Yesterday, I mentioned that I rotated out our kids toys in their play area. If you don't already rotate your kids toys, I highly recommend it. The idea is pretty simple: your child gets access to just a few toys, and then every so often, you switch them out for other toys. This keeps them from getting bored with all of the toys at once, and keeps their attention more focused on one or two things at a time, rather than going back and forth between five toys all at once.
We have tried a few different ways of rotating toys in our home, including giving the kids a box to fill up at the beginning of the day. At the end of the day, they return their toys to the closet so they can pick new toys again the next day. This worked for a while, but there were flaws in the plan (mostly letting the kids see all of the toys at once in the morning usually meant a struggle deciding which toys to pick). Here is the toy rotation method that is working for us now:
I have wicker baskets with small toys (stuffed animals, rattles, a barrel of monkeys, etc). These stay downstairs all the time. We keep all of the bigger toys in a closet, which keeps them out of the way and out of mind for the most part. Every few days, I take all the toys that aren't in the wicker basket, and put them back in the closet, and replace them with a couple toys that were already in the closet.
This seems to be working well for us at the moment, and I like that it makes it easy to tidy up at the end of the day. A few toys to go back into the play area, and everything else gets tossed back into a wicker basket. We have our play area set up behind the couch, so it keeps the toys out of the way when it isn't time to play, but most of the bigger toys come out during the day and we play in the main living room area.
Do you rotate toys in your house? I would love to hear about what method works best for you!