Even if you give your child a truck-full of toys to play with every day, eventually, she will get bored. After a point, she will stop playing with them, and look for new ventures. This is when the importance of toy rotation slips in.
The system of toy rotation helps the child discover something new in an old toy, every time she plays with it. It enhances the child’s intellect, by giving her an opportunity to experience something new each time. It keeps the child engaged for a longer time, as it increases her interest in the toy. This method enhances the child’s intellect as well as her creative faculties. It will do a world of good to your child, and give you an opportunity to sneak in some valuable free time. Still wondering what the art of toy rotation is all about? Read on to find out how it benefits your child.
What Are the Benefits of Toy Rotation?
Toy rotation is a way to organise your children’s toys into specific groups and giving your children access to only one or two groups of toys at a time. This has several advantages – it makes cleaning up much easier, reduces the clutter in your home, and makes children appreciate and play with all of the toys in the group that you give them.
The system of rotating toys for babies is a fantastic way to keep your child engaged by rotating sets of old toys on a daily basis. This system ensures that your child uses what she already has. Some of its benefits are listed below:
- Your child’s creative and intellectual faculties are enhanced when she finds new ways to play with an old toy.
- Even though your child plays with her old toys in this system, she remains engrossed and occupied. This eventually results in increased playtime.
- Rotating toys and having only a set of few toys to play with every day keeps clutter at bay. This means less cleaning for the parent. The house will also look tidier and not like a toy shop.
- Parents are spared from spending money on buying new toys every now and then, and children from being spoilt of choice.
- While stacking away the day’s toys, you will have a better idea and accountability of the toys that are fine and can be played with, and toys which need to be disposed of.
- Too many toys to choose from not only spoil your child but can also stress her out. The very thought of what to choose and what to leave can put your child under pressure. Through the toy rotation method, a child has less number of toys to choose from which eases off the pressure.
- Allowing your child to play with a certain toy once a week or in 10 days makes her value the toy more. If your child is given the same toys to play with every day, she will lose interest in the toy and may refuse to play with it.
- This method makes your child’s playroom more organised now that all the toys are neatly stacked away in boxes. It also makes it easy for you to keep a tab on all her toys while cleaning them up. You need not go treasure hunting for the toy parts all around the house.
- It also teaches a child how to be independent and play on her own. This gives the mother some time for herself or time to spend with the other baby in case of a second child.
- Toy rotation encourages a child to help mommy clean up and keep the playroom more organized. Since there are separate boxes for a separate set of toys, it becomes easy for the child to keep her toy back in the correct box. This way, the mother also gets some help in cleaning the play area, and it inculcates a sense of responsibility in the child from a tender age.
Simple Steps for Rotating Toys
Having too many toys to choose from and play overwhelms children and makes playtime stressful for them. Therefore, if you want your child’s playtime to be joyful, full of fun, new experiences and learning, introduce the system of toy rotation. Here is the stepwise guide to help you with toy rotation.
After the idea of toy rotation hits you, and you make up your mind to implement it, monitor your child closely. Keep an eye on the toys in which she shows more interest or disinterest. Pay attention to the time span of each toy play.
Now that you have observed your child for a few days, select the toys that you feel she may be interested in. You can also dispose of the toys which are broken or beyond repair. Giving away toys which your child is not fond of or too old to play with is a good way to de-clutter the space.
After selecting toys, you should segregate toys in the following criteria:
- Cognitive and fine motor development – puzzles
- Gross motor development – balls, vehicles, trains
- Socio-emotional and language development – dolls, toy utensils
According to your child’s requirement, you can organize toys in different categories.
- Daily – In this type of rotation, you need to have seven sets of toys; one for each day of the week.
- Weekly – Here, you require 4 sets of toys for each week of the month. The child will get one set of toys to play with. Since you know your child well, it is solely up to you to decide how many toys should go in each set.
- Monthly – This rotation requires you to rotate toys only once a month. 3 to 6 boxes of toys are enough. However, if you wish to have a new set every month, then you could have 12 sets.
- Random – In this type of rotation, you can have several boxes with toys in them. You may give a new set of toys whenever you see your child getting bored of one set. This system of rotation is helpful for children with a short attention span.
Write down names on each box according to their categories or function. This will make it easy for you to select boxes while giving them to your child.
- Keep a notebook and use a separate page for each category of toys.
- Leave space for notes and note down which toys your kids play with and which ones they barely touch.
- Having these remarks will help you when you go shopping for toys the next time. You will know what kind of toys your kids are into at the moment.
Arrange each category into subcategories having a set of toys for each. For instance:
- Puzzles and board games: These toys target the development of fine motor skills and cognitive skills in children.
- Balls, pull-alongs, and vehicles: These toys target the development of gross motor skills in your kids.
- Building blocks, soft toys, and dolls: These target fine motor skill development as well as emotional and social development skills in your kids.
7. Putting them in boxes
Put each category or subcategory of toys in each box. Remember never mix up categories/subcategories.
- Have a group of toys for each category of toys.
- Make 3-4 groups in each category such that your children are fully engaged with those toys.
- Take help from family members like grandparents or aunts to organise this.
8. Stock Up
Stock up toys for future use. However, remember to keep them in places where your little one may not be able to reach.
- Keep 2-3 boxes of toys hidden away.
- When your kids are bored of the current box, you can swap it with a new one.
Place the boxes of toys on the shelf or some extra toys on display and see your little one light up.
- Display the toys that you are giving them access to.
- Note down which ones they play with and put the unused ones back into storage.
According to the needs of your child and the way you have planned, rotate and change the set of toys.
- Every 15 days to one month, swap the toys with a different box which the kids did not have access to previously.
- Remember to put away the old toys before bringing out the new ones.
Now that you know what toy rotation is and how it works, implement this system at home. It may not work for you or your child initially; however, after a point of time, you will witness its benefits. Go ahead and give it a try.