Children can become bored with the same toys day in and day out. Parents and educators do not need to go out and buy new toys when the child loses interest. One way to obtain and maintain interest is to rotate toys.
The practice of “Toy Rotation” requires the adult to observe how the child is responding to the toy, and then following the child's lead to provide learning opportunities.
If the child is having fun and continuing to gain enjoyment out of the toy, then continue to allow the child to play with the toy. If the child has lost interest, start the toy rotation process. The following steps can be used to get the most out of your child’s toys.
Step #1- Store Toys
Find a storage area where you can house the child’s toys. In my house, I removed towels from a linen closet which has now become our toy closet. Here is where I have organized toys that are not currently being played with by my child. When storing toys, be sure they are stored in ready-to-go condition. This may include cleaning the toy, replacing a battery, or mending a broken part of the toy.
Step #2- Rotate Toys
If you notice a child’s interest in a toy is fading, pull the toy out of play and rotate with another one that is in storage. Go to the storage area and replace a toy based on your child’s interests and motivation for play. Help your child find another toy s/he would like to play with from your storage area.
This is an iterative process. Repeat steps one and two as needed. There may come a time when your child outgrows a toy. Consider finding a new home for the toy. If possible, involve child(ren) in the toy recycle activity. Incorporate toy rotation for many hours of learning and fun for your child.