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#1 of 7 Old 03-26-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've heard about rotating your kid's toys to make sure things stay new and interesting, but I have some questions about how it all works.  So, if you do this (rotate toys), can you tell me the basic details of how you do it?  Specifically, I'm wondering things like-

1) How do you decide what to put away?

2) How often do you rotate?

3) Where do you keep the out-of-rotation toys?

4) What do you do if your child asks for a toy that is put away?

5) What about the big toys (space-wise)?  For example, we have a play kitchen, an indoor trampoline, and an art table.  How do these factor into the rotation?

6) How many toys do you keep out vs. put away (like 50/50, 20/80, etc)?

7) Are there any toys that always stay out?  What is your criteria for picking those "always" toys?

 

Thanks- I'm sure this doesn't need to be as complicated as I'm making it!! 

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#2 of 7 Old 03-26-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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I used to keep some toys in the garage and the rest out then rotate them sometimes.  I found that it was easier for both of us to put most of her toys in a big toy box then to keep some of the ones she used often in a wicker basket and some little toys in a couple small tupperware boxes.  I go through the toy box and basket every couple months and rotate toys out depending on what she is searching for in the toy box and what her interest level is in her toys that are more easily accessed.  I put newer ones and ones that I think she will like again in the more accessible places.  This way she truly can play with anything she wants to and I won't have to get it out for her but she also doesn't have to search for a long time to find things she often plays with.

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#3 of 7 Old 03-27-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petey44 View Post

I've heard about rotating your kid's toys to make sure things stay new and interesting, but I have some questions about how it all works.  So, if you do this (rotate toys), can you tell me the basic details of how you do it?  Specifically, I'm wondering things like-

1) How do you decide what to put away? I just divided up the toys, with only one "set" of toys out at a time.

2) How often do you rotate? Every week to two weeks.

3) Where do you keep the out-of-rotation toys? In a closet.

4) What do you do if your child asks for a toy that is put away? Bring it out if they want to play with it, put something else away instead.

5) What about the big toys (space-wise)?  For example, we have a play kitchen, an indoor trampoline, and an art table.  How do these factor into the rotation? One "Big" toy out at a time.

6) How many toys do you keep out vs. put away (like 50/50, 20/80, etc)? I had 3 sets of toys in rotation, but whatever works for you is fine.

7) Are there any toys that always stay out?  What is your criteria for picking those "always" toys? We did have a few "favorites" that stayed out (DS has a particular car that he LOVES and he is obsessed with hockey so his hockey sticks stay out and are played with several times a day) as well as things like balls that can be played with in many different ways.

 

Thanks- I'm sure this doesn't need to be as complicated as I'm making it!! 


When I decided to do a toy rotation for DS (he was 12 or so mos at the time and is now 20 months old), I got three "baskets" and had one basket out at a time, for one to two weeks each (depending on when I remembered to rotate).  I started by having all the toys out together and going through them and putting each toy into one of the "baskets" (use whatever you have that will work for your toys, obviously).  I tried to have at least one of each "type" of toy in each basket.  DS was about a year old at the time, so for example a different noise making toy (rattle, drum, etc.) in each basket, a stuffed animal in each basket, a car or truck toy in each basket, etc.  For large items (at the time, a play table, one of those busy ball popper things, a walk behind toy, etc.) I would keep them in his closet and only have one out at a time and rotate every few days.

 

We don't rotate as much anymore, except for the big items, because I went through and purged a TON of toys after reading simplicity parenting.  Most of DS's toys are more open-ended now, so he doesn't really get bored of them.
 

 


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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#4 of 7 Old 03-27-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petey44 View Post

I've heard about rotating your kid's toys to make sure things stay new and interesting, but I have some questions about how it all works.  So, if you do this (rotate toys), can you tell me the basic details of how you do it?  Specifically, I'm wondering things like-

1) How do you decide what to put away? I usually take a look around at what they are really playing with, and put the majority of the other, unplayed with toys away.  If it hasn't been touched in a couple days, it goes away.

2) How often do you rotate? Whenever I can. When I notice toys aren't being played with, or that the boys are looking bored. When we need a do-over, and have had too many meltdowns and tantrums.

3) Where do you keep the out-of-rotation toys? Instead of having one nice size linen closet, like I have always grown up with, we have two small closets in the hallway, right next to the boys' room. One I keep for linens, the other is just for toys.  For bigger toys, I keep them in my extra/craft room.

4) What do you do if your child asks for a toy that is put away? This hardly ever happens, and when it does, it's usually a small toy and I have no problem getting it. 

5) What about the big toys (space-wise)?  For example, we have a play kitchen, an indoor trampoline, and an art table.  How do these factor into the rotation? Our play kitchen never leaves the kitchen, but I rotate where I put it. EX: sometimes it's parallel to the wall, sometimes perpendicular, sometimes against the window, sometimes in the corner...etc, etc. Our art easel (sp?)  moves from the kitchen to the living room to the garage.  I store it either in my craft room closet or closed up in the garage.  Sometimes that thing gets on my nerves.  Our other somewhat big toys (like the little play firehouse with little men or the jungle thingy with play animals) usually get packed away in my craft closet, and I bring out one or two at a time.  If they don't touch it for a few days, I just put them all away. Right now my boys love this awful Batman toy their nina bought them.  Its truly the size of my youngest toddler.  But it has little Batman people and cars and stuff, and I put it in one room until they are bored of it, then move it outside where it suddenly is attractive again, and they play with it all morning, and then are bored, so I put it away for a day or two until someone asks for it...

