The solution - a toy rotation has been put in to place and it's working a treat.
We've gone from this....(and it could look worse!)
To various combinations!
How is our toy rotation working?Our cube shelving unit has been attached to the wall of the play room. It has been there for quite some time but it once housed most of the toys and activities. This made it tricky for the girls to get things down without letting other things topple.
Every second Sunday (or so) while the girls are asleep I display a new lot of toys/ activities on the shelves and I pack the other toys away in five coloured boxes. They get stored out of sight. I love to see the girl's faces as they discover what's new in the play room when they wake up.
I try and accommodate both girls in the activities that are put out however Miss H likes to give most of Miss M's activities a go anyway so it doesn't let me off the hook with watching her. I do try to put the more involved or smaller piece activities higher up the shelves so she often asks me (or daddy) if we can "play game" together and we help get one down for her and play. With the rotation in place we are trying to encourage them to choose something to play with, have fun with it, then return it to the place it came from. Toys also get rotated through the different rooms in the house, the play room, the girls room and the "quiet room". (Miss H's old room)
Just secretly, I like to be able put away games into the coloured boxes that Miss H has become obsessed with. We have a break for two weeks and then they reappear for another two weeks of play.
Having a toy rotation has made a great difference to the play in this house and for the most part changed how clean and tidy the house (particularly the toy room!) can be. I can be quite messy (I blame my creative brain) but this toy rotation speaks to my creative side so I find it fun to do.
How do you store the toys and activities in your house? Do you have a toy rotation system in place or something else that works?