It was just after Christmas, Sam’s generous family and friends had given him even more toys. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful, but what do you do? Enough was enough! So one day, when Sam went down for his nap I spotted my opportunity, I gathered together all of his toys, from all of the boxes, cupboards, shelves and cubby holes. I’d decided that this was it, now or never, I’d made my mind up, there was only 1 thing for me to do, and that was to try my hand at toy rotation – what else 😉
This began (for me) with with taking stock of what we already have, organising toys by type, then sharing them between storage boxes. And only giving Sam a selection of his toys for a month and then swap them over.
Sam’s toys were sorted into:
moving toys – push, roll, throw (cars, balls etc)
puzzle toys – shapes, stacking, sorting
imagination toys – dressing up/pretending (also includes animals)
musical toys – self explanatory (Sam has lots of musical instruments)
get rid of toys – anything that Sam had grown out of (baby toys/rattles)
There’s lots of blog posts on the subject, and no hard and fast rules on “the right way” to do it, you just go with it to suit you.
The groups I chose worked for me, and if I wasn’t sure on where to put something it would go in the imagination toys pile. I decided at the start that I wouldn’t include any big toys, like his vacuum cleaner and his rocking bike and it didn’t include books.
Once I’d grouped the toys I divided them into 4 IKEA Kusiner boxes (they fit nicely on the billy bookcase we have in his room), sharing all of the “imagination” toys between each box until I’d run out. Sometimes I’d put 2 cars (moving toys) together in the same box (so I could join in and play too), and the pile of “get rid of” toys found new homes in the: bin, loft, recycle, pass it on etc…
At the start of every month (usually when Sam’s asleep) I take all of the toys from Sam’s toy box, put them in another box and put that box on a shelf in his room. I then take one of the other boxes from a different shelf and transfer these to his toy box. Sam has access to, and plays with a different set of toys each month.
This way we can see which toys Sam’s interested in (& isn’t interested in) which could help us decide what to buy more/less of. I don’t feel that Sam’s being overwhelmed by having too many toys in his face (like he was when he was smaller), each month the toy box toys change – so he won’t get bored of them, and I feel that it’s a more organised way of giving him access to all of his toys (but in small doses).
We’ve been doing this since December (3 rotations) and I think it’s great, I think in May we’ll throw all of the toys together again and do the sorting activity again.
This isn’t my idea, I’ve read a few blogs about it (links below), each describes their own personal way of doing it. And I think that’s the key – make it personal to you, do it to suit you, your home, your family, your lifestyle and group toys by your own rules.
As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and parent support - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed.
I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, different voices and links to the best products and services for families.