Rotate Your Toys

Toys are the tools of little ones! I learned in college how stimulating a child’s brain led to higher intelligence, so I always wanted to have as many as good toys as possible at my house, feeling like they would help my kids brain develop. I was on the lookout at yard sales when I was a young mother, and pretty soon, the house was littered with toys. And the kids got bored of them. I got a big toy chest thinking I could lasso the toy mess but it just became a black hole—it seemed toys from the bottom were irretrievable! And you could break them just trying to yank them out.

Then I came up with the idea of rotating toys. I got some empty apple boxes with lids from the grocery store, and labeled each box with a number: 1, 2, 3 . . . Then we gathered all the toys onto the living room floor. The kids thought this was great fun and ran to search out toys from under the beds, in their closets and everywhere else they were hiding. We sorted toys into piles: dolls, cars, baby toys, purses, balls, board books, etc. (Sorting is a great kindergarten math skill—could we count this for school?)

Next we divided the toys into the boxes. We took our pile of dolls and put 2 into each box, for example. Every box had a similar assortment of toys. I let the kids keep their favorite car collection or doll in their room, but the rest went into these boxes. On with the lids, and all the boxes, except box #1, were stashed out of reach in a closet. The children still had toys to play with, but not an overwhelming amount.

Saturday night, I had the kids gather all the toys and put them back into the apple box #1 and I put it away. Then Sunday afternoon after church, I pulled out box #2. The toys were all new to the kids and they were excited and absorbed in playing quietly, giving two tired parents a much needed rest and time for scripture reading.

By the time we rotated around through all the boxes and back to box #1, the toys truly were brand new to them! My children enjoyed the toys much more this way, and my house was much less cluttered. Everybody’s happy!


May I recommend:

Toy Night

That Indispensable Gift Box


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