Look Inside our Multi-Age Playroom Toy Rotation for Three Young Kids

It’s been a while and a lot has changed so let’s take a tour of our multi-age playroom! Toy rotation has been a lifesaver for us to keep the chaos under control with three kids running around all the time now.

a pin image that reads everything you need to know for toy rotations for three kids behind that is an image of our multi-age playroom with lots of shelving displaying toys, two wooden playstands, a rainbow of silks on the wall and a nugget play couch in the forground

The most obvious change to our space is the addition of our play stands. Though arguably the biggest change has been the addition of another kid! You just can’t see her in the pictures.  

a view of our multi-age playroom that shows a gray couch on the left, play couches placed infront of the fireplace on the right side of the room. On the wall at the back of the room there are two black leaning shelves onn either side of the room. They are displaying a colorful collection of loose parts, toys, and decor. Between them are two wooden play stands and hanging on the wall between the playstands is a rainbow of play silks.

A multi-age playroom that suits life with three kids in a wide age of development!

Bitty is 6½, Bean is 4, and Bug is a brand new 1-year-old, our multi-age playroom is probably one of our most used rooms in our house as it is the center of our house. It is where so much of their dramatic play, block creations, small words, and nugget builds take place.

We homeschool and as such we are home a lot more than your average family and a fair amount of that time is spent in our multi-age playroom.

The rest of the time is either in the schoolroom or spent outside. You can see more about both of those spaces below!

a pin image that reads montessori inspired homeschool preschool earth theme with an image of dark wood shelves filled with a variety of shelf work, books, and a globe
a pin image that reads a look at outdoor toy rotation for a 3 year old and 1 year old behind that is a outdoor toy shelf  with a rainbow tower, and baskets full of toys. Hanging on the green wall is a wall shelf that is holding a beach towel, bubble machine, silver canisters and a plant

Our multi-age playroom is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. As such, I wanted to feel like more than just a kids playroom. So while a lot of the space is dedicated to toys, I tried to keep at least some of the room feeling more grown up.

I think it’s really important to keep the playroom in the main portion of the home or at the very least in a room that is easily frequented by the grown ups. Kids especially younger kids want to be near you. So if you shove your playroom in a back bedroom or in a basement, they are likely to not use it and the toys are likely to migrate into your common living spaces.

A family room multi-age playroom solves this problem as long as you manage the toy clutter in a way that works for everyone!

A quick tour of our multi-age playroom

Along one wall, we have two black ladder shelves that are pretty much dedicated to toys, kid-related items, and a tiny bit of decor. In between those shelves, we have our play stands set up to create a little zone. The play stands offer extra storage and play surfaces as well as a hub for forts and role-play

a view of our wooden play stands from the side showing the open shelves. you can aslo catch glimpses of some fo the toys on the black shelves in our multi-age playroom

On another wall, there are a couple of skinny windows and a fireplace that we don’t use. So we’ve mounted a large mirror over the firebox. This is a favorite of all three of my girls. They enjoy watching themselves dance or simply playing directly in front of the mirror on the hearth.

On either side of the hearth, we have a small space where we keep non-rotation items. One side tends to hold a basket of blocks and the other side has a small bookshelf 

a pin image that reads how to set up a multi-age playroom  6yo, 4yo, &1yo. There are two pictures the top image is a closer up of our rainbow of play silks the bottom images is a 3/4 view of the wall of shelves and play stands. You can see glimpses of the toys that we have displayed on the shelves

My multi-age playroom toy rotation system for a 6-year-old, 4-year-old, and one-year-old

I custom rotate the girl’s toys about once a month. On the toy rotation shelves, we have about 9 to 12 items with the addition of our gross motor options and non-rotated toys

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Our non-rotated toys are

The play kitchen, though I do do some seasonal decoration and rotation of some items in the play kitchen, but the basic foods and dishes are always there some of our favorite additions that get a lot of play are the hot cocoa pot and mugs (currently unavailable) as well as the picnic set and the ice cream cones

a image of the classic ikea play kitchen decorated with lots of fun colors and natural elements like wooden bowls, wooden woven basket for storage under the kitchen and a plant sitting on top. There are also fun pops of color decorating the space a rainbow cloth serves as the black splash, a small rainbow is sitting on top and a iridescent cup is holding the utensils.

Dress-up clothes– though I do rotate what’s available every few months, but it is always available as well as their jewelry. We use a large basket to hold most of the accessories and then a kids’ coat tree to hang up the dresses and capes and such.

