The Benefits of Toy Rotation System for Your Child’s Learning
As a loving parent, you would want your child to be able to fully explore the world and get creative with his imagination as much as possible. This is how he will come to learn the ins and outs of life. You want your child to connect with the world around him and the people in it. It is important to encourage your child’s interests and show support for their passions while they are still young. It is your duty to help broaden his horizons. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t you fret, and stay calm. This is what toys are here for.
Toys are very tricky things. They are actually teachers, masquerading as mindless entertainment to our kids. Let us take time to appreciate the incredible ways of how toys actually teach our children, and not merely exist to distract the kids. A toy is meant to be an enjoyable means of training young kids to discover and use their given potentials. They are tools to be used in the growth and development of our young precious ones.
Sometimes, however, they do more cluttering the house than educating the children. Have you ever noticed your child not having anything to play with when he is actually surrounded by a number of toys? This is the same feeling you get when you walk into your closet that’s full of clothes and yet you feel like you have nothing to wear. Kids get that feeling too, except it’s with toys. This happens when he finds his playroom full of toys that he has outgrown, or don’t like anymore. Didn’t you ever find yourself going through every piece of article in your closet and realize these are clothes you won’t wear anymore? When this happens to a child, the tendency is to ignore the toys and go grab the cooking pots in the kitchen to play with, instead. You are left feeling frustrated that your child finds your kitchenware more interesting than any toy from his treasury.
There is something you can do. It’s called toy rotation.
The Whys and Hows of Toy Rotation
Toy rotation is exactly what it sounds like. It involves periodically switching the toys that are accessible to your child. Simply put, implementing a system of toy rotation means exerting a conscious effort in rotating the toys that your child plays with. The rotations are scheduled and planned out, with the toys categorized according to their specific purpose.
Why Bother with Toy Rotation?
Toy rotation will definitely require much effort from your part, but the benefits will make it 100% worth it. Can toy rotation really make a difference? Find out here what the benefits of toy rotation are:
● Toy rotation keeps your child’s interest going.
A child learns what the world gives him. This is the reason why experience is the best teacher. Children learn from exploring and gaining new experiences. A child is like a sponge, ready to absorb what he hears, sees, or touches around him. If he were to keep playing with the same group of toys, he will only keep experiencing the same textures and mechanisms. He may quickly lose interest. He may feel that the toys have become too predictable that he no longer wants to interact with them. Daily toy rotation will lead him to discover new ways to play with an old toy, or get interested with a new one.
● Toy rotation reduces your child’s stress.
Toy rotation allows for the reduction of toy options available to your child. Too many toy choices can become overwhelming and stressful for a child. So many toys, so little time. Ease the pressure on your child by reducing the number of choices to choose from.
● Toy rotation lets your child appreciate the toys he already has.
What they say is true about not noticing and valuing the things that we see everyday. This is the reason why some things are taken for granted. Letting your child only play periodically with a certain toy will make him appreciate it more.
● Toy rotation promotes sustained attention.
Toy rotation creates a conducive environment to help a child sustain his attention and focus on one toy. By reducing the number of toys that are accessible to him, your child will be able to resist the urge to flit from one toy to another. Higher-level of thinking during playtime is promoted. Toy rotation may teach your child to play independently for longer periods of time as time goes by.
● Toy rotation makes inventory possible.
Toy rotation helps you keep your child’s toys organized. As a result, it is easier to keep track which toys are out, and makes cleaning up actually manageable. No more stepping on toy parts, or hunting for lost part in between the couch cushions.
● Toy rotation declutters your home.
The clutter in your home can be drastically decreased through toy rotation. Through toy rotation, not all toys need to be out at the same time. Visual clutter is one of the huge sources of stress at home. A decluttered home will make you feel more relaxed and in control.
● Toy rotation encourages your child to help clean up.
Since the toys are well organized, it is easy to see which toys go where. It becomes easier for your child to help out. Toy rotation helps your child to learn how to put things back in their proper place. When there’s not too many toys out at once, cleaning up becomes easy as a breeze.
● Toy rotation helps prevent your child from being spoiled.
As long as his interest in his current toys is kept, you may avoid having to buy your child a new toy to add to his collection every week. Continuously buying toys for a collection is completely different from giving your child access to a variety of toys that address different developmental needs. Toy collections are fun and entertaining, sure. But they may also lead to spoiling. Providing variety through toy rotation, on the other hand, can prove to be stimulating and enriching.
How to Implement a Toy Rotation System at Home
● Choose a location.
Note that you may have several locations throughout your home. Choose your child’s primary play area by assessing where your child frequents the most to sit and play. If you don’t have a designated room as a play area, you may use play mats or rugs to mark the play areas.
