Trying Toy Rotation to Keep Play Engaging!
Making Preschool at Home Engaging and Fun!
When online preschool began to take off as a leading form of education for little ones during the pandemic, it increased the amount of time both you and your little one spent at home. As a result, it’s become a bit trickier to make sure your little one stays engaged during playtime! It can feel overwhelming, and you might be wondering how you can keep your little one interested and mindful in play while not having to buy a new toy every day or so. We’ve come up with something that may help your child learn from home: an idea called toy rotation.
Toy rotation helps keep children engaged in play by having one set of toys to focus on at a time. This enables children to remain in play longer, building their attention span, while also supporting their growth of independent play. While the wide variety of choices might seem like a wonderful opportunity for your little one in the moment, too many toys can be overwhelming and lead to messy play without intention—as well as a pushback when it comes time to clean up. There is no one right way to rotate toys, but here are some tips.
This is what my daughter’s shelf looked like last week—She was so excited to play with “new” toys!
A good idea is to store all toys and materials in your little ones closet on the top shelves. Every two weeks, you can feel free to pull out items that haven’t been used in the last month, and put away the ones from their play shelf. When we say “items,” we don’t just mean stuffed animals, building blocks, and the like; open-ended materials can be a great type of play item as well. We recommend setting out building materials, puzzles, and tools to support handwriting and phonics as well as mathematical games. Keep it simple; put out eight to ten new items each time you do a rotation. For larger toys, like play kitchens, dollhouses, dress-up bins, play tents, barns and farm animals, you can leave them out all of the time. However, it is a good idea to create some type of change in items like a tent as well by rotating the silks every time you rotate toys. You can also rotate your little one’s play-food, keeping a tray of food in the closet and swapping it every other week.
This doesn’t have to be a method relegated solely to toys, either! We highly recommend trying this out with books as well. You can keep bedtime books in a small wooden box by your little one’s bedside and swap them out frequently (more often than two weeks) with books from a bookshelf in the den or other storage place. There, you can keep almost all of your child’s books, except seasonally-related and holiday themed books, which can be stored in their closet on a shelf. We recommend practicing displaying books above your little one’s sensory tables that relate to the season you are in, or a project you are studying in online preschool. By separating the books in this way, your little one will know where to look for which books and is not overwhelmed with a library to choose from.
I set up her bookshelf above this sensory bin—Perfect for fall! You can try out this colorful corn sensory bin HERE.
About Miss Charlotte
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!
Have questions for Miss Charlotte? Email DIY@PlaygardenPrep.com
Contact us today about preschool at home!
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Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!