Most households have a lot of toys which could be the product of excited new parents or gifts from family members and well wishers. However, Montessori households follow a minimalistic approach.
So what do you do with all the toys you have?
Toy rotation is the answer!
How to do it?
1. Getting started
Put all the toys you have in one place, perhaps on the carpet in your living room. Pick a day when you have several hours to tackle this.
Look through all the toys and evaluate them. Look for the ones which are not age appropriate - either your child is too old or too young for, and put them away.
Make groups of similar items - art and craft, transport, animal figurines etc. You can also categorize based on skill - fine motor, math, language etc. You can use trays or baskets to store them. Labeling will make it easy for you to find them when needed.
4. Set up your shelf
At the beginning of the week choose one from each category to ensure a holistic development of skills. Use trays to put the materials in. Leave work undone - this is more likely to intrigue your child and make them want to complete it.
Make a note of what your child is engaging with - what they like and what they don’t, what is too easy or too hard. Is there something they keep going back to?
After a week, it is time to rotate! If your child found something too easy, step it up a notch - provide them with a challenge in the same category. If they really liked something, you can leave it on the shelf for another week. Follow your child’s lead as you plan for the next toy rotation.
7. Toy swap
You might also want to consider a toy swap with friends or family members who have a similar approach and mindset.
8. Get creative
Once your child has outgrown a certain toy, do not get rid of it right away. Look for different ways your child can use the same materials to develop a new skill.
9. Create a schedule
It is easy to forget to rotate your child’s toys. Creating a schedule and setting a reminder on your phone might help you remember to do so consistently.