After ? days of quarantine from avoiding the Coronavirus, I finally got my act together and structured my son’s playtime a little bit better. We were so used to getting outside of the house in the AM, and sometimes PM too, that we never really had that much of “boredom” time inside of the house. Fast forward to a 1000 hrs later with being stuck inside due to our cold weather in the Midwest, boredom has set in.
We have an almost 3 yr old son and a just turned 1 yr old son. So basically the 1 yr old terrorizes the 3 yr old by knocking down his toys, grabbing at his toys, sticking things into his mouth….you get the point! So I divided up our dining room table using painters tape and set up a few items for my 3 yr old to complete at his own pace and at his own time, away from our 1 yr old. I put our train tracks up on one end, he can spend alot of time playing trains! If i can sit with him I like to ask questions to expand his imagination such as: Where is the train going? What is the train carrying?. At the other end I put his mess-free markers. These are really a life saver because they only “mark” on the special paper and the markers last a long time, longer than the paper! (see link below to get yours-I get NO commission from this link). In the other sections I added play-doh, which we just introduced this week to him. I am using a piece of freezer paper to “try” to contain the play-doh into one section. In the last section I added his blocks, mainly because I was tired of stepping on them when I walked across the floor!
Another “activity spot” that I created was in the middle of our playroom. I used our coffee table and added painters tape to create “roads” and a “parking lot” for my son. I added simple road marks and numbers to the tape. I then gave him instructions such as, park the blue car on number 4, move the red truck to number 3. You could make “roads” wherever you would like, all through the house! You could put arrows on the roads to guide which way the cars should drive. This kept him occupied for a while.
The last activity we did today was the classic, shaving cream on the cookie sheet. He has never done this before so it was new to him. We practiced writing his name, his ABCs and practiced writing his 123s. AND it encouraged 20 seconds of hand washing afterwards, win-win. You could also use whip cream instead of shaving cream for a sweet treat, or put the cream on your glass door vs the cookie pan.
While we are in our playroom I figured I would show you how I organize our toys. I definitely rotate through our toys. I keep some toys “hidden” away in a large storage bin. I try to keep the playroom simple and clean. I store some of our toys in the cabinet…sometimes the kids do not open it up everyday.
I keep alot of our other toys in the baskets on this tall shelf. I keep toys that need supervision in the top baskets. I try to keep the playroom clean daily. I feel like by keeping the play space picked up it helps to free your mind of excess clutter. I play the cleanup song at least once a day in which our kids help clean up…we have sorta made it into a game. Also earlier this winter I put this simple bird feeder up in front of our window. We have enjoyed watching the birds and talking about our little “family” of birds.
The days may be long sometimes, but the years are short! I have this saying up in our playroom about letting the kids be little. They are little for such a short time in our lives. Whatever you do to get through your days, you are doing a good job! Keep it up!