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Why I Began Toy Rotating

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

About a month ago, I finally gave in to toy rotating. Despite being minimalistic with our toys to begin with, I had resisted toy rotating. First, because the amount of toys we already had felt semi-modest. I already had regular clean out days dedicated to simplifying our toys before birthdays and Christmas. Secondly, our toys were generally well-organized. Thirdly, we live in a small home without a ton of storage space, so I always wondered where I would store these toys that were out of rotation. Lastly, my kids would ask for different toys that had not been played with in a long time so I wanted them to have access to generally unused toys, because at some point they always got used.

Despite my initial resistance to rotating, I finally decided to give it a shot and here is why:

To Make Cleanup More Manageable for My Kids

Recently our family started a reward system to be able to acknowledge and encourage good behavior in our toddler. We are using little pom poms in a jar, and she can cash them in for different prizes or rewards. One way she can predictably earn a pom pom is cleaning up her toys after lunch and before bedtime. One day while cleaning up her toys after lunch she began to cry for help. She could not manage picking up by herself. Now, I am completely aware that it is a difficult task to ask a toddler to clean up by themselves without any guidance. However, I do believe toddlers left with a modest amount of toys are able to.

What I realized is she had not been set up for success. She still had more out than she could manage. It is empowering to know you can do a good job. She loves earning her pom poms, but on this particular day, I realized the toys she had access to were still too much for her age. I want her to be able to succeed at the tasks she has been given, so that is one reason we began rotating.

To Make Cleanup Time More Manageable for Me

I do not want my kids to feel overwhelmed by cleanup tasks. Additionally, I was ready to not be overwhelmed by cleanup tasks. I wanted to spend less of my time each day cleaning. Inevitably, at this age, kids are going to need help. Prior to rotation, our toys were sorted in different categories. I really value having things organized. I am not a one-big-toybox kind of gal, so for me, it just took too long to put things away correctly. The time I could have used to relax a little more or pursue some interests that did not revolve around the management of our household. That is why I have begun blogging again. I am dedicated to simplifying our home so that we can spend life pursuing things more interesting than managing a home.

It may not be toys for you, but let yourself wonder, what would you spend your time on if your home life is simpler?

To Help My Kids Be More Creative/Entertained

Kids are going to get bored whether they have a ton of toys or a few toys. Kids just get bored. That's what they do. Having access to a large number of toys will not prevent this. However, inspiration or creativity will.

I heard a quote recently, "I have never been forced to accept compromises but I have willingly accepted constraints."

In my life, the areas I have constraints, I have become more and more creative. In our smaller home, I have asked myself many times the unique ways I can use a space. I have noticed when my kids have less toys, they use those toys in more creative ways. I also try to participate in the creativity with them. I attempt to inspire them by modeling the many, many ways just one toy can be used.

Having less toys out at one time has simplified cleanup for everyone. It has not caused the kids to become bored more easily. Before they had too many options but since toy rotating, it has directed their focus. They can play with one toy longer than I could have ever imagined they would. And as we have our family gets to enjoy the gifts of simplicity. If you are on the fence, trying to decide if you want to rotate or not, I hope you give it a shot and enjoy some of the gifts of simplicity too.

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