Do you ever get that feeling in the supermarket, when you are trying to choose something simple like a box of cereal, but the shelves go up so high, and stretch so far down the aisle, stacked with dozens of different types of cereal, that you just can't make a decision? And when you finally do settle for a box, there's that persistent nagging voice in your head asking if maybe one of the other boxes might have been a better choice?
This is what your child experiences when they are overwhelmed with the quantity of toys they have. Children can struggle to choose a toy and stick with it. They may feel that they are missing out by not playing with the other toys they can see, so struggle to concentrate on the one in hand. Or they may pick up and put down toys at frequent intervals in an effort to play with them all, while deriving little pleasure from the experience.
Another common problem is 'toy blindness', whereby a child becomes so accustomed to seeing their sand pit / slide / swing set in the garden every day, that they completely ignore it and forget to play with it.
What Is Toy Rotation? Toy rotation is a system of storing toys for younger children, that can be adapted for use with outdoor toys.
Essentially the system involves splitting the toys into 4-5 groups, and only having one group available to play with at one time, while the others are stored away and out of sight.
Benefits Of Toy Rotation Besides helping you get control of the child-related clutter which threatens to take over your home and garden, implementing a toy rotation system offers a number of other benefits: - Children will become more creative in the ways they play with the limited selection of toys available. - They focus and become more deeply engaged in one toy, which helps develop concentration skills. - Tidying up becomes much easier to manage, and something that can delegated to the children. - It becomes easier for children to play on their own as they won't be asking for your assistance getting a toy down, or out of the shed.
Implementing A Toy Rotation System For Outdoor Toys 1. Put all the toys in one place. 2. Sort through the toys and decide which you will be keeping, which should be thrown away, and which can be donated to charity, or sold on. 3. Group the toys that you will be keeping, into piles according to the type of play experience they offer. For example, pretending and role play toys in one group, active / noisy toys, such as balls and frisbees in another pile, and quieter, more creative toys, like buckets and spades, in another pile. 4. Decide how many units you want within your rotation system. Depending on the quantity of outdoor toys you have, around three groups should be sufficient. 5. Sort the toys into the required number of rotation units, being sure to include a mixture of the different types of toys. 6. Create a storage system, out of sight for the toys. 7. Keep one unit of toys in an easily seen and accessible place, while putting the remainder into storage. 8. Rotate as frequently as you wish, whether that is daily, weekly, monthly or somewhere in between.
What About Large Toys Some toys, such as a climbing frame or swing set are too large to be put into a toy rotation system and need to be left out permanently. You can revive interest in this play equipment by including it in an activities catalogue, which provides a photographic reminder of the fun that can be had with them.