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HomeArticlesToy Rotation

Toy Rotation

Luna Mawcinitt (2021) of Phoenix at Wildlings Toy Boutique.

The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Actually Play with Their Toys

Toy rotation seems to be a hot topic right now, and it’s definitely something I can get behind. If you’re not quite sure what toy rotation is, or don’t know how to do it, here are some tips on this beneficial hack that will help your kids actually play with their toys:

What is toy rotation?

Toy rotation is the idea of keeping some toys hidden away and having some toys accessible to your child, then thoughtfully swapping them out on a schedule to keep things fresh and interesting.

What are the benefits of toy rotation?

Increases excitement: Loads of clutter can be overwhelming to adults and kids alike. If there are too many options, kids can easily become overwhelmed and simply shy away from their toys, making it seem as if they’re bored or tired with what they have. When we present a limited selection, kids are better able to see and access something they will find enjoyable.

Have you ever found a favorite shirt at the back of your closet that’s been out of sight and out of mind for a while? It can be so exciting and feel new and fresh. The same goes for toys- when we hold back toys that have gone stale, they become exciting again.

Encourages independent play: Toy rotation can also be a powerful tool for encouraging independent play. We can encourage our kids to play independently by facilitating “Invitations to Play”. This can be small set ups we do for our kids such as starting the foundation of a block castle and setting the larger bucket of blocks nearby with a few special characters who might become the residents of the castle.

These can be simple or elaborate. I’ve seen awesome car tracks built from Connetix magnetic tiles set up for kids, but don’t put pressure on yourself to make it something big. Sometimes the simplest ideas spark the best play.

How many toys should be out at a time?

I encourage anywhere from three to eight toys out at a time. Notice how your child handles more- does clean up overwhelm them or happen easily? Do they end up running out of things to do too quickly? There are no hard set rules for toy rotation.

How often should you rotate toys?

The same applies for how often to rotate toys out. I’d suggest anywhere from three days to a week, depending on your child’s interest. If there is a toy out that is a particular favorite, feel free to leave it and swap out a few of the others.

Take your queues from your child- it may require some trial and error to figure out what works, and as we all know, what works well today could totally change tomorrow so stay flexible.

Jennifer Mawcinitt
Jennifer Mawcinitt
Jenn is an educator with over 12 years of experience working in Special Education and the owner of Wildlings Toy Boutique in Phoenix. While working with children with exceptional needs and raising her own two children, she became an expert in the power of play for growth. Jenn started Wildlings to share her passion for purposeful play with other families by helping them select meaningful toys that spark creativity, engage minds and support skill development.



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