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There is nothing I hate more than going to sleep with a house that looks like a tornado named Kathryn blew through. Every morning when my child wakes up, she makes it her personal goal to go through every box, basket, and baby-approved cabinet. She takes everything out and throws it all over the floor. In the evenings, our house is the hugest mess. No matter how hard we try to teach her to clean up after herself, either she is not developmentally there yet or she is so clever that she knows how to play dumb to make us do her bidding. (She’s not even a year old yet.) We decided a toy rotation system was necessary.
What is toy rotation?
Toy rotation means storing toys (in a closet for instance) that are not in use and regularly switching out the toys your child is playing with. This allows your child to see novelty in toys when they come back around in the rotation.
Why do toy rotation?
For my sanity and to encourage play with more toy items. At first when cleaning up toys, I would put toys in nice little piles around the house each evening. As our daughter accumulated more toys, books, and household items she likes to play with, these piles grew to be humongous. She looked like a spoiled brat with how many playthings she had. Especially since she only touched maybe 25% of the items for more than 5 seconds at a time.
With toy rotation, I was able to organize the toys in neater ways and store the bulk of them away. When I would only bring out a bin for each room, my daughter was less overwhelmed with all the options. She played more intentionally with the toys she was presented with.
Each bin has a little bit of everything in it:
- stuffed animals
- toys that are interactive and make sounds
- chunky puzzles (mostly for mouthing at this point)
- toys she can manipulate to improve fine motor skills
- and so much more!
My Toy Organization Idea
I first bought some great laundry hampers and storage baskets from Dollar Tree. One for each room in the house that we allow her to play in.
Every night, I
throw nicely put all of her toys and books in each storage basket. As I mentioned earlier, we will usually take a storage basket or two away and hide them for a while. We also switch rooms with the storage baskets to allow her to play with different items in different locations. If you aren’t overflowing with toys, a toy rotation system where you just rotate different toys from one room to another can also encourage more imaginative play.
And as an added bonus, when we have people over, we hide all the baskets to have less clutter for guests!
How do you organize toys and books? What toy rotation system do you recommend?
If your child is older, check out how my toy rotation system evolved into a busy bin collection when she was almost two years old. Using those Sterilite storage containers is another great idea for how to store toys!