Tag Archives: Play

No more messy play

Spring has arrived and it’s the perfect opportunity to clear off the cobwebs and re-organise things.

Holly is now well into toddler-hood which is very exciting. We’ve realised that she is gaining independence by the day, her level of understanding has increased massively and she is experiencing the world to the fullest. This can often lead to the house looking like we’ve been burgled by the end of the day!

Over the last 15 months, Holly has accumulated a large collection of toys. I love to watch her play but have realised that she has a selection of preferred toys. However, to get to these she empties out all of her toys to find them.

Previously, her toys were put into two baskets on an evening, all of which were on view to her. I often wonder if this can be a little overwhelming for her and why she goes back to the same toys  leaving others behind, or is not willing to try new toys.

So this week I’ve been on holiday (stay-cation). I decided to take the opportunity to Spring clean the play room which also doubles up as our dining room. Therefore, I needed storage that could easily be moved for meal times and this is what I did; I chose a 3 drawer unit from Ikea. It was ideal as it stored vertically, I don’t have a great deal of floor space for a large chest. I also liked that it had 3 drawers that are easy to take out of the unit for play. I made some individual cotton bags to store the smaller toys where the original packaging has not been easy to store them in long term eg tea set, building blocks, small cars.

I moved some of Holly’s less favourite toys into her own bedroom; within 5 minutes of discovering them as I put the laundry away, she happily played with them again. I also put some toys away which I plan to rotate in a few weeks. I often do this with good results; Holly then seems to have a renewed enthusiasm for them. I’ve found that by directing play a little, allowing Holly to choose what she wishes to play with but only allowing her to have a few toys out at a time, she concentrates for longer. This is most obvious when we’re doing something specific eg using crayons or modeling dough. She’ll let me know if she wants a specific toy and is now helping me to tidy when she’s finished.

By making a few simple changes, Holly is enjoying her toys more, learning to tidy after herself and is concentrating better. I also don’t feel that I’m constantly putting toys away so it’s been a really good change for us all.