Baby dolls and 18-in dollsthe dolls and all of the basic accessories like diaper bags, high-chair, beds, blankets, and clothes live in the girl’s bedroom. Our favorite baby dolls are mini land for an all vinyl doll and the soft baby Stella. We also recently added a mini vinyl doll that is getting a lot of love

Play Silks – if I had to make a list of top 10 toys, our play silks would make it every time. I never know where I will find them and what they are being used for that day but they are used constantly for forts, dress up, role play, small words, you name it, they have been used for it.

our rainbow of play silks hangin over the half wall in our multi-age playroom. Below them is a wooden wobble board

Books and Blocks

We always have books on hand. In fact, we usually have books on hand in every room of the house. The bookshelf in our multi-age playroom is primarily for board books for the baby and oversized books for the big girls to flip through. The majority of our books are in their room, we also keep a basket of library books nearby.

a wooden bookcase is filled to the brim with color books. The very top shelf has  a woven basket with rainbow shaped handles and coral tassels. Below that is the smaller shelf filled with colorful board books. Then the bottom shelf is holding picture books, reference books and oversized books

As far as the blocks go…There are always blocks available, but what blocks are out does change. It changes over much less frequently than the rest of the toys. We just got done having the Lego Duplo blocks out for an extended period and have switched over to magnetic tiles for a few months. We also have our DIY set of stepped pyramid blocks always out in our multi-age playroom.

a top down shot of a radio flyer push wagon full of colorful blocks stacked like a busy skyline

Gross Motor options are a MUST in our multi-age playroom.

I don’t know about you and your kids but mine seem like they never stop moving and gross motor toys are some of the most used items in our home.

We have a wooden wobble board and two nuggets play couches that never leave the space. Then we have a rotating cast of stepping stones, A DIY pickler triangle, a push wagon, a Bilibo, and a floor scooter. And those are just the things that I can quickly think of.

our livingroom fireplace is not funtional, so we have mounted a mirror over the firebox and use the hearth as a bonus play space. Laying on the ground in front of the hearth are our nugget play cocuh bases and either side of the mirror we have the triage pieces for the play couches stacked. One is sage green and the other is teal blue. The mantle higher up is full of picture frames and decor. On the wall to left we can see one of the black leaning shelves displaying my loose parts and the kids toys and one of the wooden play stands

Presentation matters when your multi-age playroom is also your living room.

I really wanted to make sure that the multi-age playroom was something that aesthetically felt nice to be in. Obviously, it’s filled with toys and colorful things and is generally in some state of chaos, but I don’t have a problem with that as long as there are also things that I like in the space.

I specifically chose furniture that I enjoyed, and that was also conducive to toy storage.

a pin image that reads how to set up a livingroom playroom for three kids & the adults and behind that is one of the black leaning shelves displaying my wooden DIY loose parts collection and the kids toys

I also made a point to start collecting baskets and trays that I liked the look of versus plastic bins or fabric cube boxes

Now don’t get me wrong. We do still have some plastic bins in there because I haven’t found a better solution than that but I am on the hunt…

I display almost all of our toys in either a low-walled basket or tray. I have collected most of those from the thrift over time. The exception would be my rope basket collection.

Vertical space is always my friend

Seeing as we have a young toddler toddling around the room we had to find a way to have storage space for small parts for the big girls to use and for me to use, without the baby being able to get them

One of the black leaning shelves displaying my DIY wooden loose parts colelction on the top shelf. Next down is a wooden basket of fake plants for small words, my DIY hill stacker, a wooden frame house and a stack of wooden bowls. The middle shelf has our speaker and Wifi as well has our Frozen lego sets. Below that we have two shelves where I display the kids toys in wicker baskers and on wooden trays

The topmost shelves in the multi-age playroom are really for me and my loose parts collection, which is my personal love language and I tend to use them as manipulatives in homeschool or small worlds. If you haven’t read about them yet they were a labor of love that I made a few years back now. If your not interested in DIYing them these loose parts would serve the same exact purpose!

a pin image that read DIY loose parts how to make a custom set of wooden toys for open ended play and learning with an images of a rainbow of wooden loose parts arranged in a woven wicker basket.

Moving lower on the shelves in the multi-age playroom.

We have a shelf dedicated to the Grimm’s Rainbow and our Yoto player and library books. This shelf is within the reach of both big girls but not the baby

One of the leaning black shelves. On the top shelf I have a vintage black metal table top fan, a frame, some rock towers and a small plant the next shelf is a pot and selenite lamp, a wooden tree, my DIY mug tree with a small white pitcher hanging on it and next to that a wooden basket. On the middle shelf we have our Yoto player, Wooden Grimms rainbow, and a woven basket full of books. The last two shelves have the kids toys displayed on them in woven baskets, and on wooden trays.

