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  #1  
Old 11-16-2010, 07:30 PM
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misol misol is offline
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Default Rotating Toys

I know a lot of you rotate toys and the reasons for doing so make so much sense. My problem is that since I don't have anywhere to store toys other than the playroom, everything is always out all the time. Ugh! This just leaves me with a disorganized mess of toys that the children don't REALLY play with and a huge mess to clean up 5 times every day.

How, exactly, do you all rotate toys and how often? I know that Kidkair mentioned in another post that she stores the toys in 12 bins and rotates them monthly. Sounds easy enough. How large are the bins that you use for toy storage? Where do you keep them? Aside from the obvious (like Christmas games will go in December's toy bin) how do you determine which toys you put away for which months or is it just random?

Anyone else care to share their rotation system? Help, I am drowning in sea of toys!
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:19 AM
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Default Help, I am drowning in sea of toys!

I love this statement, " Help, I am drowning in sea of toys!" I wonder if it is a title of a book. It should be! I've seen MANY places, mostly homes though, that have TOO MANY toys out. Sure, kids can only be kids for so long so why not let them play. I don't think I could rotate toys over twelve months, it would drive me nuts storing something that long. Usually just 2-3 months should be good enough because it feels like a "new toy" again for most kids.

Year-round items: Dramatic house play items (dolls, stollers, shopping cart, a few baby items and blankets for accessories, dress up items, etc)..... blocks............. books............... puzzles........ games....... infant items ..........I might be missing a few. I know our Child Care Resource place says you could basically run your daycare with books, blocks, and balls....but sometimes balls are not good all the time. Outside they're perfect though, but we're talking about indoor play.

Things I rotate are stuffed animals (I usually donate after they are older, I don't like to store stuffed animals....Don't know why, but I'm not a big fan either.) and the stuff animals must be SMALL, nothing huge. I don't allow all the puzzles and games out at once either, but they're always available in limited quanitities. The little cars, potato heads, action figures....anything that fits in buckets pretty much. I can easily rotate bucket items and have a perfect spot for them (obviously, if you just switch the toys from one bucket into a storage container). Larger toys I don't like unless they can be year-round. I'm not very huge on storing items. My theory is if you can't use it, get rid of it. I do have some larger-space items like a railroad set that fits perfectly in a 10-gallon rubbermain tote that I would rotate, but I can bring that in and out every month if I wanted.

All my totes are 10-gallon and 18-gallon rubbermaid gray colored tote from Walmart. Why? They're cheap, they match, they seal shut, they stack, and they're carried year round for when I need more! I print what is in the tote on the back of an index card really large and full tape it across for when it's in storage. I do this in our garage. Here is the image...I think it works wonderful! (It looks better if you knew what it looked like before!) Yeah, one didn't have a label, but I needed to print it so now it's all finished for the winter! bring on the snow baby! Oh yeah, I just realized we have a finished photo of our garage too, but this isn't it. Just to let you see how I label things though....you don't need to hear about everything I changed in the garage, ha ha. sorry
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:40 AM
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you could do prop boxes which are basically the tote bins (clear ones so you know what is what easily) with the toys sorted by theme. you could have a music prop box, a food/cookware, a dress up box, farm animals, whatever.

i like it because you can also use it if you do any kind of curriculum. if you're reading/talking about a certain theme you bring out the box that goes along with it. they'll usually actually play with the toys if they go along with what they're learning.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:18 AM
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I have the trofast boxes from Ikea (I put them in another storage unit from Ikea I already had).

I bought the lids for the toys out of rotation, and I keep them all stacked neatly in another room. I keep out a variety of toys at one time, and switch when the kids are getting antsy.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:59 AM
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I just keep stuff in totes in the basement, and use a different bin every week. That way it gives me time to wash stuff and they dont get bored with the same toys. Its ok if you dont have a basement, just stack the totes in teh playroom, tehy wont know whats in them anyway.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:25 AM
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I had a play room but quickly realized that I can not be back there enough to watch them all the time so now they only play in the living room and dining room. I put lots of the toys in the play room now. I am so glad I took some toys away. I grabbed a big tote bin and just started tossing toys in it!
It felt GOOD! hahah
Anyways something that might work for you is I put my musical instruments and movies in the rectangle totes that fit under the beds. I put them under the crib and my bed to help with storage area.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:29 AM
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I have everything out since its all in my basement however with one child I have who dumps I'm going nuts so I am going to store them all in bins and store them under my ping pong table and use that as my storage area. This is my project for the weekend. I just read in parents how kids shouldn't have so many choices its too much for them to choose so they end up not playing but just dumping.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:34 AM
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I don't rotate toys, its hard because when the daycare kids go home mine are still here and they play with stuff too and we don't have a basement so I can't do that, but I would have a hard time remembering what I have and what I don't have.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boysx5 View Post
I just read in parents how kids shouldn't have so many choices its too much for them to choose so they end up not playing but just dumping.
This is exactly what I am experiencing. I need to clarify that I technically "do" have the space for storage, I am just trying to keep the daycare from taking over my entire house. I would like to limit daycare related things to the areas that I have designated for daycare.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misol View Post
I know a lot of you rotate toys and the reasons for doing so make so much sense. My problem is that since I don't have anywhere to store toys other than the playroom, everything is always out all the time. Ugh! This just leaves me with a disorganized mess of toys that the children don't REALLY play with and a huge mess to clean up 5 times every day.

