Here is how I vary the toys and the play locations throughout the day. I hope this well help give you some ideas.
In the playroom, I have toys in plastic containers with lids. The containers with toys are all kept on shelves I bought from Walmart for $15 each. We have 4 shelves (with 3 shelves each). I only let them get out two containers at a time. I also have a play kitchen in the playroom and a small table and chair set in the playroom.
Toys we have in each container are:
– Wooden Train Set
– Playfood, Cups, Bowls, and other kitchen items
– Plastic Animals
– Building Legos
– Medium Sized Cars
– Toddler Toys in 2 different boxes (various toddler toys)
– Little People Items
In my son’s room, he has a few toys. The toys are arranged in plastic containers with lids too. He is allowed to choose 2-3 different type of toys to have out during roomtime. The rest stay on his shelves in their containers and are not played with. The kids also do sibling playtime in Coopers room a few times a week- and the same rules apply, only 2-3 types of toys out at a time.
– McQueen Cars (from the Movie Cars)
– Chuck Car items
– Marble Run
– Other Match Box Cars
– Felt Roads & Play Rug with Roads
– Tag Junior
– Vet Clinic Toy
– Stuffed Animals
In the Girls’ Room, they have a few toys. I store all their toys in their closet. They still have IPT in their cribs. I usually allow them 2 types of toys and some books during IPT. They toys stored in their closets are:
– Little People Sets
– Little People Builder Blocks and Sets
– Light & Sounds Toys (electronics)
– Babydoll items
– Stacking toys & Shape sorters
In the Gameroom, I store all their educational materials, art supplies, and other table activities. I have it stored in an entertainment system with doors. I have things in plastic containers with lids marked with what time of things are inside. We don’t really have any other toys in the gameroom because we don’t play too much up their yet because I cannot keep an eye on them in there if I am down stairs working (game is upstairs).
In the living room, I have a basket of random toys- some cars, some stuffed animals, some little people stuff, some other toys (doctor kit, etc). They can take anything out of the basket when we are in the living room, but it all has to be put back when we leave the room.
In my bathroom, I have a small tub of toys for when I am getting ready in the morning or during bathtime. I usually bathe all the kids at the same time, but they don’t all get in the tub at the same time so I need toys to keep the occupied during bath time. I have books, cars, and a few small toddler-ish toys in there.
In the kitchen, I have a few leap frog toys on the fridge and I also have some file folder games, busy bag activity, quiet books, and play dough items all stored in my pantry. That way if I need a quick table time activity for a time of transition or while I am cooking dinner, I can quickly pull them out.
What I have found, is even though I don’t rotate all the toys, I think allowing them only a few toys at a time helps. Having them play in the playroom, bedroom, and living room at different times of day helps too. I think that free play, Independent Play Time, and table time/ blanket time help to keep it interesting. I also do outside play every day and try to include a walk. So variety of activities, organized toys, and not allowing them to play with too many things really helps to keep the kids happy and having fun throughout the day. The toys don’t get as boring this way.