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Making the World Cleaner: Toy Rotation

As most kids out there in American households…my children have an overabundance of playthings.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when my kid’s rooms aren’t picked up, and at the same time I want them to have a lot of different toys to stimulate their minds…and of course have fun with. But realistically how can I expect my 5 and 3 year old to keep clean hundreds, if not thousands of toys (between Lego’s, potato heads, action figures etc…yes I bet there are thousands)? The answer is I can’t. At least without going completely insane! I know a lot of parents do the toy rotation thing, I just wanted to throw my way out there too, just in case it inspires someone to do the same. I took one day when the kids were all otherwise engaged and I went up with totes and boxes. I organized everything into those boxes and totes into groups.The groups I ended up with where;

  • Little People
  • Trains
  • Cars (and the toys that go with them-such as the race ways)
  • Balls & Beanbags (and the games that go to them-like the beanbag toss)
  • Puzzles
  • Building Toys
  • Stuffed Animals & Puppets
  • Blocks
  • Mega Blocks
  • Random Fun Toys-(this category includes potato heads, action figures, animal figures etc…)
I got rid of a lot and then put all of these boxes in the garage. (We are working on trying to build some kind of storage closet up in the boys room to house them since they don’t have any storage-just a big open room).
I only get ONE set out at a time.
The only other toys that are left out are the wooden food and kitchen toys because they all fit in the fridge I built, and the baby loves to go up there and empty it out, and it’s something they never seem to get bored of.
The first set that got left out was the Little People…and yes, we may have gone a bit overboard on buying these sets at one time, but they have been fantastic for all of my kids and they can be saved for grandchildren.

Rotate Kids Toys-One Collection at a Time

I keep these plastic bins out and everything just gets thrown into them. Since they all go to the same set, and nothing else is out, they can just be tossed in without the need for organizing, perfect for little boys who despise cleaning, but love making messes.
The train table also gets left out because not only can they play with any of the toys on it, but it also has storage underneath. During the Little People time, the little villages were just lined up against the wall when the boys would clean up their room, and spread all over the place when they were playing. Which is fine when you don’t have to worry about any other toys on the floor.

One Set of Toys out at a TimeI found that the kids are super excited to play with their toys this way, and it lasts for about a month…maybe three weeks depending on the toys before they are ready for the next set.

As soon as I find they start asking to watch more videos or play Nintendo more than usual because they are bored…I pull out a new box, throw all the old stuff in it and then dump a different set out in the middle of the floor.

Then they just jump in like it’s Christmas and get to playing.

Keeping Playrooms Clean by Rotating Toys

Sometimes I ask their opinion of what they would like next but mostly I just surprise them with a new pile of toys on their floor on random days when I get the urge to be super nice…to them…and myself.

I get HOURS of uninterrupted time on toy change day!

What do you think of toy rotation? Have you tried it? What are you doing to make your world a cleaner place?




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Tiffany is a stay at home mom to four ridiculously cute kids and wife to one smoking hot Mc Dreamy lookalike. She loves remodeling, chocolate chip cookies and sunshine. She is the founder of Making the World Cuter, a site committed to doing just what the title states; Making the world cuter, one kid, DIY, yummy treat or crafty thing at a time.

Latest posts by Tiffany @Making the World Cuter (see all)


  1. Swati says

    Wow, do I envy that empty space for kids to play in! We are in a small apartment, with no storage space whatsoever unless carved out of the usable floor area, and things have had a way of accumulating, so – !

    I have put things away in boxes, but I must use your classification. It will be a great help!

  2. says

    Good for you for finding a system that works for your little ones. My little guy drives me nuts with the way he plays with different sets all at the same time and gets them so unorganized. But his play is so imaginative that I just can’t bring myself to rotate the different sets out. So I haven’t quite found a solution for us yet.

  3. says

    I use toy rotations, too! I love that first week of the changed out toys. lol I have also found that when I go in and really organize the toys again, that the kids tend to play better since they are all togeather again.

  4. says

    Oh yes — LOVE toy rotation. It helps them “find” new toys again. I will rotate between rooms (bedroom, family room, a few things in the computer room, and closet)…. every so often I put something away and take out something new.

  5. says

    I love rotating the toys. It keeps life more exciting and cleaner. I have large containers of Duplos, Legos, Mr. Potato Heads (collected for years and it’s a favorite!), Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. It’s more fun when you have a lot, especially when you have a lot of kids. We have six. Even into their teens, the kids had fun creating with these toys.

    • Sue@housepretty says

      We are about to start implementing that whole rotation think in our household as well. As well as doing another decluttering. Our daughter just had a birthday party of Sunday afternoon. We all know what that means. MORE STUFF!

  6. Michelle says

    I am loving reading through your blog–getting tons of ideas. This is one thing I already do and my kids get so excited to rotate toys. I don’t do it exactly like you, although if we had more to begin with (sets) I think I would, as I love the idea of not having to organize them. The blogs I read about toy rotation talked a lot about having different kinds of toys to stimulate them (thinking, pretending, action, etc) but sometimes I think we over think it. I like the simplicity of everything I’ve read on your blog so far. I’m inspired. :)