Early Years Toy Shelfie Rotation – 20 months

Welcome to our toy shelfie for when my daughter Floss was 20 months old. I’ve given this post a little update (Floss is now six). I’ll apologise now about my camera skills. I’ve definitely improved over the years.

We use shelves to display a small number of toys. Our toys are rotated. Here’s one of the toy rotations we did when Floss was 20 months. I’m lucky that I was an early years teacher before becoming a Mom, so I have quite a lot of random resources that I collected during my teaching days. Some things I know where I got them, but lots are charity shop, Ebay finds or Freecycle. Toys that we do purchase are carefully considered and are expected to last a long time!

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Our lovely Lanka Kade Ark was one of those finds on Ebay. Floss’s NanNan got it for her for Christmas. Sadly, it arrived damaged in transit. The lovely seller refunded us, but said we could keep the Ark and see if we could fix it. Well Grandad got his hands on it – I can’t keep track of how many tiny dowels and how much glue have been added to the Ark and it’s by no means perfect, but we love it.

Toy Hospital

2023 Update – if toys get broken we have a ‘toy hospital’. When Floss was little she’d put toys in there and she knew that they would get fixed if possible. As she’s got older she now helps out in fixing toys. I think it’s so important in this disposable world that we show children how to mend and take care of their treasures.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

Normally, I have the Ark on the floor so that Floss can access it easily, but this time I decided to put it on the top shelf. This is encouraging her to stand more and strengthen her leg muscles as she enjoys using the ocean animals alongside the Ark.

Some of the animals are Lanka Kade, that came with the Ark, some are from a Melissa and Doug puzzle and the whale is Duplo. Don’t ever worry about having sets of the same animals unless it’s important to you. Children don’t mind!

We love wooden toys as they last so well. However, especially with animals, we do have some plastic ones like these. These are perfect if you plan to use toys in messy play and outdoor play.

I love the Melissa and Doug chunky puzzle pieces as it does mean you can use them in small world play as well as part of a puzzle.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

Toy Rotation Favourites

The top left square has the most used items from this toy rotation, as well as the humongous tube (click here to see blog post on this). I had a dig around one of my old jewellery boxes and found several different bangles made of either metal or wood. Floss has been wearing these, sharing these, stacking them, making ‘dinners’ with them and much more. Do make sure to check that anything you put out is safe for your little one.

The Grimms bowls are never far behind (you can use any bowls). They had been used for stacking initially, but now they are normally used to contain and transport other things. I’ve definitely noticed a transporting schema coming into her play very heavily since she is 20 months. I’ve tried to ensure that there are containers and bags available for her to use as she wishes.

Many of you have asked questions about the stars. They were from a company called mindstretchers UK. They are so lovely, but I don’t believe they make them anymore. I got them on Ebay.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

Toy Shelfie – To Change or Not to Change?

Above are the Grapat rings on a Grimms bobbin board. This hasn’t really been used much during this rotation. I’ll keep it out a little longer, but may switch this out a little earlier than the other toys.

I’d originally thought that she may enjoy making little stacks as this had been something she’d been doing more of, but as I’ve said I think she’s more into transporting currently. I may put the rings separate to the board and see if that makes a difference. Do you let your little one choose activities? If they don’t go for something, would you try and encourage them to or swap it out sooner? There’s no right or wrong answer – just try what feels right.

2023 UPDATE – Both the rings and bobbins with the board are still used now Floss is six. It’s what I love about the toys that we purchased for Floss when she was little. They are toys that grow with her and their use changes as her play changes.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

Careful Observations to Inform Choices

This shelf tells you a lot about our week; I’ve been recovering from an op and we all came down with a sickness bug! I needed a little change once Floss was feeling better to keep her interest, but it definitely didn’t have my usual thought!

What I’ve learnt is that initially, the change meant that the interest was there. Floss played each of the instruments, took apart the little house. Removed most of the blue and purple objects and carried them around and took the cogs off and on the puzzle.

Yet, after the first day this initial interest disappeared. They were familiar objects, but there was nothing new! I don’t mean a new toy, I mean a new challenge. It really highlighted to me the importance of the thought process we go through. The conversations we have as a family around what Floss can do, what she’s interested in and what we can do to develop that interest. How can we support her to hone that skill or learn a new skill that fits with her current thinking.

These conversations and thoughts are what inform our decisions on what resources to have out, how they will be presented and what they will be accompanied by. Will she use them independently, are they to be used with others. Will there be a demonstration or will the learning be through investigation and experimentation? How do you make decisions what toys are out?

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