If your kiddo is showing signs of boredom with all their toys, then consider toy rotation! Toy rotation involves de-cluttering your home’s play area and by sorting toys into similar piles and putting similar toys away for a week or up to a month at a time before bringing them out again. This can work for young and older kids alike.
Sound confusing and time consuming? Does not have to be!
Most parents who use toy rotation swear by it and admit that it usually doesn’t take more than a ½ hour to complete. You can do toy rotation each week or every few weeks, it goes/gets faster/easier as you use it. Plus it helps with overall clutter.
You may notice attention spans may temporarily improve when kiddo receives new toys, but now they are back to dumping containers and searching for something to do, saying’ I’m bored”
Kids are overwhelmed by choice; easily. Choosing a single toy or activity to play with when there is so much available to choose from can be too much, too hard.Consider this example as to why this may be. Suppose your kiddo may want to play with a puzzle, but when there are 17 puzzles on the shelf, this may lead to simply pulling puzzle after puzzle off the shelf and dumping the pieces without actually completing an activity. The same goes for books, cars, dolls, craft supplies or any other favorite activities your child may have.
To alleviate this, moms and dads can sort their kid’s toys into like groups: Literacy (books, pictures, flashcards, etc), Transportation (all vehicles), Manipulatives (blocks, Legos, pegs, slime, kinetic sand), Active Play (bikes, balls, push toys), Dramatic play (dolls, action figures, dress up, kitchen sets), Art (Crayons, markers, coloring books, playdoh), etc.
Once this is done, you’ll notice that your kiddo actually has 25 planes, 15 elephants, 36 books, 18 dolls, 12 puzzles , 7 balls and so on. This is where rotation starts. Grab some empty boxes, bags or plastic storage bins. Mark each box, bag or bin with the name of the toy group, such as “Active Play”. Now choose 2-4 items in this group to remain in your child’s play area and put the rest in the bin for rotation, in a few weeks. Do this with all toy groups until the clutter is minimized.This makes decision making more manageable. You chose the number to stay out in the play area, but try to keep it under 7 of each item (one for each day of the week) to minimize your clutter and maximize your child’s attention.
Notice how interested your kiddo is in their toys and then as you notice your child beginning to get bored with toys or spending less and less time engaged in play, rotate to all” NEW” toys in each toy group! When you rotate toys, those same toys that your child had no interest in 2 weeks ago will now be BRAND NEW to him; again!
It is recommended to try this for at least 3 weeks- and don’t give up. You can start rotating weekly but two weeks seems more realistic. Some kids do well with the same toys for an entire month. You’ll see an amazing difference in attention, play and creativity each time you roll out a new rotation. This can also be a chance to throw out broken toys, find missing pieces to toys and donate toys that are too young for your child or that they clearly do not play with anymore.