Intentional Toy Rotation
(Intentional Parenting Tip)
Toy rotation is a great way to be intentional with your children’s toys. In general, toy rotation is when you store away toys while choosing only a few to leave out for play for a period of time. Toy rotation increases creative play, makes daily clean up easier, and helps create a more intentional home.
While it may be easier to take on the task yourself, getting your children involved is a great way to teach them intentionality. There are several ways to do a toy rotation. To help, here’s one example of an intentional toy rotation that we love:
Step 1: Gather
Gather all of your children’s toys to one room.
Step 2: Organize
Work with your child to place toys into categories based on what they are used for (building, creating, playing, reading, pretending or learning). This helps insure that your child will have a variety of experiences during play time.
Step 3: Fill
Get as many baskets (or other containers) as you intend to store. We personally have 4 baskets (many people go with 6-8). Start with your first basket and choose one toy for each category to put into the basket. Keep record of what you put into each basket by writing it on a notecard that you can tape to each basket.
Build: Wooden Blocks
Create: Musical Instruments
Play: Doll & Outfit
Read: The Giving Journey Book
Pretend: Doctor Tool Kit
Learn: Shape Puzzle
Step 4: Store
Once you have filled all of the boxes, store them away in a closet or other location out of reach of your children. Choose one more item from each category to place within reach on a shelf or in a basket.
(Note: We personally also leave out a library of books. While rotating a few books helps to keep things fresh, we also believe it’s important to give our children access to good literature on a regular basis).
Step 5: Donate
Place any toys left over into a bag to be donated. Go with your child to donate them to a local shelter, family in need or other local charity that accepts used toys. Service is also a great way to keep an intentional home.
Step 6: Rotate
There are several options for rotating. Here are two that we have seen work well:
Option 1: Every two weeks, get a new box out from storage and exchange them for the toys that were out.
Option 2: Allow your child to request for a new box at any time. After they have cleaned up and stored the old toys, get out the new box.
On occasion, repeat the process to rotate the toys within the boxes as well.
Have a toy rotation system you love? Feel free to share your experiences below!