Today, I'm talking about toy rotation! I had heard about toy rotation on a blog I think. So of course when I saw a pin about it I had to pin it and was excited to check it out. The pin takes you to the Little Stories blog. The subtitle is early speech and language development. Which gets my little teacher heart so excited!
This is the best explanation of how to rotate toys. My short version is you categorize your toys into 3 categories. 1) thinking toys like puzzles, shape sorters, and stacking rings 2) moving toys like balls, instruments, and ride on toys and 3) pretending toys stuffed animals, phones, or at our house cardboard boxes. Then you pick 3 toys from each category and that is all they get to play with. Put the other stuff away and rotate every couple weeks. Easy peasy!
We have a tri level house so Chase (aka spoiled rotten brat) has three play areas. Before I organized his toys I did rotate things around and hide some things so he kept interested.
Here is his play area on our main level in the kitchen now. On the left is the pretending toys: carboard boxes, my breast pump bag that he likes to carry around and we call it a purse or satchel and his snake toy that he chases us around the house with. Then there are his thinking toys in the middle: blocks, a puzzle, and an apple from the very hungry caterpillar book that has a caterpillar and fruit in it. Then on the right are his moving toys: a ball, a keyboard, and his musical turtle with wheels.
You might have seen a tweet from me about @lilstoriesblog. You all need to follow her! She tweets about speech and language development stuff and gets back to you quickly which I love! She tweeted me and asked how toy rotation was going and I asked her what category that musical turtle with wheels that Annie and I have would be and she responded right away.
Here is Chase's play area upstairs. Thinking toys: the shape sorter turtle, puzzle, and stacking rings. Pretending toys: his puppy, the phone, and the construction ramp. Moving toys, bats, drum, and basketball hoop.
I had a lot of fun organizing his toys. Like I said it makes my heart happy to feel like he is learning while he is playing. I know we shouldn't compare our kids but when I read that Melissa's 13 month old can stack blocks I panic and start trying to get Chase to stack blocks.
Has toy rotation stopped him from going behind the tv or climbing on the coffee table? No. When he woke up from his nap and his toys were all organized he was excited to play with everything. Since I went through everything and made sure all the pieces were where they should be there were some things he hadn't played with in awhile.
I also leave board books out for him to read. He loves to have us read to him. I just separated them out so there are 4 or so in every play area.