Unlocking Deeper Play: The Montessori Approach to Toy Rotation

In a world driven by excess, the impact of simplicity is often underestimated—especially when it comes to your toddler’s playroom.

Research supports the notion that less is more, as a study comparing children’s play behavior with 4 vs. 16 toys in a room revealed profound insights. Toddlers offered only 4 toys engaged more deeply with each item, spending meaningful time exploring and embracing the essence of play, unlike their counterparts surrounded by 16 available toys. 

While the average household boasts a staggering 90 different toys, Montessori philosophy takes a more minimalist approach. It advocates for a thoughtfully curated collection of objects, neatly arranged on low shelves with intentional space between each item. Embracing this concept doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of toys; instead, it involves the art of toy rotation—a practice that keeps playtime fresh and captivating for your little one. 

Here are some invaluable suggestions for effective toy rotation: 

  • Thoughtfully Arrange: Select around 9 to 12 different items and display them on a low shelf, making it easy for your child to choose a toy to engage with. 
  • Rotate and Store: Place other toys in a closet or an unreachable space, keeping them out of sight. 
  • Observe and Learn: Pay attention to your child’s preferences and observe how they interact with different toys over the following weeks. You might be surprised by their renewed interest in seemingly “easy” toys. Remember, repetition and rediscovery are essential components of learning and growth. 
  • Timing is Key: Rotate toys when it feels appropriate—aim for no more than once a week, or every few weeks. Adjust the rotation based on your child’s play patterns and evolving interests. 
  • Cherish Favorites: Some toys hold a special place in your child’s heart and can remain on the shelf for a year or longer, offering comfort and familiarity. 
  • Unleash the Unfinished: Undone toys, such as separate puzzle pieces or stacker rings in a basket near the peg, often capture your toddler’s curiosity and provide endless entertainment. 
  • Organization is Fun: Utilize baskets and containers to organize small pieces and encourage your toddler to practice the art of putting items in and taking them out. 
  • Books Join the Fun: Extend the rotation concept to books, creating new surprises and adventures with each selection. 
  • Seamless Transition: Plan toy rotations when your child is not present, ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining the consistent placement of their beloved favorites. 

Remember, when we speak of toys, we encompass a wide range of play items, from nature-inspired baskets and kitchen treasures to DIY creations and craft supplies. Embrace the enchantment of toy rotation, and witness your child’s imagination soar as they embark on endless journeys of exploration. Discover the magic of Everge, the ultimate companion in your parenting journey, and enjoy the wonders of intentional play with your little one.