Culling Toys | Day 2 – 30 DaysTYP

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Today and over the coming days; we are going to start organising toys.

As a parent, you know that toys have the ability to grow seemingly out of nowhere. Unlike Kate at An Everyday Story, I do not have my toys culled and organised. I have a loose system but I haven’t got on top of it since the end of last year. So, I’m doing this with you!

With our list from last week, we know which toys are best to keep out at this rotation. Let’s move onto the others.

What to look for in a toy

Chances are, several of your child’s favourite play things are not toys at all. Untoys, like bags, containers, loose parts, kitchen items, etc. are brilliant and should be factored into play spaces.

The best play materials (toys) are open-ended and are only limited to your child’s imagination. This includes blocks, legos, play silks, loose parts, and other untoys. The play that is created from open-ended toys is creative, beautiful and meaningful.

Rotating toys

Why rotate toys?

  • Clean up is easier – both for the children, and yourself
  • Less toys = less clutter. Less clutter means increased meaningful, involved and creative play and discovery.
  • Increases interest. Children will view toys with renewed interest when the next toy rotation occurs. Aside from novelty, new play ideas and refreshed interest leads to better creative play.
  • Overstimulation is easier to avoid. Lots of toys can often lead to too much stimulation and consequently to disruptive play or no play at all. You can avoid this with a rotation system.
  • More engagement. Being more mindful and observant of which toys and how many toys are displayed will make a huge difference on the length of time your children will play with their toys.
  • Increased lifespan of toys. Both in terms of wear & tear and focused play. Therefore, you can buy less toys and less often.

You won’t rotate all of your toys. Some, like the open-ended toys described above, can be kept out while other toys are rotated depending on your child’s interests. Because of this, it’s great to keep toys stored according to themes.

009My current system is less than effective…

There’s no hard and fast rule on how many toys to keep out. It depends on the age of your kids, the space you have and your family.

Similarly, there is no toy rotation storage system that is one-size-fits-all. This is entirely dependent on your family – how many children you have, their ages, their interests and your spaces.

Some ideas include storing items by their use (i.e. fine motor toys), by theme (i.e. animals) or by their function (i.e. light table toys). This will depend on how your child plays and will require you to think and test what works for you.

Task:

  1. Sort through all the toys and identify which toys are going to be kept, donated or trashed.
  2. Trash all broken toys and any of those cheap plastic toys that somehow make their way into the mix.
  3. Put aside sentimental toys and chose the toys to donate: include toys that have been outgrown and those which haven’t been played with for some time.
  4. Organise plastic containers (clear so you can view what’s inside) and sort all the toys that won’t be out in this rotation.
  5. Put these containers out of site and set a date for next rotation.

Remember to continue observing your children’s play in between rotations so that you have an idea of what to bring out and put away.

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This is going to be a BIG job here at the Racheous household. I know it may be for you too. But I’m here, holding your hand and guiding you through it. We know why and how, so let’s do this!

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Please share your before/during/after photos of your toy cull. You can share a photo on my Facebook page or on Instagram using the 30 Days to Transform Your Play hashtag: #30daystyp

I will be!

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Best of luck!

If you missed a post, here’s the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series

30 Days to Transform Your Play | Series Introduction

30 Days to Transform Your Play series
30 Days to Transform Your Play series with Kate from An Everyday Story and I (Racheous – Lovable Learning). We have created this inspiring and thought-provoking series for you. With simple and practical advice for you.

You – the mama who respects her child and is passionate about learning with them
You – the mama who tries to be mindful with the toys and materials that are brought into your home but still finds herself overwhelmed
You – the mama who needs to re-organise her children’s playspace but needs some guidance
You – the mama who knows her child’s interests but isn’t 100% sure what to do with that information
You – the mama who wants to know how to organise invitations to play and explore
You – the mama who wants to know how to help her child represent and express ideas and learning
You – the mama who  wants to transform your play

30 days to transform your play
So where do you start?

Think about and answer this: Why do you want to make changes to the way you approach your child’s play?

Over the coming weeks we will be working with you on all of the above and more. This is an interactive series. We want you to be involved.

Share your questions, updates and suggestions on our Facebook pages, Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp (30 Days [to] Transform Your Play).

And if you feel inspired to blog about your experiences, make sure you leave a link in the comments each day so we can all pop over and have a read. 30 Days to Transform Your Play.

If you haven’t already done it, make sure you set aside some time today to complete your homework from last week; you’ll need that information for tomorrow’s task.

Be sure to follow us as we update daily for the next 30 days and guide you with practical and inspiring tips to transform your play. See you tomorrow!

 

Natural Easter Gifts

Handmade natural Easter gifts toys

I love browsing for natural, handmade kids toys on Etsyaffiliate links disclosure. There’s always such beautiful things. I thought I would share some of my favourite Easter-inspired natural toys which would make a lovely addition to the gift basket!

