Are you ready for the mayhem of Christmas?
Are you ready for the stampede of toys that will rush into your home?
With school holiday’s well and truly upon us, we thought we’d offer some tips to help your kids organise their time and decrease the chaos in your house. It’s great to keep the kids busy in the holidays but there’s only so many trips to the beach a mum can handle, right? Even those new toys might get boring towards the end of the holidays…
In this blog, we’ll share some indoor play activities for stinking hot days when you don’t want to be out in the heat.
These simple tips can help your child develop better attention during play activities and build creative play opportunities.
Are toys taking over your home?
How many toys do you actually have?
If you counted them all up, how many toys does your child actually own?
How much storage do you have for their toys?
It’s no wonder kids have trouble keeping track of things and keeping their space organised when there are so many toys and so many places to find them. I’m a bit of a minimalist at heart but even so my son is almost 2 and he has a box of toys in his room, a basket in the lounge room, toy animal figurines scattered all through the house, bikes and trains and even a mini pool. The list goes on. If you want to learn more about the ‘art’ of minimalism check this post out https://www.becomingminimalist.com/own-fewer-toys/
Where can I put all these toys!
Most families use toy boxes, cupboards, and plastic tubs to store their kid’s toys. Before long these storage spots are overflowing or barely used as the toys are always in use or scattered around the house and yard.
School holidays are often particularly chaotic with kids leaving stuff everywhere.
You might need these Lego shoes for Christmas OR you could try these tips.
5 tips to create an organised play space
1. Have regular clean outs
Kids grow up so fast and we tend to buy or be given toys relevant to their developmental stage. Regular clean outs are essential to ensure their toys are appropriate and engaging. I recently packed up a heap of my son’s toys that he’s either sick of or are too babyish. If you are going to have more kids then box them up. If not, sell them at a market, put them on gumtree, donate to the needy or give them to a friend.
- A regular clean out teaches kids the concept of giving and shows them the joy that can come from sharing their possessions with others.
- Spring cleaning is also a great life skill which can really help improve mental health in adults.
2. Create purposeful storage
Now that you’ve got a manageable number of toys it’s time to organise your storage spaces.
I like storage that hides the toys so they can’t be seen until you get closer, it makes my home feel less like a daycare centre.
My least favourite toys are the ones with little parts that don’t come with a reusable packing up solution – these pieces end up lost or scattered around the house, under the couches, in the car, in the nappy bag…. I’ve quickly learnt to only buy toys that come in a re-usable container, preferably one that can organise the pieces. If it doesn’t come with a container or packing solution then I don’t put the toy in the play space until I’ve come up with a storage solution such as a Tupperware container. We recently made one out of a recycled ice cream container to store my son’s animals.
- Prevent your child being upset when there’s a missing piece they can’t find.
- Help your child make clear choices when choosing what to play with.
- Keep your home tidy and the toys off the floor.
- Help your child learn to pack away and tidy up.
3. Teach packing up
Does your child flit from one toy to another, never really staying with a task long enough?
When your toys are organised and everything has a place you can help your child learn to pack each toy away when they are finished playing with it. If your child isn’t used to this it might take some reminders but I promise it’ll be worth it. You can make packing up easier for young children by making it a fun game such as throwing them into the tub. Labels on the containers also make it easier for kids to be independent at packing away. I usually encourage packing away especially when my son is finished with a play activity and wants to move onto another one.
- When your child’s attention is focused on one play activity they learn to attend well to the task in front of them.
- Playing with one toy at a time supports creative play development; instead of just looking at the toy animals they might explore different actions and sounds and build conversations between the characters.
4. Have less and create more
These days toys are almost disposable. With the rate children grow and learn they may only be useful to them for a very short period of time. When you have less toys there is more opportunity for children to create their own. Our world is full of recyclables that we throw out every single day especially empty boxes and paper from Christmas presents.
What about using some of that cardboard to make a ride on car, a cubby, castle, stable, slide, ball run, roads, boats, lawn mowers? The list goes on. The possibilities are endless.
Creating toys brings so many language opportunities, fosters problem solving, promotes forward thinking, is relationship building and builds collaboration skills.
5. Play with your child
Join your child to help them learn ways to extend their play activities, offer ideas and suggestions, work to build or create something together. Your child will learn the most when they have someone to learn from during their preferred activities.
- Joining your child in play allows them to learn problem solving skills
- Build your child’s vocabulary
- Help your child follow instructions
- Hep your child understand concepts
- Help lengthen your child’s attention during play by keeping them engaged
For more play ideas check out our other blogs
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year