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Why Less is More – A Complete Guide to Rotating Toys

How do parents go from habitually stockpiling the playroom to reducing and rotating toys? And is it really worthwhile?

Why Less is More: Rotating Toys for Beginners

Rotating toys is likely a weekend pastime you haven’t considered and first impressions may be that your precious spare time could be better used elsewhere. However, recent studies are showing some fabulous benefits in children behaviours and mood from the simply act of rotating toys. If it can help curb toddler tantrums or keep your kids entertained after school it may be the most helpful 10 minutes of your life!

As parents, it is standard that the weeks leading up to birthdays and Christmas are marked by nights scrolling through toy catalogues. A good exam grade may be rewarded with a fidget spinner or perhaps a beanie baby to add to the collection. We have a culture of ‘more, more, more’ but are we actually creating an environment of less quality?

So how do parents go from habitually stockpiling the playroom to reducing and rotating toys? And is it really worthwhile?

Is rotating toys beneficial?

rotating toys

In a word – yes. As a consumer society we are encouraged to think that each good grade or new tooth should be celebrated with a shiny new plastic toy. Do our kids really need 79 fidget spinners? How often do you find that new exciting toy is left untouched after just a week?

New studies are showing that limiting the amount of toys in your home will in fact boost your child’s interaction and imagination. The intentional parenting and minimalism movement involve choosing toys for your child that are beneficial, useful, beautiful and good quality. This will often include wooden toys, rather than plastic, that are beautifully and intelligently designed.

The Montessori Method

Taking away those loud plastic toys with shining lights and migraine inducing noises may sound like a one way ticket to tantrum town but, in fact, studies show that children love having less toys. Sound crazy? The very popular Montessori Method, developed by Maria Montessori, recommends toys made with natural materials such as wood; and most importantly, only a small amount. Montessori states that clutter confuses children and stifles their ability to be interactive and imaginative. A few well designed and deliberately selected toys may result in a very content and amused child!

Rotating Toys – How to do it?

So how to tackle the play area that is bursting at the seams? Rotating toys need not be as dramatic as you may imagine.

  • It is recommended to simply remove toys that you would deem unused, unloved or not beneficial to your child. Let your kids focus on the newly reduced selection of toys and watch them interact more effectively with the small offering.
  • If in a few days your children seem displeased with the toys, rotate back in some of those you removed and stash away a different selection.
  • After a couple of rotations you may notice some toys that your child simply never shows any interest in – you may wish to remove these from the rotation and pass them onto a charity shop. This method is also excellent for keeping a clutter free home – which means less tidying!

There are many excellent benefits involved in rotating your kids toys – content children, a calmer home atmosphere and even less cleaning. Are you tired of toy clutter and would like to pass some items onto families in need? How can hoarding be turned into helping?

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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