Keeping Playspaces Tidy
by Sarah Grant from Be.neat Studio
Promoting play and maintaining a tidy space can sometimes seem at odds with each other. That’s why Connie Huson, a mom and experienced Kindergarten teacher, brings such a valuable perspective to organizing playrooms.
She started her business as a Playroom Consultant to help parents create an ideal play environment at home, one that encourages play and fosters learning and creativity.
Here are a few tips from Connie on how to get your kids to help tidy up their toys:
1. Have an organization system in place so each item has a place, making the task easier. For example, your child picks up a doll and knows to put it in the doll basket that is always beside the bookshelf. Without a system, they pick up the doll, look around for somewhere to put it, feel unsure of a place, then decide to throw it in the toy box. Bonus: Kids have more flow during play when they know where to get the toys they want to use and do not have to spend time looking for them.
2. Teach your child HOW to clean up their toys. Tidy up with your kids and explain your thinking while you put items in place. "I know the cars go in this bin labeled “vehicles” and it goes in this spot on the shelf.” You are modeling the behaviour you want from them while giving guidance and support. With practice, your kids will be able to do it independently. Note: My daughters can tidy up on their own, but I still help some days. We finish quickly and we avoid an argument about it. 3. Make it a game. Have them choose a favourite song to listen to while tidying and see if they can finish before the song ends! 4. Reduce the number of toys that can be all over the floor so tidy up time is faster. Put some in a closet to rotate in or hire me to help you edit which toys are best for learning and creativity and donate the rest! 5. Finally, when there are toys everywhere, try to have an attitude of “it’s not a mess - it’s evidence of learning and creating and my kids making memories”! You are an awesome parent for giving your kids time, space, and materials for lots of play.
*This article originally appeared on www.beneatstudio.com/beneatwithkids.
Visit Sarah's site for other great ideas on the best tips and tricks for engaging kids in household chores!