Children of all ages:

il_570xN.485275986_qi4xPlay silk set

il_570xN.579320151_mga6Beeswax bunny crayons

il_570xN.297566155Natural wooden eggs

il_570xN.572827266_9dlcKnitted bunny in wicker basket

0 – 18 months:

il_570xN.432556828_aqtmOrganic teething ring

il_570xN.483353983_6ls6Personalised wooden bunny toy

il_570xN.425545857_3a3cCrochet wooden egg

il_570xN.502393222_d7n0Organic bunny rattle

1.5 to 3 years:

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Handmade ball run

il_570xN.569110797_i39sPersonalised wooden egg stacker

il_570xN.371566825_mt3kPastel wooden bunny’s for sorting and matching

il_570xN.574829274_g5fhPastel rainbow peg people matching & sorting toy

3+ years:

il_570xN.320550664Counting eggs rainbow nest

il_570xN.517358804_mitpNatural rainbow people kit

il_570xN.225511639Chalkboard eggs

il_570xN.583247890_p6gmEaster activity bag

Montessori Gifts for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

montessori gift guide racheous

I’m often asked what Montessori inspired toys I recommend and where we have got certain toys from. So I thought I would do a guide for Montessori gifts!

I am only recommending toys that we own (or similar in a couple of cases) and love.

These aren’t Montessori pure materials, I’m sharing toys that are educational and can be used in Montessori inspired play and learning.

I hope you find some inspiration! I have included affiliate links (click on the pictures or the words underneath) for your convenience. See here for full disclosure.

Babies & Young Tots | 0 – 18 months

Baby Montessori ToysMontessori inspired baby set

Pop up toyPop Up Toy

Manhattan Skswish toyManhattan Skwish Toy

baby play silksBaby play silks

trix rattleTrix rattle

stacking and nesting wooden rainbow bowlsNesting and stacking wooden rainbow bowls

Brio bell rattleBrio bell rattle

music box musical wind up toyMusical wind up toy

wooden ball run trackWooden ball track

wheely bug ride on toyWheely bug ride on

Toddlers | 18 months – 3 years

beginner pattern blocksBeginner pattern blocks

musical instrumentsMusical instruments

russian nesting dollsRussian nesting dolls

colour blocks Colour blocks

mail box toyMail box sorting toy

wooden rainbowWooden rainbow

lock box toyLock box toy

rainbow play silk canopyRainbow play silk canopy

wooden farm barn toy fold-out animalsWooden farm

wooden plan toys cone sorting toyCone sorting toy

Preschoolers | 3 – 6 years

brio builder systemBrio builder system

hammer tap a shapeHammer tap a shape

walkie talkies toyWalkie talkies

melissa doug see spell puzzlesMelissa & Doug See and Spell Puzzles

wooden marble runWooden marble run

real stethoscope toyReal stethoscope toy

Pattern blocksPattern blocks

phonetic reading blocksPhonetic reading blocks

tone musical hand bellsMusical hand bells

drill design board peg toyTechno design board

Phew! That was fun! I should say, while I have grouped these by age groups – some of these Montessori gifts can be used for different ages. As with anything with children, you know your child best and what will suit their stage of development!

Favourite toys and where to purchase

I have had a few people asking for recommendations for toys/materials and where to get them. You can see my previous toy recommendations for a 9-12 month old here. If you have a specific item you want to know more about, let me know :)

Lucy is almost 15 months old (in a week) and her everyday toys and materials are:

montessori, toys, wooden, toddler, preschoolerClockwise from top left:
Clogging Track by GoGo Toys (purchased this second hand)
Peg and Stack Board by Fun Factory (from Entropy)
Stacking Bowls by Q Toys (from Kidsmile)
The last 3 are all from Classic Baby:
Colour Stacker
Increasing Circle Puzzle
Lock Activity Box by Mamagenius

Aside from these toys, she really enjoys drawing (with her Lyra Ferby pencils), playing with musical instruments and with play silks.

Cameron is almost 3.5 years old. It’s harder to single out his favourite toys as he spends a lot of time playing outdoors and more free, imaginative play. So he spends less time with toys and materials and more with ‘untoys’ and loose parts (i.e. rocks/dirt/sticks, binoculars, a piece of hose, safety glasses). The toys he does use frequently are blocks, duplo, diecast vehicles, his fireman toys, and Schleich animals. Of course, art materials are a daily thing too, particularly collage, fine tip markers, and plasticine.

Half of the toys I have are 2nd hand, the other half are gifts from others or Christmas/birthday gifts. Aside from the stores above, I shop online at Fishpond (see affiliate link in the sidebar) and Etsy.

Do you buy in advance? Do you have suggestions or questions? What are your children’s favourites?