If your kids have tons of toys, but don’t play for long with any of them, rotating toys is the answer! Read on for tips on toy rotation and why it works.
Have you ever stood in front of your closet and looked at all your clothes and thought….”I have absolutely nothing to wear.”
An entire dresser full of clothes, a whole closet full (perhaps your husband shares 10%) of dresses, skirts, shirts, running shorts, t-shirts… many many t-shirts… and yet there is nothing saying “wear me, oh wear me, I will make you look and feel good today.”
How is it a woman can have a closet full of clothes and still think there is nothing to wear?
Because when we say there is nothing to wear, what we really mean is there is nothing new to wear. Your children are no different.
Except for them, it’s toys and not clothes.
I had a friend tell me when I was pregnant with my first that she separated all her toys into 3 bins/baskets/trash bags (whatever suits your fancy) and then let the kids have one bag at a time.
After a week or two, she’d switch.
I thought it sounded like a good way to save some money on toys and since I’m cheap, it stuck in my mind.
What's in this post...
Toy Rotation And Why It Works For Kids And Moms
Kids don’t focus when they are “spoilt for choice”
Have you ever noticed your living room has exploded with primary color plastic and yet your toddler goes from one to the other in a matter of seconds and is still bored.
It’s because with all the choice they don’t sit down, dig in and learn to focus and use their imagination.
➡️ Giving your children too many choices will actually encourage them to Toy Hop.
When my kids have independent play time I take out a few toys each day and them fly. They will sit with one or two toys for almost an hour and sing and dance and do who knows what.
Both my oldest son and daughter will sit for thirty minutes looking at their books alone. It seems incredible, but it’s true.
They will actually play longer and focus when they have fewer options.
- How To Organize, Downsize, & Store Toys So The House Isn’t A Mess
- The Difference Between Playing And Being Entertained
It helps keep toys new and fresh
We don’t give our kids all their Christmas presents at once.
I know, we’re mean parents.
We will have certain toys that are always out for play. LEGO at the LEGO table, dress up costumes, and a bunch of cars and trucks for the boys. Excess toys or toys that require more supervision (like craft kits, etc.) we keep in the attic and bring out as we think about it.
- Set a reminder on your phone or make a boomerang in your gmail to swap out the toys at a time of your choosing.
- Let your child have the gift of thinking that an old toy is new and fresh.
- Even toys like blocks that are typically for younger kids, can be used by older ones to build forts or fortresses, walls, or seats.
- One key concept that toy rotation accomplishes is novelty.
3. You save money
I like to spend more money on experiences rather than things.
Of course, I want my children to have toys so they can play, grow, and use their imagination. One thing that can happen (particularly if we’ve crossed our own boundaries with toys), is that we feel resentful when the kids don’t play with all they have.
This is a sign too many toys are around.
- If you are on a budget (or have space limitations in your home) then rotating toys is a great way to save money because the novelty of the few toys you have remain much longer than if they’re on display day in and day out.
- Less toys out means you get used to less toys which means you buy less toys.
- Having less toys mean you value toys less which means you buy them less.
4. Kids learn to use their imagination
Children only really dig in and use their imagination when they have to.
If someone is entertaining them all the time, they will not learn to use their imaginations.
Those who are bombarded by constant streams of media will have less of an imagination than those who don’t. And I don’t mean the kind of imagination that imagines the things they’ve seen on TV, I mean true Anne of Green Gables type imagination and fancy that so enriches a child’s development.
If you send them outside and all they have is a plastic toy house then they come up with all sorts of things to do. It isn’t lazy parenting or neglect to limit their consumer appetites by rotating toys and having fewer on hand, and in fact, it may make them more appreciative of what they’ve already got.
5. Your house doesn’t turn into an off-location Toys ‘R Us
I know everyone has different opinions on the state of your house when you have children.
Some feel that if it is tidy and in order and there aren’t lots of toys visible that it isn’t “lived in” and children won’t settle in and feel at home.
I don’t really subscribe to this and like to keep a tidy house. Throughout the day there’ll be toys around and pillows and blankets and remotes scattered as little ones are wont to do, but I always make a point to tidy regularly and my kids do help.
I think that you can have a clean, orderly house that is homey and welcoming to your children without being taken over by Fisher Price.
Many women could care less and love to see the toys as evidence of their growing babies and I think that is great for them, they are cultivating and keeping their home to their liking.
As every home should be.
If you are more in the camp that prefers for there to be less visible toys around, then rotating them and keeping them out of sight (except for the ones in use at the time) will surely help.