Monday, December 9, 2013

My Sisters Brilliant Idea: Toy Rotation!

My daughter is 14 months old and between hand-me-downs, Christmas and Birthday gifts you'd never know. She has enough stuff to last her a lifetime. Her room is a teeny tiny box that barely has enough room to squeeze her crib, dresser, changing table, rocking chair, and book case; much less her expanding toy box. Not to mention the fact that because of the plethora of items she had to play with, she didn't really play with any of it! My sister was running into the same problem with her two boys, however, her problem was much larger: they fought over them, dragged their feet in putting them away, and there just wasn't enough room. She came up with this brilliant idea: toy rotation. She does a monthly schedule, I do a weekly. After two months of doing this "toy rotation idea" I've noticed a few things:
  1. She plays with her toys with or without me.
  2. When I put away a group of toys and trade it for another, she's so excited about her "new" toys.
  3. There's more space in her room to actually play.
  4. It's easier to pick up before bedtime.
  5. Her room isn't nearly as cluttered.
(I'm sure my sister would add on to this list of reasons with her two boys, and I think I remember her saying something about longer attention spans, more enjoyment, a greater appreciation for their stuff, playing well together...)

Here's what I did and why I'll continue doing this from now until she's done with toys:
  1. I found 3 tubs and labeled them 1, 2, and 3. 
  2. I separated her toys so that each tub had stuffed animals, a puzzle of some sort, wheels, &etc.

    Her toy "box" is a cute little suitcase I found at a yard sale.
  3. When Monday rolls around, I put the toys in her room in an empty tub, grab the next tub and dump it out, letting her explore.
Thank you Mel for sharing your brilliance. I love this rotation idea, it's like Christmas every week! Plus, let's be completely honest... every morning after breakfast I make a point to read her a book and play with her before doing my chores. Rotating the toys helps my own sanity. I'm not playing with the same toys day after day after day. ;) Don't get me wrong, this is a highlight of my day, but this toy rotation helps make it that much more enjoyable.

When I was sorting her toys, the process was difficult because she kept going through the piles and taking out what she wants. Haha. This has become part of my everyday life with everything I do: loading the dishwasher, folding clothes, putting clothes away, etc. etc.
I am ever so thankful for this toy rotation with the upcoming holiday celebrations and the stuff I know we'll be adding. ;)

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