How To Rotate Toys The Montessori Way: Children's Daily Activity Planning

How To Rotate Toys The Montessori Way: Children's Daily Activity Planning

How To Rotate Toys The Montessori Way: Children's Daily Activity Planning 

Toy rotation is something we may hear about and it piques our curiosity. We're here to clarify what toy rotation looks like and give you everything you need to know about it, including why you should do it, how to do it properly, and ensuring you're getting the most out of it.

We'll cover everything from what toy rotation is to different types of toys, how to decide whether or not you want to rotate toys, the pros and cons of toy rotation, and how to organize toys for a toy rotation routine.

What Is a Toy Rotation?

A toy rotation is having a set amount of toys for your child to play with and then storing away others that you can swap in and out. This is a great way to keep your home neat and organized while allowing your children to enjoy playing with different toys.

Toy rotations also allow your child to experience different types of toys, so they stay enthusiastic about playtime for longer.

Arranging Toys in Montessori

Children should be able to access all of their toys at any time and help you save on storage space. The arrangement of toys in a Montessori space will help make sure that happens.

Here's What You Need:

  1. Boxes or Containers - These are used to organize toys. They come in many shapes and sizes; some are made specifically for this purpose, but most can work well enough. These can be used to place toys in storage.
  2. Stacking Rings - These rings stack on top of each other. Most of the time, they are made of wood or metal.
  3. Storage Bins - These are bins that hold toys. There are many types available, including plastic, wooden, and cardboard. This makes it easier to access toys from storage.
  4. Shelves - These shelves allow you to arrange toys vertically. The frames can use either wood or plastic to make them.
  5. Drawers - These are drawers that contain toys. They are often found in dressers.
  6. Tops - These are tops that hold toys, and they are also known as "tables" or "cabinets."

Implementing a Toy Rotation System

You can implement a toy rotation system by moving toys in and out of sight so kids will have an easier time finding their selection of toys.

If you decide to use a box or container, consider using a color-coded system so your child knows which toys go in which package.

For example, you could label the boxes red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, pink, white, black, gray, brown, or whatever color best suits your family and your living space.

Rotating Toys for Toddlers

Toddler toys are usually small enough to fit inside a container. These types of toys are rotated frequently so children can access different toys.

Most parents start implementing toy rotation around the age of one or two. This is because children begin exploring their environment and learning about the world around them.

Toys may become less critical as kids grow older, but some toys remain relevant throughout childhood. Toy rotation helps keep children engaged and prevents sensory overload.

The most common method of rotating toys involves keeping a list of what toys you want to turn and putting them into different baskets. Once your list is ready, it's time to put the baskets together.

You can use plastic bins or boxes that come in sets. These are usually labeled with numbers or letters to make it easier to find the correct container.

Once you have your bins, you must place each item in the appropriate basket. You can either label the containers with stickers or write down the name of the toy inside. Make sure to rotate the items regularly.

If you plan on doing this alone, try to do it once every month. You should stagger the rotations over several months if you have multiple children.

rotating toys, the Montessori way


Montessori Toy Rotation

Children love playing with new toys, making them feel excited and happy. However, if you rotate toys too often, it could make your child frustrated. If you do not rotate often enough, your child may become bored.

You can rotate toys by placing them in containers. This allows you to hide certain toys from view while others are visible. The idea is to prevent your child from getting overwhelmed by all the toys they see.

When rotating toys, you should only rotate toys that are similar in size and shape. For instance, you wouldn't want to swap a large stuffed animal for a small toy car.

Should I Rotate My Child's Toys?

It depends on your child. Some toddlers like to play with toys all day long, and others prefer to play with only a few toys simultaneously.

Some children may need to notice that they're missing certain toys and might think they've already played with everything. Other children may get upset if they see that their favorite toys aren't available.

Generally, it's best to rotate toys after your child has had a chance to play with them for an hour or more. That way, they will be able to catch all of their favorites.

Rotating Your Child's Toys

Your toddler probably needs to understand why they need to put their toys away if they want to play with them again.

But it's essential to teach them how to manage their possessions now because they'll likely want to keep some of them forever.

Best Time to Rotate Toys

It depends on how old your child is. Some kids like to play with toys right after they wake up, while others prefer to play later in the day. There needs to be a schedule for rotating toys, and pick a time that works for you and your child.

rotating toys, the Montessori way


Setting a Daily Toy Rotation


Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Children need consistency to develop good habits. For example, if you rotate toys daily, your child will know which toys are coming next.

You can also see if your child likes the new toys this way. If they don't, you can take the toys away and give them something else.

