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Toy Rotation

Preparation for play is key.  By being prepared, children are more likely to play for longer and be more purposeful.  Toy Rotation is an excellent way to make the most of the toys you have, especially if you think your children have too many toys and yet they seem to always be asking for more!

Getting started

There is no need to go out and buy more toys this summer.  The first thing to do when starting Toy Rotation is organise the toys you have by skill or type; for example, all the construction toys (Lego, blocks, magnetic tiles, Meccano), all the small world toys (Sylvanian Families, Play Mobil etc) puzzles, toys to develop fine motor skills. 

Once you know exactly why you have, choose one of each type to include in rotation and put all other similar toys away.  Out of sight, out of mind!  We currently have a basket of Connetix Tiles, a shape sorter, some Peppa Pig Small world, a basket of vehicles, a Paw Patrol stacking toy, and a basket of threading toys.

Toy Rotation unit

If you can, display the toys in a way that makes it easy for the children to self-select and, importantly, put them away.  I have a 3x4 cube storage shelf in my living room (no playroom here!) which I find works brilliantly.  The bottom 6 shelves contain the current in-rotation toys and the top 6 have boxes to store the out-of-rotation toys.  If you have a toy box, that's fine too.  An emptier toy box for the in-rotation options, with out-of-rotation toys in the loft, garage or another cupboard elsewhere in the home will allow children to see what's on offer and make their selections.

After a week or two, swap out the toys that are being ignored for ones that develop a similar skill.  To the children, it feels like they are constantly getting new toys!

My children have some toys that they play with regularly and incorporate into their other play.  These are almost always kept on the in-rotation shelves - the Connetix tiles are always available.  I also get out anything they specifically ask for and then include that in the next lot of rotation if they still want it.

It's like buying new toys every time I rotate!

Mrs Hall