How to Set up A Toy Rotation System Even in A Small Space

published Oct 26, 2022
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Toy rotation has become a popular trend largely sparked by social media. Among other benefits, it helps keep homes decluttered, and it typically results in kids playing with their toys more because it makes old toys feel new again. 

If you’ve never heard of toy rotation, the idea is simply to regularly change which toys your kids have available. Presumably, the toys that aren’t in use are stored elsewhere, perhaps in a large closet or basement. This presents a problem for people who don’t have large closets, basements, or other storage areas in their homes, however. It’s difficult to rotate toys when you don’t have anywhere to store the toys that are out of rotation. If you’re short on storage space, you can still give toy rotation a try with these tips: 

Store seasonal toys with seasonal decorations.

I keep my Halloween books with my Halloween decorations, and the Christmas-themed Thomas trains get packed away along with the other harbingers of yuletide cheer. If you decorate for the holidays or seasons, choose some seasonal toys to put back with those decorations. This works really well with my kids, as they have usually completely forgotten about the toys in the bin during the nine or so months they’ve been put away. It’s like opening a box of brand new toys for them, and it keeps them occupied while I decorate. 

Use your car as part of the rotation.

Of course, if you don’t have a car, this one won’t work for you. If you do have a car, however, you can use it as a storage space for toys. Keep a box or basket of toys for playing in the car, but swap them out for toys inside your home every month or so. When the car toys make their way into the house, they usually get some new life. 

Rotate toys to different rooms.

We don’t have enough space to have a playroom, so toys live all over our house. If you’re in the same situation, consider swapping bedroom with living room toys and kitchen toys with dining room toys, for example. When toys are in a new location, kids often find fun new uses for them. When my daughter’s dolls or Paw Patrol pups make their way to the bathroom, she can spend hours giving them baths.  

Rotate toys within the same room.

It’s amazing how much more my daughter will play with her toys when I simply take them out of her toybox or set them on the table for her to explore. Kids can be inspired to play when you move their toys around. Rotate toys from the top shelf to the bottom shelf or from a basket to an activity table. Thinking outside the box can be helpful here, too. For example, put the dinosaurs in the dollhouse and see what fun play scenarios your kids come up with. When you invite your kids to play via toy placement, they’ll likely take the bait. 

Get rid of some toys.

When you have fewer toys, you have more space to rotate and store what you do have. Have you ever had so much to do that it felt overwhelming, so you just didn’t do anything? Kids can feel the same way with their toys. Studies have even shown that kids play longer when they have fewer toys. Getting rid of toys also provides an opportunity to talk to your kids about charity and donation. 

Swap with a friend!

My last tip is perhaps my favorite. Have a friend or two with kids around the same age? Set up a toy rotation schedule so you can swap toys between families! This takes care of the storage situation, and it gives your kids a chance to play with new toys without having to buy them! This can also expose them to different types of toys they enjoy that they may not have picked out themselves. 

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