I recently started toy rotation at home. I had never seen the need to rotate toys, and never really understood its benefits. When my first child was born we had a small area in our living room with one shelf that was neatly organized with a variety of toys. Fast forward 4 ½ years and another child later and our house is busting at the seams. Toys are everywhere, and I do not mean just a few scattered here and there, they were everywhere. The mess had grown to feel insurmountable. I decided toy rotation was no longer a choice but a necessity.
The first thing we did was thoroughly clean and organize all of the toys into one room, and take stock of what toys we had. We divided the toys into three piles.
- Toys that were broken or missing lots of pieces.
- Toys that are too small to be safe around the 13 month old baby we have crawling around.
- Everything else.
Pile one was thrown away there was no reason to keep broken toys. Pile two was put up in a rubbermaid container and placed on a shelf. These are toys that we can get out and play with during little sister’s nap time or at the kitchen table. Pile three was huge and so that is where the real work began.
After taking stock of everything that remained. We separated pile three out into different groups: building/construction type toys, dolls, baby toys, books, little people, Disney figures, and games. I made a trip to Target and purchased 6 very large Rubbermaid containers. My husband had been saving the baby’s formula containers to organize the garage so I raided those as well. I put all of each type of toy in its own container, so that everything was separate and placed everything in the large Rubbermaid containers.
We then pulled a couple of each type of toy out and placed them on the shelves, so instead of having 8 types of blocks out at a time we have 2-3. We rotate toys once a month in which I pull all of the boxes out, put everything away and take new things out. The only thing in our play room that never changes is the Step 2 kitchen, my girls love it too much to rotate it. We then set up areas in the playroom.
The Toy Shelf
We then placed the different items around the room and filled in with smaller toys as we saw fit. It was fun finding different ways to rearrange the room to make it work for us. I can always tell when it is getting time to rotate as the girls don’t play as well together in the playroom. Rotating the toys has made keeping the house 100x easier. My 4 year old is now happy to clean up her mess at the end of the day, which is a big win in my book.
Now it’s time to play!