I always find after Christmas is the perfect time to rotate the kids’ toys again. This post is an update from one of my first posts back in early 2008.
Due to the floor plan of our house, we don’t have a specific play room in our house. Toys are located in cupboards in the children’s bedrooms and we have a toy shelf in the family room. For the two smaller children the toy shelf is the key source of their toys/activities. The older three can easily access the cupboards and choose the activity they want and then (hopefully) return it. Over the last few years, whilst we have had little ones I have found the toy shelf has worked well for us in organizing the kids toys for the following reasons:
There is a finite amount of toys on the shelf.
Too much choice is often difficult for younger children to manage. They are more likely to want to have a go at everything and this generally just adds up to additional mess, without any real value for the kids. When I keep an eye on what toys the kids are playing with, their is generally a few key ones that they really are playing with at different phases of their development.
They can choose the toy themselves.
When I sit down with them to play or if they are playing by themselves, they can easily make a decision on what they want to do and easily find it.
A place for everything.
Although I do not expect the toy to go on the exact spot that I put it (but that would be very nice!), it is easy for the little kids to remember where they got the toy from and where they should put it back. If it is an activity with small parts, they know that they need to pick up all the pieces and put it back in the right container and place that back on the shelf.
Like I did today, when I realised that the kids are not really playing with what is on the shelf and are seeking alternative stimulation, I can draw from the stocks in the cupboards and rotate the toys. The new toys out have quite a novelty factor with even the older children, if they haven’t been out for a while. And for the toddler, some of these toys are completely new to him.
How are you organizing the influx of toys from Christmas?