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Even as many states start slowly easing up on their COVID-19 restrictions, you may find that it’s still kind of hard for your family to go do stuff – and that goes double if you have younger kids.

While the CDC says children aren’t at any higher risk of catching COVID-19 than adults, the impact of the illness can still be very hard on little ones, and a lot of parents are finding that it’s safer to keep their kids close to home, even during the nice summer weather.

If your kids aren’t able to go out and play or see their friends as much as they’d like to thanks to that mean old coronavirus, you’ve probably been hard at work trying to find ways to keep them entertained at home instead. And while they’ve probably been grateful for the extra time with their favorite toys and video games, you’ve probably been noticing the, er, toy mess that gets left behind.

Let’s face it – thanks to birthdays, holidays, and even their well-intentioned grandparents, your kids probably have more toys than they can actually play with at any given time. This can lead to a lot of clutter, especially these days if this is all your kids have to do for fun. But there’s an easy solution – toy rotation!

 

Toy Rotation Tips

Toy rotation is exactly what it sounds like – a plan for letting your kid play with certain toys for a period of time, while the rest get put away safely somewhere. There’s actually a few advantages to this, some of which may be surprising:

  • Reduced mess on the floor, or at least a lower chance of you stepping on a Lego brick
  • Reduced stress in your child, as the act of picking out what toy to play with next can actually cause anxiety in a lot of children
  • Helps your child appreciate the toys they already have, which can stop you from needing to buy more Rescue Bots every time you go to the store
  • Encourage your child to help clean up, since they’ll have a better understanding of where the toys actually go

 

Sounds pretty good, especially right now while everyone’s still trying to limit their time outdoors, right? Here’s a few easy ways to get started:

Create a few designated toy areas: The first step is to find a few places for their toys to “live”. These should serve as homes for toys to get put away in every night, in the same place every time. This will help your kids get in the habit of putting things away, as well as making it easier on them to remember where they’re supposed to go – frustration with the process is often one of the biggest barriers to getting your kids to help clean!

 

Keep the toy storage kid-friendly: Speaking of frustration with the process, making sure all your storage is kid-friendly will go a long way towards helping too. Use smaller, more colorful storage that’s easy to access, such as colored plastic storage bins to help your kids keep everything together and make it all easier to access. If you really want a more personalized experience, you can even set up kids home lockers around the house to let them have a little more fun with it.

 

Find a home for everything out of the rotation: Getting the toys an easy home is only half the battle – when toys get taken back out of the rotation on whatever schedule you and your kids agreed on, it’s gotta go somewhere, right? Take a look at your kids’ toys and find some storage that works better for the adults – think about using basement shelves for the bigger stuff, and try to find room in places the kids don’t usually play for the rest. One of our favorite solutions for smaller toys is to use over the door storage to keep smaller accessories or individual building blocks.

 

Help your kids make the schedule: Speaking of the schedule, the key part of making a toy rotation is, well, the rotation! Depending on your kids’ age, work with them to figure out what toys they like most and what ones they only want to play with every other week or so, and make a list that keeps everyone happy. Letting your kids stay involved in the process will stop them from feeling “punished” by it, and can help them better enjoy the time they spend with the toys they have.

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