● Collect all toys in one place.
Gather everything that you plan to include in the toy rotation and you may consider toy categories for organizing. If you plan to rotate books, include them in the pile as well. Search all corners of your house for toys that seem like good candidates for toy rotation. A good candidate is something you won’t mind seeing scattered on the floor. Leave elaborate puzzles in their box containers. For toys that have several small parts, use clear containers with lids. Once you have gathered all toys in one place, prepare empty boxes and toy storage bins for decluttering.
Collecting all the toys in a pile may serve as an eye-opener for you. This is where decluttering comes in. Throw away outgrown toys. Get rid of toys with broken or missing pieces. Sort out toys that your child barely touches, he won’t miss them.
You may sort your children’s toys according to the toy’s educational function. When we say educational function, we mean what the toy aims to train your child for. Some toys serve more than one educational function. Do not think too much about this, just pick a category for it. Make a pile for each category. You may also make a pile of random toys to keep things constructive and creative. Here are some of the categories that you may use in sorting out your child’s toys:
- Art. These are toys that involve creating with the use of cutting or painting tools. Art toys enable cutting, pasting and drawing. Examples of these are drawing boards, colored markers, and colored chalks.
- Active play. These are toys that would require your child to do some active playing like pushing, jumping, spinning or rolling. Examples of these are balls, and push and pull toys.
- Construction toys. These are toys that promote creativity while improving your child’s gross and fine motor skills. Examples of these are wooden blocks, Legos and Lincoln Logs.
- Role play. These are toys that involve role-playing, and help develop a child’s creativity and imagination. Examples of these may be dress-up costumes, crowns, wands or wings.
- Scientific toys. These toys help children explore the wonders of science and help them get started with the inner scientists in them. Examples of these toys are rain sticks, mini laboratories, simple machines, and natural wonder toys.
- Math. Of course, if there are scientific toys, there should be toys that promote mathematics. These toys train your child to count, quantify, sort, or identify shapes.
- Manipulatives. These are toys that are to be fiddled with. They promote the development of a child’s fine motor coordination and logical thinking.
- Literacy. These are books, illustrations or letters that promote literacy.
- Musical toys. Musical toys help develop a child’s cognitive skills. These toys also enhance a child’s memory. Aside from promoting creativity, musical toys can also develop a child’s patience and motor skills. Examples of these toys include a baby’s first piano, shakers, wind instruments, and clappers.
- Logic. Toys that promote logical thinking include puzzles, board games and brain teasers.
- Vehicles. Throw in this pile anything that qualifies as a vehicle: cars, trains, planes, trucks. These toys promote gross and fine motor skills, as well as creativity and imagination.
- Socio-emotional toys. These are toys that help improve a child’s social skills as well as his emotional well-being. Toys in this category may include stuffed toys, dolls and action figures.
- Play themes. These are toys that further improve your child’s creativity and proved them venues to explore their imagination. Imaginative play toys include doll houses, cartoon characters, farm animals, and train tracks.
● Choose which toys will go out per rotation.
Since you have grouped toys that are similar together, it is wise to have one toy per category, per rotation.
● Keep the out-of-rotation toys out of sight.
Keep the toys in order by storing like with like in appropriate containers or buckets. This will make it easier when it’s time to swap out the rotated toys with the toys that have been kept in storage. Keep the out-of-rotation in a closet that is inaccessible to your kids to prevent your children from taking the toys out, without following the rotation system.
● Display the in-rotation toys attractively.
Avoid clumping the toys you have decided to take out together. Instead, you may line them up against a wall. Display them in such a way that your child will want to pick them up and play with them.
● Come up with a rotation strategy.
Decide if you want to follow a schedule. Do you want to swap out toys weekly, or monthly? Perhaps you would prefer to rotate according to how your child reacts to his toys. Should you wait for him to ask for something from the stored toys? Will you give him the freedom to “shop” and look at the toys, and then decide which ones get to come out? Observe which toys are his favorite and which toys he ignores. This could be helpful for you in assessing which toys you could declutter in the future.
● Maintain your toy rotation system.
Establishing and implementing a toy rotation system can take some time getting used to. Give the system some time before you decide it’s not for you. Getting started is the hardest part. Your child may need a couple of months before he fully adjusts to the new system of playing at your home. Ease your child into the system and be ready to be flexible. See what works and what doesn’t. Make sure that the toys in storage don’t find themselves in rotation all of a sudden. Keep decluttering if necessary. Stick to your set limits and boundaries. Make sure you follow your schedule and your rotation system. Once adjusted, you’ll find that not only is your home more clutter-free but your child is getting his maximum learning experience as well.