When we first set up the main floor playroom for Kins it was a place where we stored every toy we had for her.
There were a ton of activities to keep her busy, and we always had a wide range of toys available for babies of all ages (for when our friends stopped by with their little ones).
At the time it seemed like a good idea, but we were later introduced to “toy rotating” by one of the Montessori Instagram accounts we follow and realized there was a much better way.
What Is A Toy Rotation?
A toy rotation is simply having a set amount of toys out on display for your child to play with and then storing away other toys that you can rotate in and out.
Toy rotations are actually something we do with our two Golden Retrievers dogs. Every time we pull out toys from storage the dogs act like it’s a new fun toy they’ve never seen before.
With kids, it’s very similar.
When you bring out “new” toys (even if they’ve played with them before) it is exciting for them and will often lead to them engaging with those activities more.
It also allows you to reduce the number of toys you have set out in the playroom, which can be a great way to promote focus and let them master individual skills (and can make keeping the area tidy easier too)!
Cleaning Up Our Montessori Playroom
Although the colossal collection of toys we had scattered all over the room seemed to keep Kins busy, we later realized it was making it tough for her to focus and master an individual activity.
We decided to tidy things up and pack away a lot of toys she was either getting too old for or that she wasn’t using.
We originally cut back quite a bit on the toys we had out for her (see the above picture), but realized even then we still had too many activities out on display for her.
From following various Montessori parents we learned that roughly 8-10 activities would be plenty.
In the above picture we had 13 toys out, and then a few more not pictured.
We also had one toy out of reach which we wanted to change with our next playroom makeover (the Montessori way is having everything in reach for the child).
As you can see from the above picture we cut down the number of activities on the shelf to 8, and also rotated in some new toys.
Not only do fewer toys on the shelf help Kins stay interested in each activity more, but it’s also great as we have more toys available to rotate in and out each week.
Tips For Rotating Toys
- Try having just 8-10 activities out in the playroom
- Have a wide variety of activities (ie. stacking toys, puzzles, musical instruments, etc)
- Rotate the toys every 5-10 days (we do it weekly)
- Use the toy rotation as a time to clean the toys and play area
- There are no set rules – do what works best for you and your child!