The first section is all about toy rotation. We need this BADLY at my house. So, here we are. Step one. The toy sort. This actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It took a little longer than I anticipated, but that was mostly because I kept getting interrupted with other things. And having two curious little "helpers" didn't actual help. Sure my piles didn't look so much like piles at times, but we got through the sort phase. Here's how:
THE TOY SORT
1. Okay, I will admit that the very first thing I did was start breaking rules laid out in POYEL. I bought my storage containers before I actually knew exactly what I needed to buy. But, this rule-breaking actually helped me A LOT! I had five bins for toy storage, giving us - in theory - a six-week rotation of toys. If it didn't fit in one of the bins, it needed to leave our home. Simple as that.
2. I had to decide how exactly I wanted to organize all our toys. There's a great article at MPMK that talks about two kinds of toys. The kind that your kiddos love to pieces and the kind that hold their attention for a passing moment. Obviously, the ideal kind is the first kind. But, the second kind has it's value, too. Consider this: It snowed non-stop for three days, the temperature has been sitting in single digits for the past week and your kids are bouncing off the walls and you're all going stir-crazy. But wait, what's this?! A box of long-forgotten about toys sitting in the garage?! Pay dirt for your little typhoons, am I right? It's like Christmas with so many new-to-their-attention-span play things. So, maybe think twice before you cast out all those shiny and passing toys. I designated one of my bins as our Woo and Wow! toy bin. It'll be stashed for rainy days.
I did a little research and found a great article on different kinds of play that children engage in from Child Development Institute. After reading about the five different types of play, I decided to divide our toys into categories.
- Physical/Motor Skill Toys. These toys are puzzles, balls, the Geo-Board, magnets my boys play with on the fridge, our Aqua-Doodle and the like.- Constructive Play Toys. These toys are blocks, Legos, our new Gizmo set, Monkey's felt road and his wooden train set and other things that my boys actually build with.
- Fantasy Play Toys. Dress up clothes, cars and trucks, tool set, our LeapFrog shopping cart, ect. Toys that can be played with in a variety of ways.
- Games or Toys with Rules. This includes Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Jenga, the bean bag toss and the like.
- Constant Circulation Toys. These are the toys that will never go into storage. The things my boys really, really love. Monkey has a couple of stuffed animals that he would definitely notice if they went MIA. They will always be out. As will some of his cars. The kid loves those cars.
Each category got it's own pile and I gathered every toy in the house I could find. I will probably still find toys around, or even piece of different toys, but that's why I like the 20 gallon totes. It's super easy to open them back up and reunite any stray pieces...
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