Why rotating toys helps develop your baby's ability to focus?
If you feel like you have too many toys running around the house, you’re not the only one. Different toys offer different activities for your little ones, so it’s easy to fall in love with many of them!
How can you help babies and toddlers get the most out of their toys? Organizing an environment with minimal clutter and a careful selection of toys is the first thing to do. Developing a toy rotation system will allow you to keep all your toys without overwhelming your baby or toddler.
Clutter creates disorder and confusion in your little one’s mind. They are in a phase of trying to make sense of the world around them and if there are a lot of toys all over the place, then they cannot see or understand what is really there.
What is a toy rotation system?
A toy rotation system means simply limiting the amount of toys that are accessible at any given time and on a regular basis updating the available toys by removing some and replacing them with other toys.
Toy rotation is an important aspect of a Montessori educational approach for young children, but the “why,” “when,” and “how” are important points to understand so that you can use toy rotation successfully at home.
The Montessori approach recommends that you design a shelving space where you can begin introducing the little one to the idea of selecting toys from a shelf and when finished putting them back.
So as to make selection easy, keep available only as many toys as can fit easily on the shelf with space between them. In this way, when a toy is removed from its spot, it’s easy for the baby or toddler to see where it belongs when it comes to putting it back.
Store away all the toys that are too easy or too difficult for your baby or toddler. On the other hand keep the toys that are currently suitable for your little one’s development more accessible, but still out of your little one’s sight. Then place the toys you want your baby to use on a low shelf within your baby’s sight and reach.
Six to eight toys is a good number of toys to have accessible for your baby or toddler at any one time for their organization, experience with choices, and thorough experience with each individual toy.
Why rotate your baby's toys?
From birth, babies takes in the order of their environment to create their own internal or mental order. Keeping the play area orderly from the start supports this development. Showing them where toys belong will encourage babies to keep the space tidy as they grows.
When they are confronted with too many toys, they may become overwhelmed, or choose to engage in dumping out the toys as the activity, rather than using and playing with individual toys. Even us, as adults struggle to make choices when there are too many options. It is a kindness to your baby to give them a reasonable number of toys to choose from so that they can assess each toy and then choose what truly interests them.
Finally, a toy rotation system ensures that your little one will have experience with each toy in their collection. It offers an opportunity to spend time with each item and make the most out of its developmental purposes. When they have too many toys around them all the time, they are likely to miss important toys at developmentally sensitive times.
Rotating toys out and then reintroducing them after a week, or whenever they begin to lose interest in the current selection, helps to renew your baby’s curiosity and keep them focused and engaged.
Do you implement such a system? We would love to see pictures of your toy shelves. Feel free to post below :)