Below that we have four shelves that are accessible to everyone, These lower shelves are the main attraction when it comes to my toy rotations.

Let’s take a more detailed look at our multi-age playroom for three young kids

When I’m planning a toy rotation, I try to focus on more open-ended options for the older girls because they’re very much into dramatic role play and the baby is more focused on fine motor and discovery.

For our toy rotations, I try to always include a fine motor toy at each girl’s level. Some sort of musical instrument. A set of figures for small-world play. A selection of fidgets. We always have some kind of dramatic role-play. If I still have room left after that I will just fill in with a toy that hasn’t seen action in a little while or will add to small-world play.

a pin image that reads what our family room toy rotation looks like with two images. The Top image is of the wall of shelving and play stands for displaying their toys. The second is a close up of some of the colorful wooden blocks neatly stacked in a push wagon.

Spring 2024 Familyroom Multi-Age Playroom – 6 year old, 4 year old, and 1 year old

Remote control Jeep – this is mostly for my older girls to play with, though the baby does love to watch them drive it around

a pink remote controlled jeep with its top off and controller learning against it; sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Lacing Bear – My oldest loves to create outfits and this works some great fine motor as well as works on sewing skills. Ours is no longer available but the HABA Dress Me is what I have my eye on if we ever upgrade

a wooden princess bear lacing toy in a wooden box; sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Fidget Basket – very similar to a discovery basket I create these mostly for the baby to discover new textures and sounds. But also we all appreciate a good fidget in this house so its nice to always have some on hand

a woven basket that usually contains the toys that are circle around it. A variety of small toys, fidgets and baby toys that are in pastel shades of the rainbow are sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Pop up Pega classic young toddler option and my older kids forgot we had and were just as entertained by

a wooden peg pop up toy is sitting on a wooden tray with a small wicker basket holding the pegs; sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Stacking Pebbles – a great loose part option for a home with a baby in the mix. These are large, but so open ended great for small worlds, transportation, color matching, stacking…a truly open ended toy

a yellow woven basket is tipped over and has spilled a colorful pile of wooden stacking pebbles on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Frozen 2 Lego Sets – My middle is in her Frozen era and my Big is getting very confident in her lego comprehension, so this was a no-brainer this spring.

a wooden tray in the background has a completed Lego castle from Frozen 2 and a plastic shoe box filled with more Lego and labeled Frozen. In the foreground is a blue divided plastic box with more pieces from our Frozen 2 Lego sets sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Farm Animal Figures – animal figures are another one of my personal love languages. Schleich and safari are my goto and we are building up a very nice collection now!

a top down shot a woven wicker tray basket is filled with a variety of farm animal figures sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Suction Cups and Squishmallows – More open-ended options for the baby to post and transport and whatever else she feels like doing. Tossed in some color matching, that I knew my middle would appreciate.

a wooden tray has a set of 6 silicon cups, in a rainbow of colors arranged in an arch around a smaller woven wicker basket with 6 mini squishmallows that match the colors of the cups; sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Button Xylophone – Musical instrument, but make it baby-accessible. All she has to do is button mash and we get pretty sounds. Early cause and effect in action! Ours is from KiwiCo, but if you are looking for a similar item check out a piano xylophone

a wooden button xylophone from KiwiCo sitting on the floor of our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

Horse Stable Small World – A wonderful start to small world play with their Animal Figures. I also have some DIY felt mats, thrifted foliage, and my DIY wooden hill stacker that can be used for small-world play as well.

a view of one of the wooden playstands with a stable, chicken coop, and fenced farmyard set up in a small world with a few of the farm animal figures placed in the scene in our multi-age playroom as part of our toy rotation for three

What do your toy rotations look like?

Where is your playroom set up? Do you have a wide range of ages in your playroom? 

a pin image that reads how to set up a multi-age playroom in the center of the image and a grid of four image around it. Top left is a wooden tray with a rainbow of cups and mini squishmallows. Top right is a wicker basket of farm animal toys. Bottom left is a button xylophone and bottom right is a push wagon filled with neatly stacked colorful blocks

If you want to see more of our multi-age playroom in action, make sure to follow me on Instagram where I tend to share every month’s setup as well as details on some of the other fun invitations to play that we do!

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