How often do you rotate toys?
My answer is that when I notice that A is no longer taking the toys off of her shelf and playing with them, it's time to switch. This is usually every two weeks. I do the rotating on a Saturday, when Daddy is home and can help wrangle A. She's very excited when she sees a new bin come out of her closet.
There are three areas where the toys from the bin are distributed. The bookshelf in her room is one area.
The two spots on the right of the top shelf stay the same, and the book bins on the bottom stay there too (rotating books is for another post!)
In this photo, the toys from her bin are located on the top left shelf and the bin on the right of the middle shelf. The little doll house is one of the "big" toys from her closet that didn't fit into a bin. I also had one more toy from the bin sitting beside her bookshelf. I usually put out one or two "big toys" each time I rotate a bin.
The second area is A's toy shelf in the living room. This shelf has six spots. One spot is always reserved for library books and I usually have one of the toys on the top shelf. So, five or six toys go on this shelf.
The third area where the toys from the bin go is A's toy box in the living room. We have a footrest that opens up and it is dedicated to housing balls, a few toys from the bin and just random things A brings into the living room. The toy box starts out looking like this:
..and ends up looking like this. A always grabs something from her room when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap and brings it downstairs. She also brings toys in from outside and when she's just had a bath. These toys are all placed in the toy box. When I switch bins, I put all of these random toys back where they belong, put a couple in from the bin, and always leave the balls, an elmo and a few figurines.
One last place that houses A's toys that never get rotated is the bottom dresser drawer in her bedroom. Like the toy box in the living room, A has this drawer all of her own where she can open and close it at will and play with the toys whenever she wants. Although I love the idea of each toy having its place, I do believe children love to rummage through things sometimes and I wanted A to have the freedom to do so. The toys in this drawer are just little random toys like rattles, figurines, small balls, small plush toys, maracas, etc. I do make sure that there are no choking hazards placed in this drawer or in her bedroom since I walk in and out of it when she's playing in there.
This rotating system did not happen overnight and there are still times when I tweak what I am doing. One of the things I am considering is taking a photo of each toy and attaching it to the bin I place it in, so that A will know exactly where to put the toy when she's finished. (How very Kindergarten teacher of me, huh?)
I will say, A's toys get much more use out of them and she is always excited when a new bin is introduced. If all of the toys were out all of the time, I have a feeling she'd be overwhelmed and then become bored with everything.
How do you keep your kids' toys organized?