How to Prepare Play Areas for Incoming New Toys!

How to Prepare Play Areas for Incoming New Toys!

In the Montessori-practicing home, you regularly keep your toy collections and displays more minimal and try to prevent an abundance of items from accumulating in your child’s space. That being said, preparing for all those incoming new gifts before the holiday season can feel a little overwhelming. I have a strategy that I use in our home, in order to maintain that sense of minimalism and to really pave the way for all the new and exciting things my children will surely have all of their focus on.

In the days or maybe week before Christmas, I like to go through my little ones’ space and do a full edit of their belongings. Here’s how my system works:

Purging Toys

I go through all of their things and get rid of anything that’s missing pieces, broken or in too rough of shape to donate or keep. 

Categorize and Determine

Unlike my more frequent and regularly occurring toy rotation sessions, I do a full edit of their toys around this time of year. I categorize them all, blocks with blocks, cars together, dolls in one place, activities and their specific contents all together, etc. From there, I determine what is just no longer needed in their space. This may mean one of a few things and here’s what I’m asking myself during this step…

Is this something still enjoyed that we can put into the toy rotation?

Is this something that’s very cherished and utilized often that needs to remain available?

Is this something they have just outgrown?

From there, I will place the items that correlate with each response into these categories:

Place into the toy rotation storage to bring out again later

Put back in the space


Store and save for younger siblings

What I’m left with is a very organized and streamlined space that’s ready to be added to with new gifts they’ll be receiving soon!

If my children are not a part of the process to a certain degree that’s age appropriate or of interest to them or something they can handle emotionally, then I would discuss with them upon discovering their space that we have so much to look forward to and need to make room for! If they ask for anything specific that they want I would let them know I can definitely get it out! Although, that has surprisingly rarely ever happened, because usually the clearing of the space has a way of peaking their interest towards other things they’re now able to notice and put more attention towards, and therefor become more interested in than overlooked. Or maybe it’s because there are new things that are out or things that haven’t been seen in a while. 

The one thing I also did differently with this holiday edition rotation than any other time, was that I put the things I was removing into bags and cardboard boxes, rather than just moving them out in their designated basket or tray. The reason being, is so that I would be able to use those nicer storage items for the new things that would be arriving. It was fun talking to my toddler about the empty baskets and wondering what they may become filled with when he gets some new things for Christmas!

I hope you found this system helpful and if you have any questions or anything that you’d like to add, please leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holiday Prepping!

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