Christmas is wonderful, isn’t it? However, no longer after the party is over, you realize that your kids received an amount of toys sufficient to cover the floor of your entire house. I know! The time to get over the shock, that many of them are already in the forgotten corner. Learning how to rotate toys it’s the only chance and I’ll show you exactly how to do the same.
With this simple method you’ll be able to:
- Prevent the issue before it gets out of hand
- Save a lot of space in your house
- Save money on additional toys
- Make those toys last longer
Last year my boy was only 16 months old and, being the little one of the whole family, you can imagine how many gifts he received from everybody, right? I didn’t have the heart nor the patience to organize them or get rid of the ones he barely touched. So they were consistently spread around the house. Some were almost as new, yet they were in the way to get to the ones he really wanted.
That was it!
I needed a strategy, I needed to find an easy way to rotate toys
I absolutely needed to find the right way to organize those toys and not only the ones he found under the Christmas tree.
Even though we’re super grateful to have such a loving and generous family, on the other side having so many things can really be a torture and here’s why:
- half of the toys are not even appropriate for his age. But they’re colorful and shiny, so clearly he still wants to play with them (how can you say no on Christmas?)
- the other half takes a lot of a space and I mean A LLLOOOT of it!
- he’ll play with one or two, get obsessed for a little while, and then throw them with a three-point shot in the forgotten corner where they stay until they’re buried in dust
- All excesses are, in my opinion, never a good habit. Indeed, the proof came when, instead of enjoying the new toy, he would point at an image on the box whining because he wanted that similar model too! I mean… Right?)
So that’s when I decided to rotate toys and prevent all these issues!
How to organize toys using toy rotation
Wait.. What the heck is that? I’ll tell you right now!
The day after Christmas, even before the little monster woke up, I separated all the toys in three different boxes:
- the first with the toys that I noticed caught his attention the most
- the second with the ones not appropriate for his age
- and in the last all the other toys
So far so good, right?
Then I needed to decide how to rotate them in the easiest possible way
So here it goes:
- He will play with toys in the box number 1.
- I put the box number 2 (not age-appropriate toys) in the attic and he’ll see them when the right time comes.
- Box number 3 ended up in his closet with the “backup toys”, which means that these are the ones that will magically appear (one at the time) when he’ll get tired of the ones in box number 1.
Basically whenever one of the first toys gets old, I’ll replace it with one from the third box.
It’s that easy! But keep reading because there are some important side notes.
You might think that it sounds slightly cruel to hide the toys he just received, but let’s be honest here: would he play with them, or would he just spread them everywhere driving me nuts every other day?
Instead this way he found his favorite 3 or 4 toys in the basket and had lots of fun playing with them. He didn’t even remember the other ones (if your kids are older you can choose the appropriate way to do this).
Clearly nothing gets tossed, but it’s definitely a great way to organize and rotate toys.
I’m sure it’ll work great for you too and let me tell you why.
Why rotate toys your kids got for Christmas?
The main goal is to teach our kids how to have fun with less and use their imagination more.
Additionally, when you chose to rotate toys you take advantage of:
- An always ready backup for when you want to reward your kids when they behave or do something good
- You won’t have to witness while your house becomes a gigantic playroom
- Kids can really learn how to use one toy and know all aspects of it before putting it aside for a newer one. As a consequence, they’ll also learn to be happy with it for longer.
- If they really like the toy (and do NOT have a replacement at hand), they’ll soon learn to treat them better. However it’s important that, if they break the toy, you don’t immediately replace it with a new one or you’ll send the opposite message.
- You have the chance to teach them that everyone in the family shares the same space. So if they want a new toy to play with, fine. But they’ll have to give another one back and they’ll have to chose which one.
- This way they’ll also develop less attachment to material things. Clearly I’m not talking about their favorite stuffed animal or comfort toy which are considered best friends. I’m referring to those toys that don’t have an emotional meaning to them.
- You don’t need to toss the toy that gets “put aside”. If it’s still in good conditions, you can switch and put it in box number 3. They’ll be happy to see it again in the future
- If instead, there’s no future for the unfortunate toy, here’s the chance for another good teaching moment: they can donate it to another kid. Why throwing it away when there are so many kids less fortunate than them? Explain them that, since they’ve been so good in keeping it in good condition, this toy will make another kid super happy.
When is the right time to rotate toys?
It’s really up to you, but my advice is to observe your child’s behavior and act accordingly.
For instance, if it’s been a while since she picked up a specific toy or maybe she’s too grown for it, wait for an occasion when you think she deserves a reward and then surprise her.
And then highlight clearly that she deserved it for this and that reason.
This way she’ll always have:
- The perception of gaining it (you and I know how important that is)
- The gratitude for what she received instead of the tantrums for what she hasn’t.
And with this, you’ll cover another couple of weeks of happy entertainment.
However, try not to fall in temptation. I know it’s hard sometimes, but you can do this!!
Replacing a toy immediately after she got tired of another might not send the right message. Try instead to play with her and show her new potentialities of the toy she hasn’t seen before. Or choose different activities, even if they require more interaction.
At least until you find a good moment or reason to get a toy out of your backup.
Remember, if you do it too often it really lose half of the purpose.
According to this article on Today’s Parents, there’s really no need to load up your kids with toys since they’re very little, even if buying them gifts makes us happy. In reality you risk to cause more damage than anything.
Besides the confirmation of the clinical counselor, rotating toys (Christmas or not) will give you more control over your own space, your kids’ educational development and their relationship with toys.
In short, you can catch three birds with one single piece of Lego 🙂
P.S.= if you liked this article, don’t forget to share it! 🙂