Six years ago, in January 2014, our tiny two-bedroom apartment was overrun with toys. Our two girls, ages 5 and 2 at the time, seemed overwhelmed with all their choices — and I was tired of cleaning up all day long. Things had to change! I decided to try a toy rotation system. (You can click here to read all about the organization and storage of our toys.)

I spent two whole days purging toys that were no longer played with and sorting the “keepers” into equal groups of like items.

Toy Rotation Categories

Sorting toys into categories is certainly not required, but it does make rotation easier! Each week, I would swap out the toys — one from each category — from our toy closet. I found that our toys fit into one of these six categories:

  • Games/puzzles
  • Arts & crafts
  • Fine motor/visual
  • Imagination
  • Building/transportation
  • Educational

(Keep in mind that it’s GOOD if your toys fit into more than category. This is just one way to keep your child’s play balanced, but it’s not meant to make your life harder.)

Download our Toy Rotation Guide!


Get started with our organization printables:


Yes, Please


Favorite Learning Toys for Preschoolers

When you divide your toys into categories, you may find that one or more is out of balance. And if you’re looking for quality toys for your collection, here are a few of our favorites from each category:

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Favorite Games and Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Puzzle

Giant Pegboard


Mental Blox

Great Creative Arts Toys


Easel + Chalk (We have the set from IKEA, and love it.)


Musical Instruments


Cookie Cutters (for playdough or stamping)

Fantastic Fine Motor Toys


Shape Sorter

Pegs + Foam Board

Barnyard Bingo

Click here to see even MORE of our favorite toys for toddlers and preschoolers!

Toy Rotation Categories: Organization Tips and Printables

Imagination Toys

Shopping Cart


Cash Register (We also love the IKEA version.)


Best Building & Transportation Toys


Bristle Blocks


Wooden Figurines (and School Bus!)


Lincoln Logs

Educational Toys

While the argument could be made that all of the toys in this post are educational, these products were used during our ‘preschool at home” lessons.

Magnetic Letters

Alphabet 2-Piece Puzzles

Letter Beads


Which toy rotation categories will you use in your system?