A Quick Guide to
Playrooms and shared spaces can easily become a huge store of all of a child's toys - a chaotic mass of options that is overwhelming for a child, and stressful for a parent. The Montessori approcah might just have the answer to having both a tidier home and happier play time.
Let us introduce you to the idea of Toy Rotation. This theory focusses on editing a child’s toys to a number of collections, which can be circulated in and out on a weekly basis to give deeper engagement, encourage better skill development, reduce boredom and even clears unnecessary clutter in your home.
Ready to give it a go? Here’s our quick guide...
STEP BY STEP TOY ROTATION
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
There’s a bit of work and effort at the beginning, but it is sure to pay off. Make time when your child is asleep or not with you to look at all of the toys they have. Make piles for toys to keep, to sell, to donate or to throw away. During this process you are sure to find toys that your child has grown out of, have never played with and pieces that could be passed on to friends, family or charity. If there are toys that you would like to keep for a future sibling or for sentimental reasons, pop them into the loft or garage.
Now that the toys are edited down to a manageable amount, they can be categorized. We suggest the following groups-
Role Play Toys
Think imaginary play - play shops and kitchens, dollhouses and dressing up. These toys are great for developing social skills and language, perfect for sibling play and play dates as well as immersive independent play.
Toys that support learning and development are an important category. Fill it with pieces that encourage numeracy & literacy development, encourage problem-solving and bring on fine motor skills. Our First Class Post Office and our Toy Till are great examples that aid all of these. Building blocks, shape sorters, and puzzles are all great supportive educational toys too.
Whether it’s art and craft or dressing up; creative play develops important decision making skills as well as allowing children to express themselves creatively. Our bestselling Kitchen Helper allows children to be up at the worktop crafting or baking with an adult, while our activity tables, easels and dressing up rails allow them to be creative freely and independently.
Toys that encourage movement and gross motor skills go here- anything with wheels! Whether it is our Toy Garage with Track and Vehicles or pull along Animal Carts, toys with wheels are great for keeping children active, crawling and moving actively around their play space.
Pack your categorised toys into 4 easy-grab boxes.
display for play
The trick with toy rotation is to choose a piece of storage furniture which can become the focus of your invitation to play. Accessible, open, roomy shelves and cubbies allow for interesting set ups, and adding baskets and crates help to separate groups of toys or books and add a discovery element. We would recommend our Abbeville or Blake Cube Storage range mixed with Aykasa Crates, Rope Baskets and Canvas Cubes.
The optimum amount of toys for effective play is 10, so choose 2 to 3 toys from each category box and display on the shelves of your chosen furniture piece. Add some books, a caddy with colouring pencils and crayons and a couple of teddies or dolls to support role play and you are ready!
ROTATE, rotate, rotate!
Each week, or when you feel the play potential of the displayed collection has finished, rotate these toys out by replacing them with 10 new pieces from the boxes. The result will be a feeling of fresh play every week and in turn, a tidier home and play space.
Let us know how you get on by tagging us on instagram or send us your rotation set-ups @mygltc.
To support your rotations, we’ve created some free learning & play printables to team up with our play sets. These activity packs will ignite their imagination and promote learning through play.