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How to Set Up a Daily Toy rotation

The Benefits of Toy Rotation

Toy rotation has seriously saved my sanity!

We have taken all the toys in our home, divided them into large storage containers and rotate them out. While toys are not in rotation, they are stored out of site.

It did not take us long to see how much toy rotation benefited our daughters. Here are the few positive changes we saw once we implemented the process:

  • We saw improvements with both of our daughters when it came to independent play. The fresh toys seemed to really spark their curiosity and keep them entertained for some time.
  • Clean up was so much easier. With less toys, it took less than half the time to clean up during the day and at night.
  • Less toys meant less clutter, and less stress for mom! I constantly felt overwhelmed by the amount of toys we had. With the toy rotation system, we literally cut the clutter by a fourth!

Step 1- Gather All The Toys. ALL of them!

From the car, the kids room, the living room, any and all play areas you have! Ensuring you have every toy in one location will help make the rest of the steps so much easier!

Don’t forget, although this process make take a little time (we finished in about an hour), remember that you only have to do it once if you take the time to do it thoroughly.

Step 2- Organize into Keep, Toss, or Donate Piles

Before we can get to the rotation sorting, we want to make sure that what we are putting into the bins are quality toys your child will play with. Make three simple piles (you can use the bins you plan to use for rotation for the sorting).

If your home is anything like mine, you may have acquired duplicates of some toys and a few “junk” toys along the way (think kids meal toys, extremely old hand-me-downs, or incomplete toys that are missing parts or broken). These add to the feeling of clutter when it comes to toys. These can most likely be tossed in the trash.

We had many duplicates of toys (FOUR shape sorting style toys!) which we decided to donate.

Side note: I did our big toy sort when Nora was a year old, meaning we had some “infant” toys that she no longer played with. I did make a fourth stack for toys to be stored away for if a Baby #3 comes along!

I know this whole sorting job may seem overwhelming to think about, but I speak from experience when I say, the faster you just bite the bullet on this step, the better! Again, you only have to do it once for it to work for your kids for quite some time.

Step 3- Divide into Rotation Bins

Once you have your pile of items you will be keeping, you can start dividing them into your rotation bins.

We currently have 4 rotation bins, but with more toys, you could do more, especially if you are planning on doing

When I sort the toys into bins, I try to have a mix of different types of toys. We rotate out books, educational style toys, imaginative play toys, musical toys, etc. I would also make sure I had enough toys in the big to go onto all play areas of the house (kids room, play room and one or two to add to the diaper and for the car).

Toy Rotation- how we control the clutter and encourage more independent play by storing 1/4 of our toys away and rotating them our as needed

When to Rotate to a New Bin

This completely depends on your child! Many choose to do a daily bin rotation. Others like to wait until they see signs that their child is not longer stimulated by the toys that have out and available to rotate to a new bin.

We tend to see “the signs” that a new bin is needed about every week, but sometimes we go longer, sometimes shorter. We can easily tell when it is time to rotate by watching our kiddos during play time.

We hope you and your kiddos will experience all the same positives that we did when incorporating a toy rotation into the mix!

Be sure to check out some of our favorite toddler activities below!

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