Tips For Toy Storage and Independent Play Time

Plus, how toy rotation can benefit your home, too!

Does your child get easily overwhelmed in their toy space? Is tidying up after playtime always like pulling teeth? Do you walk into their toy storage and feel overwhelmed as the caretaker?

Then your home could benefit from some toy storage and rotation!

Simplifying toys will get you far when it comes to organizing your home. But even after decreasing the quantity of toys, organizing and displaying them in an inviting way will set your child up for success and encourage independent play!

Tips For Toy Storage + Improved Independent Play Time

Today I’m going to walk you through a quick few tips about toy storage and rotation, just as we do it in our own home to encourage independent play.

Rotate Your Toys

We have had such great success with keeping out only a few sets of toys at a time. By providing a few select, quality toy sets, children are not overwhelmed when entering their play space.

Toy storage doesn’t have to be fancy and full of coordinating bins to be successful. Think and work with what you have. Keep down a set or two per toy category at a time, and you’ll be surprised how implementing this simple toy storage tip will not only encourage independent play time, but also keep your toy collection feeling fresh and fun!

Have Age Appropriate Expectations.

But how many toy sets should be out at a time? There is no right answer, each child is different! I gauge our magic number by each child’s ability to play (and clean up) independently. Luckily, this is relatively easy to figure out!

Start small, leave out a few of their favorite play sets in an open storage space. If your child plays well, and can easily tidy up, add another set or two.

If at some point, they start to struggle with decision making and tidy up time (excluding moments of exhaust or hunger), remove a set and try again. You’ll find your sweet spot in no time!

Need help pairing down your toy collection, check this post out on simplifying toys!

No fancy shelving, no problem! Our kids use their bedding to house stuffies, kitchen to store baking sets, and bookshelf for a few other toy sets. Work with what you’ve got!

Think Open Storage.

Open shelving is great for toy storage. If your toys are “out of sight” they’ll be “out of mind.” This is a common method via Montessori early childhood education, and works so well for children of all ages.

Place each toy set in its own small basket, tray, or area of the room to create an inviting play nook.

Our books and toys for rotation are kept on the top shelf of the closet, easy to access, but out of sight and mind during playtime.

Create a Toy Library.

To keep toys and imaginations fresh, our extra toy sets are stored nearby when not in use (think top shelf of closet). This way we can retrieve and rotate sets easily.

Toy rotation is especially great for seasons of extended at home play: longer winter months, introducing a new sibling, stay at home families, in home daycares. A fresh set of toys is the perfect cure for restless littles! 

Rotate Books Too.

Just as too many toys can overwhelm, so can too many books. We like to keep roughly a dozen out at a time, and rotate when the interest is lost.

We love book rotation day in our home! Pulling out old favorites for the new rotation often sounds like Christmas morning.

Going Simple Tip :: Store holiday themed books with seasonal decor. This way they aren’t cluttering up your year round storage space, and are easily retrieved for book rotation when the time is right.

Learn about seasonal decor storage tips here!

Teach Them To Tidy.

Just as many things are in childhood, teaching a child to pick up their toys is a learned skill. If your child struggles to clean up at the end of the day, here are a few tips.



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