How to Know When to add new Activities to the Shelf

Do you know how to rotate toys (activities/exercises) in your kids’ environment? Do you know when to change the materials on your shelves? If not, read on.

It is always a struggle when you are trying to rotate materials, equipment and toys on your shelves at home or in your classroom. It is hard to know when to change the toys but there are a few tell tale sign that it is time to do so. If you children aren’t interested in the activities out on the shelved you will notice that may be using them incorrectly, or if they haven’t touched them in a while, it’s time to rotate the materials.

By minimising activities on your shelves, it will be easy to notice if one toy is being played with incorrectly, or if one activity is not being played with at all. If you notice this, it’s probably time to change the shelves around. People usually have a lot of toys and activities nowadays, so it’s easy some toys on display, and some hidden for rotation.

Activities on the shelves should be prepared for your child according to their developmental needs at the time, but as they grow and develop their needs will change, and this will require amendments to their environment too. This may be the perfect time to transform your kids’ shelves. These adjustments may be minor, but they might also be major.

Minor changes can be changing a part of an activity. For example, if you have a pouring or spooning activity on your shelf and you notice that the child can pour it from one jug to another without spilling any, or you notice they don’t use the pouring exercise anymore, try changing the substance to try and excite your kids again. For example, change pouring pasta to pouring red lentils.

Another minor adjustment could be changing the colour of the material that is used! Dying dry materials such as rice for spooning with food dye can add excitement to a forgotten spooning exercise.

Sometimes, however changes may need to be more major. Sometimes it involves removing the puzzle that they throw around the room and replacing it with another. Sometimes parents need to look at what is actually going on; are they misusing the activity because it’s too hard or too easy? If it’s too hard then replace it with a slightly easier puzzle. If it is too easy then move on to the next puzzle.

Changes in your kids’ environment can make the world of difference as to how play is constructed and carried out in your environment. The keys to creative and constructive play is to have a small amount of activities readily available for you child on child-sized shelves and try to observe how and how long for the activities are being used.

Keep the other toys and materials you have hidden away and rotate the shelves as you see fit!

Try to remember if you add an activity you should remove another! Having too many crammed onto a shelf can chaos in your kids’ environment!

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