How do we get our child to play solo? Enter Toy Rotation!

Are you a busy parent? I bet the answer is yes!

Are you time poor, struggling to do the things that need to be done? Let alone the things you actually WANT to do!

Running a home can be challenging, juggling multiple things at once and often on minimal sleep! As parents we all want the best for our children. We want them to be having fun, to be learning and of course to feel loved! I know myself, a Mum of three young boys, I have lots of ambitions (you know like change the world). But half the time I’m so tired I forget my kids names! At times I feel guilty that I’m not spending time on the floor playing with my youngest son. Then I remember there was a time with my first when I had to, because he wouldn’t entertain himself.

As parents we can all relate to this scenario...

Child empties toy box all over floor, plays with one thing for 5 minutes or maybe nothing at all. Child calls “Mum, I’m bored, I’m hungry” or just hangs off your leg wanting you to play with them.

As if the lady standing at the sink full of dishes is where you go to have a great time!

Little Rockers Radio Encouraging children to play solo with Toy Rotation

The next time you feel guilty for encouraging your child to play alone remember this; ‘Solo play encourages independence, self-confidence, creativity, and language skills’, (Maria Luisa Escolar, M.D., a developmental paediatrician) Alleluia! Guilt released (ok, diminished).

So that’s one thing, but how do we get our child to play solo? ENTER TOY ROTATION!

When I first introduced toy rotation 5 years ago it made my life a lot easier. Children’s brains are programmed to absorb everything they hear, see, taste, touch, etc… However, if they keep touching the same textures and seeing the same toys, in the same place, they lose interest.

Toy rotation is the simple art of rotating curated selections of your child’s toys on a roster type system, so that your child is exposed to different categories of toys in smaller batches, which frequently change. Benefits include:

  1. Inventiveness and fantasy blooms as they discover a new way to engage with an old toy.
  2. Your child plays independently and fully engaged.
  3. Clean up time becomes a breeze.

“An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm". Says Dr. Kim John Payne. Personally I know when I’m feeling emotional and overwhelmed I scream for food!

If you think that toy rotation might be something you’d like to try then I invite you to download my free guide ‘The Ultimate Guide to toy rotation’ which will explain the what, why and how of rotation.


By Jane McLeod

Jane McLeod is a Mum of three young boys and founder of Mr Kipp and little Jimmy, an online store that hires and sells wooden toys Australia wide. Jane is also very passionate about helping parents reduce the toxins present in their children’s lives.