Toy rotation is something we have both implemented in our homes. If you’ve never heard of the term toy rotation you are probably wondering, what is that? Well, it is exactly how it sounds. Toy rotation is the practice of rotating out your child’s toys after a given time period.
So now you may be thinking, so why would parents want to do this? Shouldn’t my kids just be able to play with all their toys whenever they want?
Let’s face it – our kids have WAY too many toys. At birthdays, Christmas, special holidays, etc. our kids are being inundated with toys. And playing with the same thing all the time doesn’t foster learning. By changing up the toys they play with, you’re changing the textures, colors, sounds, different things toys can do and therefore you are engaging different parts of their brain.
How do you get started? It is easy. The idea of toy rotation is to not give them all the same toys that promote the same type of learning. So you begin by gathering all your kids’ toys and sorting them based on what they do (i.e. blocks, puzzles, cars, dolls, sensory toys). After you sort them you can take a few from each pile and put them in different bins/buckets/boxes if you want. Here is an example of how we set it up.
The second part of toy rotation is observation. Different developments happen in our children at different times (see our post on development and why we love The Wonder Weeks). By watching what they are gravitating towards, it may clue you in on a skill they are learning, and slowly (or sometimes quickly!) mastering. Observing their play will help you decide when it is time to switch out the current toys they have. If you find they have mastered that puzzle or are getting bored with the same truck, it may be time to switch up the toys! Toy rotation is a wonderful way to steer their play towards learning and exploring at the same time.
Toy rotation has been a lifesaver for us! It keeps our kids engaged while learning and growing at the same time. Each time they discover (or rediscover!) a toy, they learn something new to do with it. For example, Madeline now knows how to feed her baby Stella doll and Logan can build skyscrapers with his mega blocks. It’s so cute to watch them learn new things with each toy rotation round.
Do you plan to implement toy rotation in your home? Let us know what you think!