My friend Kimberly at Raising Olives is taking a break from Tuesday's Tips for Moms in order to spend more time on curriculum reviews and other things. I had been planning to stop anyway as we are moving this week and will then be starting our new school year in a few weeks. I do want to share one more tip. (And yes, I know it's not Tuesday!)
I have always rotated my children's toys. They never have access to everything we own at one time. When a box comes into their room that they haven't seen for awhile, everything seems fresh and new. I always enjoy toy rotation day as I get a few extra hours of quiet as my little ones enjoy exploring the boxes. I have at least 4 boxes for each age group, therefore the boxes are absent for about a month before the reappear.
I use plastic boxes/tubs from Wal-Mart to store the toys. I put infant toys in shoe box size plastic boxes. I put one in the family room and one in the pack 'n play. My toddlers get a box that is about triple the shoe box size in addition to a puzzle or two and one or two larger toys (Fisher Price Little People sets, Duplo blocks, etc.) I also rotate toys for my older children, especially big things like our doll house, train set, Playmobil, etc. I store toys under beds, in closets, in the garage and in the attic. It is one of my children's chores to rotate the toys each week. I even rotate our board and picture books every 4-5 months (or when I think about it).
I have enjoyed watching the children be creative when a certain item isn't available. For a couple of years it seemed like my oldest three girls only wanted to play with the dollhouse. They loved dividing the people up among them (we have lots of people so each girl can have a "large" family) and acting out daily events. Whenever the dollhouse was not available they would play the same thing but use blocks or Legos to make houses and represent the people. We have quite a few wooden blocks with faces drawn on them. :-)
So, my last Tuesday's Tip for Moms is to rotate your children's toys. I think it's a good way to get more enjoyment out of fewer things.