Updated: Oct 24, 2021
Tips for implementing a toy rotation system.
Do you want to encourage your child to play independently? Do you want to implement a toy rotation system? If your answer was yes to both of these, keep reading and you will quickly get your answers.
If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I am a huge fan of implementing a toy rotation and you have seen my rotations on my stories in the past (if you haven’t they are saved HERE).
The idea may sound overwhelming for you to follow, and I totally get that! For children the greatest form of learning is through play. As they play they learn, imagine, take chances, test limits, make some mistakes and then try things differently. By creating a toy rotation system we reduce the chances of a child getting overstimulated and in fact playing Independently and playing longer.
These are my top Three tips to encourage independent play:
1. "Yes" space- an area where a child is away from any danger and is allowed to freely explore and play.
2. Minimize the clutter- less is more. Clutter can cause children to get overstimulated and lose focus.
3. Rotate the toys!
Now that we got that down, let me help you with some tips for implementing a toy rotation system
Everything should always have a "home".
The toys you make available should be age appropriate toys, too easy and they may get bored. Too difficult, and they may get frustrated.
Get low profile baskets or bins to display toys in. I love using the large napkin holders from ikea or this one. Displaying toys this way is often more inviting and allows your child to easily and independently grab the basket or bin, sit down to play and put it back in the right place when all done. (Yes, that last part would take some practice and reminders from your end).
Use large containers (I prefer clear ones) to store all your extra toys stored away. I like storing toys by categories and labeling the containers for easy access and quick swaps. Our containers are from the container store and labels are Mabels Labels (use code: Mamaguide10 for 10% off). I highly recommend measuring your space and purchasing the containers that would best fit in your space to maximize storage capacity.
Rotate books as well. I am a huge fan of keeping a book shelf in a child’s bedroom but for the playroom keeping 5-10 books out at a time makes it a lot more interactive. We want to encourage day time reading just as much as playing. This is especially great for quiet time for little ones who no longer nap. You can find some of our favorite books HERE.
For babies, approximately 0-8 months, rotate more frequently. Once a week or every 2 weeks is recommended. For this age range I recommend leaving our 5-10 toys at a time, they don't need much at all.
For toddlers, rotating less frequently is fine. I often rotate specific toys that don’t get love with new toys that interest them. You will notice them play much longer when you follow their interests.
Using an open shelf system to display toys is very inviting and allows for more organization as well as easy access for your little human. I love our Ikea KALLAX shelf unit. You can also find a similar one in various sizes HERE and HERE.
Found this helpful? Follow me along on @mamaguide for more tips, play ideas, and toy rotation idea. Make sure to share this post with a mama that may find this useful.
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