6) How many toys do you keep out vs. put away (like 50/50, 20/80, etc)? I have 60-70% of their toys put away.  None of their books are put away.

7) Are there any toys that always stay out?  What is your criteria for picking those "always" toys? Legos always stay out (at least, only half stay out.  I bring out the other half when they are really involved in what they are making.) Art supplies are out, but jjust out of their reach. Train table and trains always stay out, as well as books and the play kitchen. Generally, the "open ended, creative toys" stay out all the time, and only go away when being misused, (like when they start throwing the legos or biting the foam blocks.)

 

At the moment, we have a huge setup of play kitchen, babies, doll bed, play food and empty condiment containers, baby high chair and blankets set up in the kitchen.  They are really interested in taking care of babies and doing what mama does right now, so I have a feeling this will be out for a week more or two.  Since this is such a big set up, I have very few "odds and ends toys" out.  I will put this away soon, and then bring it back when I have this new baby, since I am sure they will want to act out what I am doing :)

 

It sounds like we have a million toys, but we shop thrift stores/yard sales 98% of the time, and our "new" toys are special Christmas ones or gifts. I like to have a wide variety for them, since we are home so much and I plan on homeschooling. 

 

Example of one toy that I decided to keep out for a while - we had went to the zoo not too long ago, and I brought along a baggie of play animals (yard sale find) and every animal we saw, we let them hold that toy animal and make the sounds/practice the names, etc and after getting home, those animals were in a little basket in the living room and they would dump it on the floor, recreate the sounds/movements and stuff.  That was out for almost a month, and once they started losing interest, it got put back.  Simple! :)

Thanks- I'm sure this doesn't need to be as complicated as I'm making it!! 



 


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#5 of 7 Old 03-27-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:

1) How do you decide what to put away?I often put away the toys I don't like :), but also the ones that I like but they have lost interest in for the time being.

2) How often do you rotate?It really depends on how play is going.  If it seems like time for fresh toys, or they ask for other stuff, we rotate.  It's sometimes a couple of weeks, sometimes longer.

3) Where do you keep the out-of-rotation toys? Big closet upstairs

4) What do you do if your child asks for a toy that is put away?I often get it for them, but not always.  Depends on how hard it will be to get out of the closet (I know how deeply they are buried) and how much the toy is truly loved/irreplacable for the time being

5) What about the big toys (space-wise)?  For example, we have a play kitchen, an indoor trampoline, and an art table.  How do these factor into the rotation? I rotate out the train set and duplos, stuff like that.  We don't have the type of stuff you are saying.  We did have stuff like that outside for a while, eventually we got rid of it.  Drove me and DH bonkers to have these giant things to clean up all the time.  Kids are 6 and 4 (and newborn).  So this has been years...

6) How many toys do you keep out vs. put away (like 50/50, 20/80, etc)?  I'd say we have 75-80% put away.  We have way too many toys, thanks to generous family.

7) Are there any toys that always stay out?  What is your criteria for picking those "always" toys?  The closest thing to "always out" toys are the one dresser of toys has one drawer of play food and one of instruments.  Those haven't been rotated out in forever.

 

Thanks- I'm sure this doesn't need to be as complicated as I'm making it!! 


 

After doing this for 6 plus years, I still am happy we rotate toys.  However, I think it doesn't help my kids be willing to give away or get rid of things.  They're always willing to rotate something out instead of donating it.

 

Tjej
 

 

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#6 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies- they were very informative!  I spent yesterday morning deciding what to keep out for this first rotation, and then putting everything else away and organizing the stuff that is out.  I was actually shocked by the amount of toys DD has.  I showed her the results when she got home from preschool, and she was thrilled to see toys that, although they've been out this whole time, she hasn't seen because they've been buried under so much stuff.  Cleaning up has been easier too, because there's smaller messes and it's easier for her to figure out how to clean them up.  I'm very happy!!

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#7 of 7 Old 03-31-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by petey44 View Post

Thanks for the replies- they were very informative!  I spent yesterday morning deciding what to keep out for this first rotation, and then putting everything else away and organizing the stuff that is out.  I was actually shocked by the amount of toys DD has.  I showed her the results when she got home from preschool, and she was thrilled to see toys that, although they've been out this whole time, she hasn't seen because they've been buried under so much stuff.  Cleaning up has been easier too, because there's smaller messes and it's easier for her to figure out how to clean them up.  I'm very happy!!

There's some interesting reading on this if you are interested, pick up Simplicity Parenting from the library.  About how kids can finally "play" when they're freed from the mountain of toys.  It's a really good read!
 

 


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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