Hands down the best improvement I’ve made with concerns to the children had to be implementing a toy rotation. Before I put toy rotation in place, the boys had full access to all they’re toys and ended up not playing with anything as they had too much choice. I also didn’t have anything in place through the day, structure wise and implementing a loose ‘timetable’ has meant the boys have a routine and they know what to expect and every day seems to run a lot smoother.
Between Christmas and new year, I got my planner out (it’s computerised) and jotted down all the important dates for the next year (birthday and bank holidays etc) I then planned out my blog posts and instagram grid posts for the year (first time I’ve ever done that). Finally I planned what themes I would include for the boys play weeks. Setting a theme means I have something to focus on and I tend to not keep reaching for the same toys each week. I’ve planned up to the end of August, as Tobias starts school in September and I just don’t know what to expect. I don’t plan on stopping toy rotation but maybe scaling it back or working it in a different way, we shall see.
The themes aren’t set in concrete, I can easily change if the boys show interest in certain activities or want to play with certain toys. I’m hoping to be able to complete ‘day activities’ for any celebration days (like the Chinese New Year). I’ve also found by doing themed weeks I was able to see where I was missing certain toy types and I could purchase things to fit that week, especially at Christmas and birthdays. I don’t plan on doing toys for any of the boys birthday weeks as they will want to explore the new toys.
Here’s the planned themes/planned activities I have in place currently:
- Polar animals
- Burns night themed activity
- Recycling and caring for the world
- Construction (car wash)
- Chinese New Year themed activity
- Pancake themed activity
- Valentines themed activity
- Mother’s Day themed activity
- St Patrick’s day themed activity
- Ocean animals
- April fools days themed activity (to be included in the easter week theme)
- Planets and Earth
- Queens birthday themed activity
- Dessert animals
- Rogation Sunday themed activity
- Fruit and vegetables
- Nocturnal animals
- Trooping the colour themed activity
- Father’s Day themed activity
- Farm animals
- Battles (knights???)
- People who help us
- Light and shadow
I hope this helps you put some themes into place or gives you an idea of toys to buy for the future. One bit of advice I would definitely give is, if your wondering if toy rotation will work for you and weather you should make the change – DO IT! NOW!