Our toy rotation system is a key component in our home school rhythm. On Our Weekly Rhythm planning sheet you will notice a section called ‘Walk Away Activities’. Each week I list the toys that we have out in our rotation that are available to the children in the three play areas of our home. Having these materials available is a great help for when I need to spend some one-on-one time with a child on a presentation.
A toy rotation system is an excellent system to have in place in any home. I have found that both Montessori and Waldorf approaches agree that when there are too many toys available to play with children often become overwhelmed by the choice and the mess! I believe that by having a small selection of mindfully selected toys, children will play for longer and develop their play in creative ways.
After sorting and storing the kids toys and starting our toy rotation I came across a post over on Little Stories titled How To Rotate Toys. In Kim’s post she explained sorting your toys into three types of toys: Thinking Toys, Moving Toys & Pretending Toys. It was the missing link in our toy rotation system!
First I created a three box table headed with these toy types. I then looked through the kids toys and listed them under the best fit toy type.
You will find that there are some toys that will never be rotated and will always be available for your children to play with. I like to think of these toys as the recipe base for creative play. They are open-ended and are able to be integrated with any toy put out in the rotation.
Box of cloths of varying sizes.
Play kitchen (doesn’t have to be bought!)
Natural objects (shells, small tree branches, leaves, stones)
I then created a Our Toy Rotation Checklist. The dates are three weeks apart to allow for a three week rotation. With three kids playing with the toys in the home I decided to have four toys from each category out ‘in’ rotation.
In my Getting Started post I was concerned about there being enough toys for the children. If I choose toys that are of an open-ended nature and encourage imaginative play, then it is quality over quantity! Children don’t need lots of toys! Choosing toys mindfully, ensuring they are open-ended, results in the limitless play possibilities for your child.
Download Our Toy Rotation Checklist Blank printable to assist your toy rotation system. I am happy to email you a checklist in Word if you would prefer. Just click on the email icon at the top of this page and put Toy Rotation in the subject line 🙂