Behind the Scenes ~ Rotating Toys

Behind the Scenes ~ Rotating Toys



Long ago when I was trained in child development, I remember learning something cool regarding the rotation and rotating toys and the specific placement of toys. The concept is more recently called “strewing,” as I have seen it spread around a few blogs I read lately. The idea I am talking about isn’t exactly what is described there, but it’s pretty close. I don’t remember if it even had a name back when I learned about it ;-) but I remember thinking it was a genius idea and that when I was a parent I would be consistent with the concept in my own home.

Fast forward to now, I am a mother of 3, with a house full of toys. I am busy and brain-less at times. Remembering to change things around to keep their environment interesting is something I often forget to do.

Lately I got back on the band wagon with intention and I have already seen great results. I thought I would share with you what is working for us based around this idea of keeping the learning and living environment fresh, fun, engaging, and new for our children.

I am VERY forgetful, so one day I walked around my house and picked some key areas I wanted to be sure to change out on a regular basis, and I brainstormed what my goals were with each area. I won’t share all of my areas, as all homes are different, but I will share some key areas that would probably be in most homes.

I also made a list with goal time frames of when I wanted to remind myself to change out particular areas. This is not set in stone, but at least it reminds me so I can check on the area if it hasn’t been updated.

 

My “Rotating” Areas…

 

The Dishwasher {could be fridge, washer/dryer, etc based on your house}. Once a week I am putting up a new magnet set for the kids to explore freely. Ladybug in particular has really enjoyed this!!!! You’ll notice a bowl in the photo, she loves to take the magnets off and put them into something and then put them all back up!IMG_8475

 

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Living Room Toy Basketwe have one area on our entertainment center where we allow an assortment of small toys. Usually this has been a junky gathering place, until lately. I decided to make this a family-toy basket…choosing a special toy that could be enjoyed by all 3 of my children, rather than just one. The first week I put some of our Little People and some of the smaller pieces from their sets. The next week I put in our puppets. The boys hadn’t touched our puppets in MONTHS or longer, but when I put them there for them to find, they got busy doing puppet shows without me ever saying a thing! Right now I have our felt food from The Felted Pear, and it’s getting a lot of attention from all 3 kids!

IMG_3202K is a hoarder, especially when he LOVES something!!!! He loves this food!

 

Ladybug’s Books…she has a few areas where her books are available, one is a basket in the living room, one is a low shelf in her room {it’s from Ikea, imagine that, & please ignore the fact that it”fell” off of the wall due to my inability to hang shelves properly-my sweet husband will be fixing it soon}. IMG_2103 I make a point to change out her board books, and hide the ones not in use in either of those places, so her books are rotating regularly. This girl LOVES to read and is very excited on the day she finds I have rotated her books!

 

Mom & Dad’s Room…we don’t allow toys to be just hanging out in our room, but we’ve always tried to keep something in our room for the times we need to have a child in our room with us. Currently only Ladybug has something in our room and I am now intentionally rotating what is there. I have found that just by moving her bigger items around, she plays with them more and engages differently. Currently her large dragon is in there. It takes up space, yes…but I prefer that to tons of tiny toys all over the floor!

 

Mommy’s Office…sometimes Ladybug is in here while I am working and she loves to just sit and play. After determining that pens and pencils weren’t the best toys for her, I set up a low shelf where I now rotate something for her. Currently her favorite piggy is in here, and it gets MUCH loving since she loves to hang out with me!IMG_2129

 

I have a few other areas in my home, but they are more specific to our house. I suggest going around your home and look for places where toys seems to gather. Even with all of the “those are upstairs toys” rule we have, we have a little person who we have labeled the “toy migrator” he seems to reposition toys in our home secretively! Since I started rotating toys, he does this less and less! Each child also has a basket in our living room to collect any migrated toys ;-).

So, are you a toy-rotater, a strewer? How do you do it? How do you WISH you did it {for those of us who have big dreams and little time}? Do you have a post about this topic on your blog? Leave a link to it in the comments!!!!

See more of my Behind the Scenes posts here!