Shopping In Your Toy Closet

We’ve been talking a lot about shopping this week based on The Fill The Page Theory and our Good Toy Rules. Rules #1-4 have pretty much been the focus so far, but today rule #5 is going to be the star.

We are going to be a minimalists!

We are going to shop in our OWN toy closets/playrooms/toy chests, because we probably already have most of the toys our kids need. We will see that by de-cluttering and organizing what we have, we will breathe easier. We will take our organized toys, divide them into sets, leave one set out, put away another set, and then rotate them whenever we would normally go shopping for something new. We will get that just-bought feeling without having to buy a thing. We can do this, and when we aren’t sure we can, we will look to the Minimalist Mom for inspiration.

The Minimalist Mom actually captured all of her child’s belongings in 5 simple pictures. See that? Could you do that? Yes. Yes, you could.

But, why should you? Why should you go through the hassle of simplifying and organizing all of those millions of toys and their pieces and then rotating them? Well, this is why:

  1. It saves money. Not much explanation needed there. Less buying, means more saving.
  2. It’s green. Think about the amount of plastic and other materials that are put into the earth each year at landfills through toy waste. Cheap toys and lots of them become junk very quickly and end up polluting our earth.
  3. It helps your child learn. Remember, to fill a page you have to put lots of marks on the same page. With 50 toys available to your child, she will end up playing with each toy briefly before moving on to the next.  That kind of play equals only a few marks on 50 different pages. BUT, with fewer toys available, your child will spend quality time enjoying and exploring each toy. That kind of quality play puts more marks on fewer pages and fills those pages more quickly.
  4. It keeps your child from getting bored. People think more toys means more fun. Instead, leaving all of your toys out all of the time encourages your child to quickly play with each of them and in turn quickly become bored with all of them. The key to keeping away boredom is not more toys, it’s rotating. Rotating toys makes them like new each time. And guess what, that just-like-new feeling is great, because…
  5. It helps your child learn EVEN MORE. When a toy is put away for awhile and then brought back out, your child has forgotten how she played with it last time and is able to then play with it in a new way. You will see just a few weeks later, your child will name something new in a puzzle or finally be able to get in that tricky piece. The break from the toy allows for new learning and new experiences from a fresh perspective.
  6. It helps clean-up go faster. Less toys means less time to clean up. At our house the rule is that my daughter helps put away all of her toys before nap, bed, and anytime we are leaving the house. Then I never have to come home to a toy-strewn floor or feel the need to pick up when I have a minute to myself while she rests. And that’s awesome.
  7. It means fewer missing pieces. Can you not stand the puzzle with the missing piece, or the shape sorter with no circle? Isn’t that reason enough try rotating? Fewer toys out at a time means fewer pieces to look after. And if the toys are getting put away 2-3 times a day there’s much less chance to have wanderers.

Now that I’ve hopefully sold you on why you should rotate your toys, maybe you’re ready to rotate. Here’s how to you do it.

Are you already rotating toys? How’s it working for you? Are there toys that you could NEVER put away or take away from your child for even a short time?

  1. Elise says:

    We already rotate toys! Not sure if we have enough of a variety in each rotation, though. How often should we rotate? How many toys should be in each rotation?

  2. Lorrie says:

    I absolutely agree — love Minimalist Mom and am breathing deeper with less stuff around not just for my little one but for all of us! Thanks for giving such clear and helpful suggestions on setting up a good environment for the kiddos.

  3. You are spot on. All good points you have shared here. And, all of this goes for grown-up’s things too. We really NEED less than we think.
    heather at wordplayhouse® recently posted..clean calm—enjoying homekeeping with childrenMy Profile