Toy rotation

How do you rotate toys, if you do that, and have you noticed if it’s made a difference? My 7 month old is great at playing by himself but he has so many toys it almost seems like he doesn’t know how to focus on one toy at a time. Is it an age thing? Should I see if rotating them makes a difference? Do I just split them into two groups?

  • Anonymous
    Dec 26, 2018

    Definitely rotate! We have 2 bins of toys and I switch them out every weekend or so.

  • Tara
    Dec 26, 2018

    Half our kids’ toys are in a bag that I keep in my cupboard. I rotate when it feels right/ one of the babies is sick/ the weather is terrible. I do a similar thing with books and puzzles. Otherwise they grow blind to what’s around them. I also have a stash of smaller toys, books and puzzles for travelling... works for us. Good luck!

  • Winfred
    Dec 26, 2018

    I recommend reading Simplicity Parenting. It’ll go deeper on this topic you are intuiting as a caring parent. It will provide the thought framework you are seeking. My quick synthesis from the book: Don’t split it half and half. Split it 80/20, or Maybe even 90/10. You want as few toys “within reach” as possible. I’d start by putting ALL of the toys into an unreachable “toy library”. Then of course pick a small number (2-5 at that age) to leave out, within reach at any time in his “play area”. Just watch how deep he goes and be amazed. Their minds unfold before our eyes when we remove the clutter around them. Also make sure to focus on toys that are not just preformed plastic concepts with one singular use. Blocks and such can become just about anything when they need it to (though yes at 7 months it’s all about motor skills anyway). The toy library’s location and access levels will change as the child grows of course, but the sooner you do a full reset on your thought framework for toys... the happier you’ll be and the easier it will be for junior to go deep. Happy to discuss more if you’d like. This book revolutionized my life as a parent. Simplifying Toys is just one of the aspects the author touches on... it’s so good!

  • Caitie
    Dec 27, 2018

    Similar to Winfred, I put out about 6 toys at a time. My daughter is 16 months, so 3 of these “toys” are little baskets of smaller things that go together (blocks, musical things like bells and shakers, balls) and 3 are bigger toys (a small train, a puzzle, a car track). I have all the other toys packed up and pay attention to what she is liking at the time. I rotate some out every week or two, usually whatever she has seemed to lose interest in.

  • Rebecca
    Dec 27, 2018

    Yes. The less toys out the better. It helps build creativity and independent play and they will be able to focus on those for longer periods of time. I also have room time every day when I get dressed. The earlier you start this the easier it is. After 2 years I can leave her in her room with her selected toys ( rotated and one chosen ) for as long as I need to get my self ready. I never make it past 1 hour at most. It’s amazing to watch her turn baskets into beds for her dolls etc. I really recommend toys that can be multi purpose like blocks or diploma or even containers. And I don’t have many sound plastic toys. One day a bunch of plastic white balls turned into eggs. I even rotate toys between her room upstairs and a her tiny toy space in the family room. That even makes a difference. At this point I am also starting to keep educational toys like letters aside for her to use just with me so they are not overlooked.

  • Michaela
    Dec 27, 2018

    Thank you all for your responses! How early did you start doing it? My son seems to have a lot of fun taking everything from the box... like he almost doesn’t even play with anything, he just enjoys removing them himself (super fun to pick up of course 😂) so while I want to rotate I don’t want to take that aspect away? Maybe I’m misreading that action, I’m not sure.

  • Ewa
    Dec 28, 2018

    My 13th month old loves ‘finding’ things so we have different containers and baskets and he can seek them out and it does accomplish the same thing, he’ll end up with one set of blocks, or a group of toys I put together. I’m just experimenting with it but the above comments were very interesting. Maybe I’ll start hiding some containers.

  • Bernadine
    Dec 28, 2018

    You guys are really on to something, less is actually more. Check out ‘The Village Toy Share’, not only promotes the rotating concept, but it helps reduce toys waste from continuing to purchase and accumulate toys kids quickly grow tired of.

  • Alejandra
    Dec 28, 2018

    Winfred Interesting about that book! I do the same but I would like to know how that works once they start getting older and realize what's gone or are aware you change them. Mine is now 3 and growing more aware every day.

  • Stacy
    Dec 28, 2018

    I'm wondering the same as Alejandra. Does this translate to when they are older? I'm definitely interested, but I'm wondering how it would look for my almost 5-year-old.

  • Kay
    Dec 28, 2018

    I’m so happy I found this conversation. I’ve been struggling with how to rotate/downsize the amount of toys my son plays with at a time. He’s 2 so I’m wondering how to make this work effectively so he won’t realize a majority of his toys suddenly disappeared. Maybe put a few away everyday?

  • Rebecca
    Dec 29, 2018

    You could take one or two away at a time. Sometimes when things go noticed missing I do this or I would not worry about it as the kids actually enjoy less.

  • Lindsay
    Dec 29, 2018

    Toy rotation is a great idea! It helps keep my son creative and entertained with the same toys for longer periods. I just change them out every 4-6 months but for a few favorites like his wooden trains.