Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making the Most of Your Kid's Toys: Phase 1

Umm, hello Rude Awakening. Nice to meet you. Thanks for coming in the form of a TOY EXPLOSION in my house.

We have a two-fold problem here.

Problem #1: We have kids books/toys/clothes EVERYWHERE. In every room. I literally have no space on my bedside table because it is full of stuff like baby socks and baby monitors and books.

We temporarily turned our dining room into a playroom for Campbell's birthday party 3 WEEKS AGO. We've been playing in there every day, but it usually looks like this now:

I'm getting a headache just looking at it.

Problem #2: Many of his toys are not getting used and are taking up space. Plus, he isn't spending any significant amount of time on one activity. I realize he's only 1, and baby-children tend to have short attention spans, but I have been doing some rogue research lately. 

I noticed that when I clean up every other toy and only put one out, he actually plays with it! Amazing discovery. Did any of you parents already know this? And you didn't tell me?

Campbell got so many great gifts at Christmas and his birthday, and I really hate for them to go to waste because I haven't taken the time to organize it for him. I also think it will be easier for him to focus on one activity at a time, and help him (and me) to not feel so overwhelmed with choices.

So today during his nap, I am implementing phase 1 of my Toy Organization Project. My end goal is to be able to easily plan semi-structured activities for him during the day so we can avoid the rut of playing in a junk room.

I had a few of these milk crates in the garage from my teaching days, and they are perfect for organizing. You can find them at Wal-mart (ugh, I know) and probably Target. Or use what you have!

Here's how I've organized the random toys I found on the main level of our house:

1. Wheels and balls (stop laughing. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

2. Music/Noise box

3. Puzzles and blocks

4: "Imagination" box - (This sounds really exciting but it's basically all the miscellaneous toys he had left over.)

5. Books

Feels so good to have these sorted! I'll keep you posted on how well it stays that way and works for a more intentional play time. 

Next phase: "Lesson" planning!

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