Monday, January 25, 2010

Rotating Toys and Books

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I think it's a really important concept.  Rotating books and toys is such a great way to keep children engaged. Too much can be overwhelming and they they don't play with anything.  Here are some tips to making rotating toys and books effective.

  • Separate toys into categories.  For example, blocks, puzzles, talking toys, music instruments, small manipulative, dramatic play. 
  • Once you have them separated, them pick a couple toys from each category to have.  Whether you have a living room full of toys (like we do) or you only keep toys in a playroom, find a way to put some toys away in a closet or in bins.  
  • Keep it organized. We even plastic shower caddies that you can pick up at the dollar store for storing books and toys.  The dollar store has lots of great options for storage.  Cost is cheap and if it breaks, it's not a lot of money lost.
  • If your child doesn't play with it anymore because they outgrew it, then donate it or put away for future child.  
  • For rotating books, I have two baskets that we keep books in.  One is in the living room and the other in my daughter's bedroom next to the rocking chair.  Actually, we just added a basket in the bathroom, too.  I find it's too hard for toddlers to put books back on the shelf and it's a challenge for them to find the books they want when they are stacked on a bookshelf. A basket works great. 
  • We own tons of books to rotate, and I put new books out each week.  If you don't have a lot of books, you can borrow them from the library.  I will have seasonal books out, but I also pull out favorites and books we've never read.  If your child has an interest in something check out many books from the library and rotate them in.  (Hint:  Most libraries have online services where you can put books on hold from the comfort of your home.)
Share your tips on how you organize toys and books.

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