Getting Organized Monday: A Toy Rotation

Toys, toys, toys!  They’re everywhere.  Here’s one way I manage all the toys.

It’s pretty simple and so effective.

It’s a toy rotation!

Toy Rotation

I just started rotating J’s toys after Christmas this year because he had so many toys to play with, but none of them could really keep his attention.  I had been reading about toy rotations from several different blogs, and I thought I’d give it a try.

I started out by separating J’s toys into groups. Here are some of the groups I ended up with:


Wooden Stackers


Big Trucks
Shape sorters
Animal figures
Then, I divided the groups in half.  I took one half and put them out for J to play with, and put the other half in a box that fits under the bed.
When I rotate them I simply take the toys out from under the bed and replace them with toys that are out.  I rotate the toys every 3 weeks or so.
I know that J is ready for new toys when:
  • He has a harder time playing independently.
  • He gets frustrated more easily than normal.
  • He gets into things that are off limits
  • He needs more attention from me than normal.
Since doing the toy rotation, I’ve noticed:
  • J is happier throughout the day.
  • He plays independently more often and for longer periods of time.
  • He’s more creative in his play
Other benefits of a toy rotation:
  • My house is less cluttered with toys since only half of them are available at one time.
  • I have a bit more freedom to do things around the house because J is so involved in his play.
Check out these other bloggers and see how they handle their kids toys:
How to Rotate Toys – Little Stories
Toy Storage Solution  – Mama Smiles
What do you think? Do you have a toy rotation in place at home?
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I was a Mental Health Counselor who worked with children and mothers in both individual and group counseling environments before I became a Stay at Home Mom to two boys. I have a Bachelors Degree in Child Development and Family Studies and a Masters in Counseling where I specialized in Play Therapy.

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  1. says

    I LOVE toy rotation…although i think my other half thinks i am a little nuts about it!
    I also like to set up a few things for morning and afternnon playtimes….i really find that they engage so much better when they don’t have everything all the time!

  2. says

    I have been wanting to do this for so long but haven’t bit the bullet yet. We live in a small home with no playroom. So their toys are all on their bedrooms. And we have a wooden toy organizer in the living room that I rotate toys in and out of. But I with their bedrooms weren’t so cluttered… But I fear now that they are at an age where they will miss specific toys if I store them away for any length of time. I might give it a try, though. Thanks for the great post!

    • says

      Check out the post above from NurtureStore. She explains a great way of keeping the toys to a minimum in bedrooms. I understand the small house problem, that’s why the extra toys live underneath one of our beds. Check hall closets, undneath couches, extra drawers, etc. for some space to store toys.

  3. says

    This is great and my favorite part is where you list how you know when your son is ready for a new toy rotation. I’ve had many parents ask me how often to rotate and I’ve just told them to be in-tune with your child, but you put great parameters around that! LOVE!

  4. says

    I love it! My little guy is only 6 months and I’ve noticed I’ve inadvertently been doing a sort of toy rotation with him without realizing it. This is perfect! As he gets older I’m sure to do this. Thanks!

  5. says

    Amanda thanks for including us in your post. This works with much bigger kids too! I love the first days when you just rotated and you observe all the things you listed. It also helps to get bigger ones involved in discussing needs and wants and donating to others as you rotate.

  6. says

    Guess I need to bite the bullet. Our toy rotation usually comes in to play by toys being put on time out for a week for being left out. Maybe this more structured way will be more positive all around.

  7. says

    Amanda, where did you get those Time 4 Toys tubs?
    I have been debating on doing a toy rotation and my son is now 19 months old but kinda rotates through his toys and where he plays (we have toys in every room-even master closet) on his own meaning he doesn’t go in each basket/toy chest everyday and grabs the same toys. So that’s why I haven’t implemented the rotation.
    But I have noticed that he hasn’t been playing very well indepently the past month or so – but just thought it was a phase. He’s going through a clingy stage right now.
    I think I’m gonna give it a shot.

    I want to thank you for how clearly you lay things out with directions, pictures, education/reasoning, and results. I am so glad I found your blog – you are an inspiration to all moms who are constantly pushing themselves to be the best mom they can be for their children. You have opened my eyes to so many activities to do w/ my son and I check your blog everyday. Its inspiring to see what you expose your child to (and others) through your knowledgable background and everyday experiences. Thanks for sharing.
    Thank you!! Amy Scarff

    • says

      Amy, Thank you so much for the wonderfully sweet comment! You made my day!

      The Time 4 Toyz animals were bought off of Amazon. I noticed the same behaviors in J as well before the rotation. Doing the rotation will probably help some, but don’t be discouraged if it is just a stage. Kids get clingy sometimes for lots of different reasons.

      Thanks again for the beautiful comment. I hope you continue to find inspiration here!

  8. says

    I love that you are highlighting the rotation of the toys! I did it for my son as well, when he was young, plus we lived in a small apartment at the time. Rotating materials is also part of a Montessori infant and toddler environment and I’ve written about it quite a lot on my Montessori blogs and programs! Kudos! Happily pinning you now!

  9. Angela says

    When you kept out half for toy rotation, did you keep half of each category or blocks this week and trucks next week? We have a 5 month old and not sure what toys are best for his age yet. He can sit up on his own for a few min, but mostly time singing, dancing reading w mama… but I would love to start looking for great toy ideas for the upcoming 6 months.

    Thank you for your awesome inspirations and guidance!!


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