Staggering Toy Rotation Days

Stagger the day when you rotate toys. For example, you can turn in toys on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This way, your child will have something to play with during the week. Instead of rotating toys every day, you can turn them once a week. This way, you will only provide your child with a few toys at one time.

Rotating Toys Before Bedtime

Before bedtime, you can rotate toys in and out of the room. This way, your child will stay focused on their sleep routine. You can also use this opportunity to introduce new toys to your child.

For instance, before bedtime, you can show your child a picture book about animals. Then, you can ask them what animal they’d like to play with first thing in the morning.

Rotating Toys During the Day

During the day, you can rotate toys as needed. For example, if your child wants to play with a specific toy, you can hide it elsewhere.

Or, you can bring another toy into the room so that they can choose between two options.

When doing this, ensure you keep the other toys from lying around. Otherwise, your child could end up playing with those toys instead.

Rotating Toys When Traveling

Vacation is another excellent time to rotate toys. You don't have to turn the toys daily; however, you should still rotate toys regularly.

Otherwise, your child will forget what toys they like and ask for other things. Vacation can be challenging because there are many other distractions as well.

Rotate Toys as Needed

As your child grows older, they need to be exposed to different toys, and they will eventually become familiar with each toy and no longer need to rotate them.

However, if you notice that they still play with certain toys often, you can leave them out.

The best way to do this is to rotate toys as needed. You only turn over toys when your child asks for them. Refrain from forcing them to play with a specific toy.

Toy Rotation Cycle

The cycle of a toy rotation should last about three months.

Make sure you keep track of the toys you have. This way, you'll know which are most preferred by your child.

Also, do not rotate toys too often. Otherwise, it may create frustration.

Toy Rotation Methods

There are many ways to rotate toys, and you can use any method that works best for you. Here are some examples:

Play Games

A simple way to rotate toys is to play games with your child. For example, you could set up a game where you enjoy tea time or activity with the toys to encourage imagination development.

Toys In a Box

Each day, you put a new toy inside the box and replace the old toy with a new one. Eventually, your child will learn to recognize the toys inside the box.

Toy Chart

A chart is a great way to organize toys, and you can write down the names of the toys and the days when they're played with.

You can also add pictures of the toys. This will help your child remember which toys they like.


Some parents believe intuition plays a role in determining what toys to rotate. They say that children know what toys they like and dislike. So pay attention to the toys your child frequently plays with to decide which toys to rotate.

Inviting the Child Into the Process

Include your child in the process of deciding what toys to rotate. First, ask them what toys they like and don't like. Then, create a list based on their input.

Using Visuals

Use visual cues to remind yourself of what toys you've already used. For instance, you can hang pictures of the toys on the wall.

Creating a Toy Box

Create a toy box where you store toys. Make sure to label the boxes with the name of the toys.


You can categorize toys by color, shape, size, etc. This helps you remember what toys belong together.

Tips For Rotating Toys

Here are some things to think about when switching out toys:

Don't Overdo It

Rotating toys too much can cause boredom and unhappiness. If you have more than ten toys in your home, turn them in every two weeks.

Keep in Mind Your Child's Needs

Children sometimes need help understanding why we rotate toys. Therefore, explain to them why you do so.

Make Sure There Are Enough Toys

You'll have to rotate toys sooner if there aren't enough toys. But, of course, you can always add toys to the mix to ensure enough supply to complete a rotation.

Ensure All Toys Are Free of Dust or Dirt

Please ensure all the toys are clean before you put them away. Otherwise, your child may not want to play with them anymore.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How often should I rotate toys?

Most experts recommend rotating toys once or twice per month. But you can switch them out as often as you need to.

What happens if my child gets bored?

Boredom is normal. However, ensuring your child is getting enough stimulation is essential. That is why you should implement a toy rotation to keep your child stimulated.

Can I rotate toys during nap times?

Yes, this is a great time to rotate toys, as they are unaware of the rotation.

Do I need to rotate toys after my child reaches an age?

You don't need to rotate toys past the age of 4 as the child will likely have made up their mind on favorite toys and may become stressed out if they are taken away.

Can my child choose which toys to play with?

Of course! Letting your child decide what toys to play with is one of the most fun things you can do.

Should I buy new toys instead of rotating old ones?

How long you plan to keep the toys will determine the answer. For example, buying new toys might be better if you keep them for a short time.

On the other hand, if you plan to keep the same toys for longer, then rotating them will work just fine.

Final Thoughts

It's important to rotate toys because children need to explore their environment, and they need to experience different things. If you don't rotate toys, your child might never discover anything new. However, rotating toys aren't just good for your child; they can also help you.

RocketBaby carries extensive collections of Montessori-inspired toys and home items, so feel free to browse our website for designs you and your child will love.

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