Why we love toy rotation.

Rosie, like so many other toddlers, is very lucky to have a large family who love to spoil her with toys and books. I am also a serial bargain hunter and the majority of the toys and books I have bought Rosie have been second hand. As you can imagine, this means we have a lot of toys which can often be forgotten about.

Toy rotation involves having a smaller amount of toys and books out at one time. Quite often they are displayed openly, on shelves or a bookcase to allow the child to freely pick what they want to play with. By having an edited selection of toys at one time, the child doesn’t get overwhelmed and tends to play more independently and calmly.
Toy rotation makes it so much easier to keep everything tidy: 

Rather than have everything thrown in to a toy box (which seems easier when you are trying to tidy up for the 12th time of the day), Rosie spends so much less time searching for the toy that she wants and tends to be more willing to tidy her own toys away. You can also see where you have missing pieces and broken toys much more easily. 

As Rosie gets older, I will get her to help pick which toys we keep out and which we put away for a later date but for now I tend to spend an hour every couple of weeks, taking all of the toys off the bookcase, cleaning it down and then replacing with the new toys. When Rosie comes downstairs and sees the new set up, her face lights up. I try to focus each area of the shelf on to something different, whether it is seasonal, a character or a particular theme.
Toy rotation
If you are interested in starting a toy rotation, these are some of the questions I ask myself to decide what to keep out and what to store away for a later date.
  • What are they currently interested in? Do they enjoy small world play or enjoy reading? Is there a TV programme or film that they like in particular?
  • What skills are you working on developing? Think about reading, speech and writing/mark making. If they are really hesitant to try mark making, try leaving some crayons with some colouring pages and blank paper. If you are trying to improve their speech, perhaps a role play situation may peak their interest. Don’t just think about now, what is the next stage you want to work towards.
  • What are they really confident at? Include something they know they can do and are familiar with.
  • What themes are relevant at the moment? Some great examples include Christmas, Springtime, Colours and Farm animals.
  • What do you have already? If you have a box of cars and trains, print some themed colouring pages, grab a couple of relevent books and set them up together.
  • What have they not played with during this rotation? Is there anything I can change to make it more appealing?
  • What do they play with regularly? I would always recommend keeping some favourites out, for us it would be Rosie’s character figurines and her wooden clock. We also have a tub to the side of the shelves which holds soft toys, these could be organised better but they are in use almost constantly. We only have a couple of soft toys downstairs at a time but they are one of the things Rosie plays with every day.
The bookcase we use is the Liberty bookcase from Argos, we found it preloved on Facebook Marketplace for £30
I use and CBeebies for printables
Baskets are from TKMAXX

First-Time Mama to Rosie - MUA / Retail Manager - Fuelled by Coffee and Concealer - Dairy Free - Weaning Toddler - Extended Breastfeeding.

One Comment

  • Timmy

    I like that the top left hasn’t changed and the gang are all still there (and not lost in the car of the bottom of a handbag!).
    Rotation is a lovely idea and means that everything gets a chance for a bit of love and use – big fan x

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