How, exactly, do you all rotate toys and how often? I know that Kidkair mentioned in another post that she stores the toys in 12 bins and rotates them monthly. Sounds easy enough. How large are the bins that you use for toy storage? Where do you keep them? Aside from the obvious (like Christmas games will go in December's toy bin) how do you determine which toys you put away for which months or is it just random?

Anyone else care to share their rotation system? Help, I am drowning in sea of toys!
My bins are 66 quart bins. I store them in the basement. I have the bins on shelving so I can access all of them whenever needed. Currently they are randomly sorted with no theme except obvious stuff like a turkey in Nov.
I have a separate bin for baby stuff and when I have a baby the baby stuff gets changed monthly as well the only difference is that it's just two sets of stuff rather than 12.
I also have other tubs for books and places for extra diapers and stuff and places for high chairs and cribs not currently being used. We have a section of the basement that is for daycare stuff. It's about 8 feet by 8 feet.
I rotate blocks, stuffed animals, balls, potato head accessories, dolls, puppets, noise makers (instruments), cars, trains, food/kitchen toys, and dress up clothes. Not every month has all of these but most do.
I find that puzzles and games are not worth it because the kids always want to play with them by simply making a mess as they don't understand the rules so I keep a few for SAs.
I think it's great to wait so long to see the toys again because then I don't get bored playing with them after only a couple months of them being gone.
I have the books in smaller bins and rotate them seasonally though I'm getting so many that I'm thinking of going to monthly with them as well.
I rotate them on the weekend before the new month or the first weekend of a new month depending on what I have going on. I tried rotating them with the kids here once but that lead to a month of them piling up all the toys to rotate. The last two months I made a game of them taking everything out of drawers and such and organizing them on the floor and counting them and such just so all the toys were out at the end of the day and then after everyone was gone I put all the toys in their month box then emptied the new month's stuff into the drawers and on to shelves. The kids had a blast taking everything out and not having to clean it all up.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:59 AM
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One of my good friends is a family childcare provider also. We rotate toys among us. We take turns with the areas of interest. For example, my kids are really into puppets right now and she has a really nice puppet theater and nice collection of puppets so I have them. She has my big tool/work bench and my massive collection of toy tools. In a month or two, we will trade back. We do this with all sorts of stuff. The kids don't seem to miss the toys that are gone until they get them back and remember how fun they were...keeps them interested and nothing gets boring. We also make big purchases together and work out rotation. This summer we split the cost of one of those geo-dome climbers and she had it the first 2 months of summer, then I got it. We have been doing this for 4-5 years now and has worked out great!
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:33 PM
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I like the theory of rotating toys but I'm not so good in the execution. It doesn't help that right now I can't have much out or the kids go ballistic with dumping instead of playing. They are also learning to clean up after themselves, and as such have to earn back the privilege of having toys with lots of pieces (we have a few out but not many atm). I've got my 3 yo DD, a 2. 5yo boy, and then several kids under 2. BAD age group atm!!!

You can start by putting away whatever doesn't get played with...I watched for several weeks and noticed what things NEVER got taken off the shelves for any reason. Those were the first to go.

Another piece of advice is to put only two or three things on each shelf...kids really do get overwhelmed with too many choices, and are calmer and more focused with fewer choices spread over more space.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:31 PM
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Storage is always a problem for me too! I have a pretty small house (1300 sq feet). The playroom is actually a bedroom with 2 large closets, so one of the closets has nothing but toys- stored on shelves with bins. Also, the daughter's closet has shelving for preschool stuff (yeh, that sucks). I have a basement that I also store things in, but I don't make it down there much, so I try not to keep too much stuff in there.
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