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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Toy Rotation and Donation!

My 2-1/2 year old gets bored easily and is easily overwhelmed when he has too many choices. Part of this is being a toddler, but part of it is his personality. He's works better one on one whether it be with people, or toys!

We noticed that he was bringing all of his toys out just for the sake of throwing them on the floor. The more toys there were out, the less likely he was to play with ANY of them (imagine trying to think in such a cluttered space!) and even LESS likely to help pick them up at the end of play time.

It took me a while to get to this but we finally started a toy rotation last week and WOW! what a difference it has made! All of the toys for the day fit into one 60 gal tote that we rotate 3x a week.

We decided on three times a week because he's gone two days to Mother's Day Out and on the weekends were are usually pretty busy and out of the house--or since Dad's home free time is spent working with him or wrestling around. I'm still worried that he will get bored after a few weeks of doing this...ehhh!

It's amazing how many toys a child can accumulate (and we don't buy them for him - they're gifts) even when you are making an attempt to limit the number. We need a solution to stop the toy madness! I have trouble balancing boredom with simplicity and in a small house, simplicity is key!

I'm considering getting rid of several of the less "popular" toys and trying to utilize some things from around the house to entertain him. Things that we'd do for a week or so, then put back and create something new. I've also thought about a toy rental arrangement with a local organization or with friends...not sure how to go about this though!


MamaToo said...

You have great ideas, here, many of which we've used (though we swap things out seasonally). I also created a very small bin of just "baby-ish" toys that stays semi-hidden in our living room for guests. All other baby things went to friends or storage.

Also, I printed out "labels" with photos of their toys. (You can save photos off of amazon or other stores online.) Toys are grouped by type, into small bins, and a label goes on the side. The boys can easily see what goes where, and we try to only get out one bin at a time. I'm not sure how much space you have in your play area, but this works in our little space & contains the chaos.

On keeping things interesting - they only get new stuff at birthdays & holidays. The month before those, we go through and get rid of anything broken or uninteresting, to create space for the new stuff.

We also have lots of playdates with other kids - and it helps that most or our guests & friends have things we don't. I try to have places to go or people coming over several times a week - they don't spend every day at home with the same stuff, and they learn to share what they have.

Amy said...

Thanks for your comment at my blog! Yes, running around and being active does seem to help my son too.

Maybe I'll try your toy rotation idea, but I don't have much help for you. :-)

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