Minimizing your child’s toys by decluttering and following a toy rotation system is one of the easiest ways to deal with sensory overload and clutter.
Reducing the number of toys your child has access to at any given time ignites their imaginations, encourages them to be independent and play on their own, engages them more during playtime, and makes cleaning up a breeze.
Start A Toy Rotation In Five Steps
If being more intentional about the toys that fill your home sounds good to you, here are a few great ways give toy rotation a try:
Get all the toys in one area together.
Being intentional about minimizing your child's toys, and decluttering your home, than bringing them all together helps you to discover just how many toys to get rid of by looking for quality toys that fit into the categories below.
If this is too overwhelming, go room by room managing the toys in their bedroom first, then playroom and so on.
Look for toys to eliminate completely.
Are there toys your child no longer likes, plays with, or has outgrown? Or maybe the toy is broken or missing pieces.
If so, pull them out and give them to a friend, donate them, or if beyond repair, throw them away. You should already start to see some reduction of clutter at this point.
Divide the remaining toys into five toy categories:
- Thinking toys that improve cognitive development and fine motor development. These include puzzles, board games, and building blocks
- Moving toys that develop gross motor skills like balls
- Pretending toys that improve social, emotional and language development like dress up clothes and puppets
- STEM toys to create a maker space/bin with interesting gadgets and supplies
- Books deserve their own category. Gather a few books your child can read or pretend read themselves, perhaps ones a few favourite bedtime stories. Also, include a few books that haven't been read for awhile or are seasonal.
Create baskets or bins for each kind of toy to keep them organized and together.
Pull just a few toys from each basket and organize the room so your child can only have these within reach at any given time. Keep the remaining toys stored in a closet or under their bed.
Create a dedicated toy area
If keeping your home decluttered is part of your motivation for reducing and rotating toys than you'll want to create a certain area in the home for the toys. In my house, the available toys are kept in an Ikea Trofast storage frame with spaces for up to six containers.
We use the top of the storage container to display a few toys in a welcoming way, sometimes even adding some nature to make it more enticing.
When rotating toys, let your child know that these are the only toys available to them at that time, so they need to use their imagination and make up their games with the toys they have. You’ll be amazed at some of the games they invent!
Rotate the toys once every few weeks to keep things fresh.
Pack up the toys your child has been playing with and pull a few new toys out of the bins. These toys will now feel new and fresh to your child since they haven’t had access to them for a week or two and they’ll be able to start imagining and inventing new ways to play all over again.
At least two of the bins in our storage container are always filled with craft supplies. One with a variety of paper and another with colouring toys as well as glue and scissors.
As you continue your toy rotation system, plan to purge on a regular basis, as your child outgrows toys or loses interest.
Rotating your child’s toys not only reduces clutter and chaos around your house, but it's also an excellent way to engage your child’s imagination.