A few months ago I read the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and quickly became convinced that my kids had too many toys. Not only that, but they had the wrong types of toys,and too many options at any given time. Instead of playing with the toys, my kids were dumping them out on the floor, fighting over them, or hiding them in unusual places.
Too many options were causing my children to become frustrated and overwhelmed.
Toys that required many pieces weren't getting used at all. The shape sorter was useless because the small shapes were always lost amidst all the other toys.
So I instituted a rotation system. I bought four bins that fit in the toy cabinet, labelled the bins with numbers 1 to 4, and pared down the toys until all of them would fit in those four bins.
Toys I Kept:
- wooden toys
- toys that are pleasant to touch and look at
- toys that encourage creativity and imagination
- toys that build motor skills
- favorite toys
Toys I Tossed:
- toys that were broken or missing parts
- toys that do the playing for the child. Most toys that talk or move on their own were given away.
- Toys that tend to be the center of a lot of arguments.
Each morning we pull a bin of toys out of the cabinet. The children only play with the toys in that bin for that day. At the end of the day we pick up all the toys and put them back in the right bin. Tomorrow, we'll play with the next bin.
The kids don't mind this system because they get to play with all of their toys over the course of four days and because it has made it possible to keep all the little parts of toys together. The shape sorter is useful again!
The kids fight less too. That alone makes this system golden in my eyes!
Do you use a toy rotation system? What works well for your family?
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