activity

Less is More! Tips on Toy Rotations

WRITTEN BY ZARA DEMERIS, PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER AND MUMMA BEHIND @zaras_play_tribe

Melbourne, Australia

A picture of our playroom. @ zaras_ play_ tribe

A picture of our playroom. @zaras_play_tribe

What is a toy rotation?

Toy rotation is exactly that, it is rotating toys. Moving toys out of children’s sight for a period of time then bringing them back. It sounds simple and it is. Move unused toys out of your little ones space and put it somewhere that they will not see it, for at least a few weeks – if not longer!

 

How do I do it? 

1.     Gather all the toys from your child’s play space.

2.     Make group piles. You can sort them into groups such as games, arts and crafts, building, cars, books, imaginative play, stuffed animals etc.

3.     Now choose a couple of things from each category and put it on display. The rest – goes away! If you are worried because it doesn’t look like much, give this article a read. Less is more!

4.     When putting the ‘rest’ away put it somewhere out of sight. You don’t want your little ones to be able to see it or have access to it.

5.     Decide on a rotation schedule. How often will you rotate the toys? I usually rotate every 10 – 14 days. You might like to do it weekly, fortnightly, monthly or just when your little one gets bored!

6.     When you come to the end of a rotation cycle, simple rinse and repeat! Of course you can keep out the favourite toys but put the ones that have been ignored away and bring back something else.

That’s it!

You do not need fancy toys. You do not need the latest and greatest. You just need to be mindful about which toys and how many you are giving them access to.

  

Why should I rotate toys?

I have found, when we started rotating toys Aidan and Evie are now less likely to become over-whelmed and over-stimulated. Even better than that, their attention span is longer and the depth of their play has increased (read a blog post from a parent’s experience with minimizing toys here). They don’t have access to many toys so they play with the toys they have to their greatest capacity.

Each rotation is like a new set of toys, most of the time there is nothing new in a rotation but for them it feels new and so exciting!

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Play with Balloons

Written by I-yatah Keisha, Early Childhood Educator and Owner of Kidtabulous


1. Make Texture Balloons

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Tactile sensory play is all about touch!  All children like to explore, discover and experiment with their surroundings and sensory play does just that. The great thing about texture balloons (also called sensory balloons) is that children of all ages can play with them and they can have fun without making a mess!  

All you need are:

  1. Balloons (Note: if you use regular sized balloons, blow it up first and keep the air in for about a minute. Then deflate it and fill it up. You can also use larger balloons if you don't want to do this part). 
  2. Items you can insert into the balloon include anything from sand, salt, marbles, play dough, rice, water, paint, water beads etc.
  3. A funnel
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**For an even greater challenge, you can have your child make the balloons themselves by having the materials that you will use set out on a table in little bowls (see the picture as an example). You can also have our little one can try to guess what is in each balloon as they squeeze and play with it.

 

 

2. Balloon-Popping Calendar Countdown

Which little kid doesn’t love popping balloons? This is a fun way to pop a balloon each day as you do a calendar countdown! Bonus: you can add cute little surprises inside each balloon!

1)   Decide how many balloons you will need and put them aside.

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2)   Decide what you want to add inside the balloons (small drawings made by your little Picasso, small toys, cute messages, fun things to do, etc.) and make as many as the number of balloons you will use. 

3)   Blow up as many balloons as you will need for your countdown (a countdown could be for anything special that is coming up).

4)   Write numbers on your balloons with a Sharpie marker.

5)   Tape your balloons to the wall in order

6)   Start popping!

3. Balloon Badminton

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Balloon badminton is a great way for kids to practice hand-eye coordination and balance as they hit the balloon and try to keep it off the ground. This is also a great game to get some energy out without breaking anything in the house! Bonus: They can also practice taking turns if they play with a sibling! Doube Bonus: it’s SUPER easy to do!

All you need is a balloon, some paper plates, masking tape and popsicle sticks. Just tape a popsicle stick to the back of each paper plate to make a handle, blow up your balloon, and you are good to go!

You can make 1 for each player, or 2 to make it more interesting. For more of a challenge, you can blow up two balloons and try to keep them both from touching the floor.

Happy hitting!


To learn more about I-yatah visit our contributors page. If you have a question for I-yatah, send an email at info@curiousneuron.com.