Friday, March 20, 2009

One For The Mommy Play Book

I learned a small lesson today about mommyhood. Something I plan to squirrel away in the recesses of my brain for those days when it's really needed.

From now on, I'm going to not let the kids play with certain toys for awhile. And when they ask to play with that toy, I'm going to say "not today."

Why? Because today Alex and Olivia pulled out our train set from the closet. They haven't played with it in months, probably because it's in the closet and not part of the daily toys. There have been a few times recently when they asked if they could play with it and I said no for whatever reason. So today, playing with that train set was thrilling for them. It captivated them all afternoon in a way that none of their daily toys do.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I really wish we had room to rotate toys so that they only had a few in rotation at a time. Until we do, I think I'll rearrange that closet and see if I can make some more room.

Do you rotate toys? And what I really would love to know - do your children actually play with toys, or do they just make messes with them and then move on in 5 minutes?


Ali 8:19 AM  

My son is only a year old. And his favorite 'toys' are my cooking utensils and tupperware. He could spend the entire day in the kitchen. As for the toys made by Fisher Price and Playskool - they are quite neglected compared to KitchenAid and RubberMaid.

Karen 11:13 AM  

Recently, we discovered toy rotation. Our extended families on both sides are very generous with giving toys to the kids at most every opportunity. Needless to say, we've accumulated quite the stockpile of toys. Our three kids are 4 1/2 yr (girl), 3 yr (boy), and 1 yr (girl).

I've struggled with knowing when/if to get rid of some of the toys that 4 yr and 3 yr are done with, because maybe 1 yr will like them soon. Our solution for now is to have a couple bins labeled "toy rotation." A good portion of the kids' toys are in these bins in the attic. And every couple months, we go through and rotate out those toys. Sometimes the kids will specifically ask for toys that are in the attic, but they know they need to choose something from their room to trade.

The hope/plan is that by doing this rotation, we'll discover the toys that the kids don't play with anymore or aren't interested in, and we can pass them along to others who would enjoy them.

As to your other question, my 4 and 3 yr olds are better now about playing with their toys for longer than 5 minutes. Sometimes, they'll go 30-45 minutes with one toy or one plot-line to a game. 4 yr old is amazing at playing by herself, sometimes for longer than an hour! Her imagination is quite extensive, and she builds off of other adventures she's done with those toys. Give 3 yr a couple of hotwheels, and he's occupied for quite some time as well. On year old lasts about 5 minutes on her own with a toy, but when someone plays with her, she really loves repetition and can go longer.

Tammie 11:57 AM  

i generally rotated my daughter's toys. when she would be bored, i just switched toys, and she would be all interested again. i also had a small bin of toys-with-small-easily-lost pieces that i kept tucked away for "sick days". when i brought it out, she was content to be still for a couple days (if needed), and the small pieces were confined to a small area.

we usually lived in small areas, but i only had one child. so the place for toys that were out of rotation was on the top shelf of her own closet.

Sarah 5:11 PM  

I totally need to rotate toys. Our everyday toy supply is just too much and needs to be pared down. (plus I could stand to have an occupied child for an afternoon :))

5intow 6:56 PM  

We rotate toys as well, to some extent. Similar experience to yours. We recently pulled out the long hidden, almost forgotten k-nex. Wow! Three days of non-stop building. The mess was worth it, but I do remember why they are stored in the closet. :-)


Pamm 8:30 PM  

Yes, I rotate toys! I have a child care, but I did the same when our kids were small. Here's photos of how I do it and my storage space in the garage:

Blessings, Pamm

~Sara 11:56 PM  

We rotate toys at my home. I notice that if something is out for a few weeks they don't play with it. Once I get out something that had been "missing" for while, it keeps their attention longer. My youngest son is 2, he never usually plays with anything for longer than 5 minutes. My 3 year-olds attention span is getting better and he will play for a long time (30-40) minutes with toys like Legos and cars.

Amanda from Faith, Food and Family 2:10 AM  

We haven't been rotating but I think we need to. I'm not positive we have enough closet space to do it, but maybe we can go through and condense things down. It's definitely something I've thought about doing. I just need to go ahead and do it. :)
God bless,

Christina 5:59 PM  

I do rotate toys. It is a wonderful idea! My son does play with his toys, but they are much more interesting when he can take breaks by playing with my tupperware and rolling pins or "helping" us do our jobs.

Judy 11:39 AM  

I use to rotate toys. It worked out great because when the kids got the toys that were away it was like they were new again and they actually played with them. Can't say why I don't do it anymore. I guess laziness on my part. But you got me thinking now ; )

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