will my house ever look tidy again?”
Different toys offer different types of interactivity for little ones; so as adults, it’s easy to fall in love with many of them and want them all for our kids!
It’s however equally important for us to explore the different ways in which our children can get the most out of the toys we are investing in.
Providing an organized environment and a curated selection of toys is the first step. Many Montessori advocates recommend shelves in the play area for storage and display of toys. I am a firm believer in the above because:
modeling for children where toys belong, and also where play takes place gives them a sense of belonging for exploration and also teaches them to keep this space tidy as they grow.
Then comes toy rotation– our topic for today! A toy rotation system is one way to allow your child to make the most out of their toys, without overwhelming them.
What is Toy Rotation?
‘Toy rotation simply means limiting the number of toys that are accessible at one time and updating the available toys on a regular basis, not by increasing the selection of toys, but rather by removing some and replacing them with others.’
Periodically assessing your little one’s toys will help you identify what they seem to have overgrown, what they no longer seem interested in (and vice versa). This process also helps you as a parent to de-clutter. If they aren’t toys that are worth collecting like magnetic tiles, classic toy cars, or wooden blocks and the like, how many stuffed animals or guitars do you really need? You can have a cut off point for your child, and donate the rest.
There’s no better time to get into the practice of toy rotation, than after the holidays or big birthday celebrations. Children usually receive so many gifts from parents and loved ones in this season. To enable them make the most of all these toys they have received, you may want to consider toy rotation.
“An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm.“
– Dr. Kim John Payne
When children are exposed to too many toys, it’s very likely they become overwhelmed by the entire ordeal, or, -as many parents may have noticed – choose to engage in throwing the toys rather than using the individual toys.
If we’re being honest, even adults struggle to make choices when there are too many options.
Here are three (3) reasons why you should consider toy rotation in your child’s play area:
- Rotating toys ensures that your little one gets to experience each toy in their collection, and exhaust its developmental purposes. If you’re like me who buys toys based on its developmental role in the child’s life, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. Toy rotation can reignite interests in toys that kids seem to have once lost interest in. Taking them out and reintroducing them after a period of time, helps to renew your little one’s curiosity and keep them engaged.
- By rotating a smaller, and thoughtfully curated selection of toys, children get the chance to focus and play on a deeper level. While they can easily move on to the next thing when they are surrounded by loads of toys, toy rotation can also encourage a sense of patience and perseverance, as well heightened creativity as they learn to repurpose the same toys in different ways.
- More play space! I say this a bazillion times to many people I work with- the first step to meaningful play for your child, is a play space. After that is provided, it’s important to ensure that all or majority of that space is not inundated with toys. That defeats the whole purpose. Toy rotation, and the de-cluttering that comes with it, ensures that your child has more room to actually experience the toys we’re working so hard to get for them. 😊
6-8 toys is a great place to start. Remember to rotate according to a scheduled plan that you can keep up with. Don’t overwhelm yourself in the process, and please don’t overthink it either. The goal is to create a system for anticipation of having something new and different to play with every few weeks. That in turn creates so much excitement for kids, and makes you feel like each rotation time is Christmas morning. 😊 Remember, you even get to bless others by donating what you don’t need anymore.
Always in Love and Health,