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Monday, October 12, 2009

My Rotation and Organization System!

Several of you have asked how I handle rotating toys and organizing them while not in use:) I don't think my system is perfect but it works for us!

First up is the sensory tub. I made draw string bags for each of the sensory items(colored rice, black beans, pinto beans, river stones) and I store them in the green milk create that the sensory tub sits on.

I don't have a name for this but I guess you would call it my teacher shelf. On the top I have my books, folders, work books, construction paper, church lesson manuals, and church song book.
Below that is the art and crafts supply shelf, it has our coloring basket, glue and scissor basket, dry erase basket, play doh(Baskin' Robins tub), water colors basket(orange), journals, and my song box.
Below that is the activities that I do NOT put out on the shelves. These things could be easily damaged or need a lot mommy assistance. I get these out when I have 30 minutes of alone time with Caden or Drake. It looks messy but everything is in a Ziploc bag of some sort. It's hard to see below that but there is another shelf and it holds all of the jars(old peanut butter and mayo jars) of counters, lacing items, and fine motor activities like fill and spill bottles.
Last but not least is the toys that DO go out on the shelves. This is the closet in the boys room and I bought this shelf at Costco for 30 dollars. The shelves are adjustable.
The top shelf has puzzles and games. The second has activities that I put out in the table toy area and some of the floor toys.
The third shelf has all of the play-doh gadgets, extra baby toys, and the trains. The fourth shelf is two green creates full of busy toys. And at the very bottom is all of the floor toys(blocks, cars, animals,)
In case you are curious, this is what the other side of the closet looks like:)
Now that you see how I store and organize things let me share a few tips on rotation:
  • Involve you child- "You haven't played with these trucks in a long time would you like to put them away and pick something new?"
  • Be clear as to where things belong so that they can easily put it away themselves
  • Rotate often rather then cluttering the shelves with too many toys.
When I see that something has gone untouched or is to easy for the boys I will often just put it away and they don't even care, however I like to involve them because it is their home too. I want them to feel like they contribute and that their opinion is important. I think that they respect their belongings more this way. I rotate very randomly except for Tuesday nights. On those nights I make an attentive effort to go around the play room and rotate out puzzles, books and anything else I may notice needs a change up.
Last tip is very important in my book. I always demonstrate an activity before I put it out on the table toy shelf. I demonstrate how it is done and how to put it away. "I'm going to play with the connect four game. I'm all done now, I'm going to put the pieces back in the bowl and put the tray on the shelf. If anyone else wants to play with this it's on the shelf." I do this every time for two reasons. One, I want to teach them how to use the activity before they use it so that I don't have to keep correcting them. The second is that I want them to know how and where to put it away.
SO that's it! I think I covered everything but if there are anymore question let me know:)


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I am in desperate need of some organization. You gave me some great ideas!

  2. Excellent ideas! Your children are blessed. Not only do you teach academics but you teach them "life" by your example. Thanks for sharing your day.

  3. Just yesterday I was thinking of emailing you to ask about this very thing. Thank you so much for posting your pictures and tips. Not all of us are natural at organizing so we need all the help we can get! =)

  4. Awesome. Thank you! So, do the boys just play with what is in their "play room" that you have brought out for them or do they get stuff from the costco shelf too?


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