We celebrated our Christmas holiday in Nebraska; with our foster kiddos. It was an exciting time as it was the first opportunity for many to meet the little ones. That excitement translated in to LOTS of wonderful gifts – clothes and toys. A mountain of toys. So many that we couldn’t even get it all in the SUV to return home! With BOTH kids’ birthdays hot on the heels of Christmas (birthdays = more toys) I needed a plan for how to make organizational sense out of all this stuff!! And so begins the toy rotation.
I literally spent the better part of FIVE days upon our return home attempting to get our house and lives back in order after the holiday travel. There was a mountain of laundry to be done as both kids received so many new, awesome outfits as gifts…added to the usual travel laundry. There was also the mountain of toys to be addressed.
We don’t have a designated play room in our house for the kiddos. The family room is multi-purpose for TV watching and relaxing and serves as the “safety zone” for the kids to play. As you might imagine, there isn’t room for a mountain of toys. Additionally, more toys means a bigger <overwhelming> mess.
Even before the addition of all these toys, I noticed that when left to their own devices, both kids would set to work pulling out every toy from the toy box. Then, not play with one thing! But, when I controlled the situation and selected only a couple items from the box, they were more easily entertained; for longer periods of time.
There comes a time when too much is just that…too much! Not only does the mess in and of itself become overwhelming, but so many choices is overwhelming for little ones as well. A mountain of new toys, on top of the mountain of toys they already had seemed a recipe for disaster.
Enter the solution: splitting the toys up so there are fewer options (though, honestly, still a LOT to choose from…probably too much), and rotating out the selection weekly.
I purchased a couple plastic 3 drawer storage carts (<– affiliate link, free shipping with Amazon Prime!) and got to work separating out the toys that Baby Girl needs supervision while playing with (and that we definitely want to keep away from Baby Boy) from the rest of the toys. Then, I divvied up what remained. One drawer of the storage cart holds half of Baby Girl’s toys. Another, half of Baby Boy’s toys. And the third holds half of our puzzles and books.
The toys that didn’t make their way in to the first week toy rotation went in a tote in the basement.
As I made a pass through the family room on cleaning day, just prior to the start of week 2, I swapped out the first batch of toys for the second.
The result? The kids were over the moon and captivated by what seemed like new toys. I was able to ensure all the parts and pieces to the first batch of toys were accounted for before tucking them away in the basement. The daily mess is kept to a minimum and is quick to clean up at the end of each day!
This is most certainly not a new idea on the parenting scene. But I share with you because I’ve seen the positive impact the toy rotation has had on my kids as well as on this mama’s Type A personality’s sanity.
And, I’m likely to be back at it with another round of sorting and separation once we wrap up the January birthday’s for both kids!
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