19th October 2015

We are so excited to introduce a new series on Kimmy & Bear today. Lindsey from Swiss Lark (a new favourite blog of ours) will be guest posting for the next 5 weeks. Lindsey did her AMI diploma 10 years ago and then taught for six years. She is now a stay-at-home mama to Coco but writes her Montessori Monday column on her blog. We love the topics that we talks about and are so excited to have Lindsey exploring a number of Montessori topics on Kimmy & Bear over the next 5 weeks. (Not sure what Montessori is all about? Here Lindsey explains it.) 

Today Lindsey gives us her Montessori tips for toy rotation. 

Toy rotation is a wonderful tool to employ in your home. Children tend to forget about the toys they can’t see. Then, when you rotate them into play, they’re like new again! Toy rotation is also one of the best ways to keep your children happy and yourself sane. Too much choice is overwhelming for children. With toy rotation, choices are limited. Tackling and tidying up a huge mess from an abundance of toys is difficult and laborious for adults, but practically impossible for children. With toy rotation, children have a manageable number of toys that they can independently clean up and keep tidy; it is good for everyone.

Aim for 20/80

Keep 20 percent of the toys out to play with at a time and keep the other 80 percent in a storage area, closet or basement that your children cannot access. Then, every ten days to a month, rotate out the items that aren’t getting much play. Your children will show you how often they expect toys to be rotated by being either engaged or bored.

Keep it Simple

When shelves and bins aren’t completely jumbled, it’s pleasing to the eye and easier to clean up. Create a clear and well-defined space for each item and designate a time each day to walk your child through the process of tidying up. Soon it will be second nature. Less mess makes me super happy, and probably a lot of you other mamas, too!

Identify Core Basics

In our house, some things never get rotated out. Among them, fuse beads, crayons and coloring books, Legos, and our daughter’s baby doll. These items get so much play so consistently; they are core basics that never need a break in order to be appealing and new again.

Rotate by Category

Group toys by similarity, for example, plush toys, or puzzles, or games, or stackers. Don’t have more than one stacker out at a time. If you have a dozen plush toys, only put out three or four at a time, and so on.

Out with the old, in with the new

As you buy or receive new toys and your children grow and their preferences change, take stock and prepare things for donation. It’s a great time to edit things that haven’t been getting as much play and when something it out of rotation, your child won’t notice that it never came back and is gone.

Do you rotate toys at your house? What has worked well and what hasn’t?

Want more Montessori posts? Visit Lindsey’s blog, Swiss Lark, also here are Lindey’s other posts on Kimmy & Bear:

Montessori tips for toddler playtime.

Baby #2 on the way? Montessori tips to cope with baby #1

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