A playroom can get out of hand quickly and that is not only overwhelming to an adult but also a child. In this post, I will share 10 Easy Tips to help organize and rotate toys in your playroom. The easier you can locate materials and access them, the more likely you are to utilize them.
Toy Rotation is a great way to organize your children’s toys and help keep the toys “fresh”. When all the toys are out, it’s very easy for things to be forgotten about or lost. When children have fewer toys available to them, they often engage in deeper play and utilize open ended-toys for multiple purposes. In addition, cleaning up will be less of a battle, which will help boost your child’s independence.
Rotating the toys that are highlighted in the playroom will help to refresh the space and engage children. Simple changes will capture their attention and excite them. Rotating the toys will also allow you to take notice of toys that are not used and can either be donated or sold. The most common question is: “how often should I rotate our toys?”, but the answer varies for every home. My best piece of advice is to observe your children’s play and take note of the items that the children are drawn to. Are items just being thrown around? Are some toys being completely ignored? Answering “yes” to either of those questions is a great indicator it is time for a refresh. Sometimes, I will just move things around on our shelves and it will be enough, but other times it is time to completely change out the items on the shelves.
I like to incorporate a variety of toy options. Typically we have building materials, pretend play items, small world resources, and different forms of transportation. Having variations helps to enable everyone to have something they enjoy playing with. Rotating also allows children to explore different animals, for instance, that might otherwise be lost in the bottom of a bin.
Establish Staple Items
We have staple items that are out weekly. Our block sets are used constantly and therefore stay out. We use our blocks for ball runs, doll house furniture, castles, and more! Rainbows are also often used and enjoyed so they are staple items on our shelves as well. Figuring out what items your children enjoy will take a little bit of observing and trial and error but it is worth it.
Focus On Purposeful and Open-Ended Toys
When purposeful and open-ended toys are incorporated, children are playing and learning without even knowing. Toys become learning resources to count, build letters, work on color recognition and more. Open- ended toys can invite your child to use their imagination while minimizing the number of toys you need on a whole. My toddler and preschooler play with the same toys ( I am just mindful of smaller sized pieces).
Follow Your Child’s Interests
When deciding what to have out during your rotation be sure you follow your child’s interests. We have done themes in the past but often times we have a little bit of variety. Currently my son is very much into transportation and my daughter is into dressing dolls. I included a mixture of train tracks, trains, cars and a construction vehicles for my son and then Maileg mice along with a few baby dolls and outfits for my daughter.
Limit the Quantity
Let’s talk about the basics and limiting the quantity of toys. As mentioned above having fewer toys out can allow children to engage in a deeper level of play and also have easier clean up but in addition the space is more inviting. When an area is cluttered, there isn’t space to create and build. I would aim for roughly 10-12 toys per shelf. Limiting the number of sets out at one time with lots of pieces will help to simplify clean up and keep pieces together.
Everything Needs a Home
I find it is key for everything to have a place on the shelf or a “home” as I call it. Whether that is a a basket, a tray or just an empty space having a place to put things makes cleaning up and organizing much easier. When there are too many items, things get cluttered and pieces get thrown around.
Don’t Hold Onto Items for the Future
We all have a tendency to hold on to toys from our first child for our second and so on. While this is great for staple toys and heirloom quality toys, don’t feel the need to hold onto everything for “one day.” Children will always play with toys but the reality is they will also play with a cardboard box. They do not need much. Keep your favorites and the most beneficial items. Don’t burden yourself with tons of things to store, keep your storage free for rotating the items you use!
Information On How I Organize Our Toy Rotation Closet
Keeping our toy rotation closet organized is an on-going task. I usually give it a revamp once a month, during the shuffle of rotations things can get jostled around. The kids also like to help themselves the drawers but I finally got smart and my husband added this lock to the door!
Group by Activity
I like to group our items by the type of activity they are. For instance in the top drawer of our closet I have our fine motor work activities. Below that, I then have frequently used loose parts sorted in baskets that are easy to grab. I also have a drawer
It is no secret that I love baskets. Using baskets helps keep rotating toys quick and tidy. It is also no secret my favorite baskets are from Maple+Lark. The small round baskets are the Promise baskets and are perfect for inside of drawers or to include a couple pieces on a shelf. My new favorite is the Gather basket, I even have one for myself in our kitchen to hold our reusable paper towels.
I like to include an area for random items. It never fails during rotation or throughout the week I will put something random away in the closet. Having a space for this random item instead of cluttering up my organized spaces helps me know what needs to still be sorted!
I hope these tips help. Feel free to check out Five Reasons Kids Benefit From Toy Rotation and feel free to reach out if you have any questions! Happy playing.