Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Play Room: Organised!

Over the weekend I took on a rather big project. Rowan's play room has steadily been filling to capacity. Too many toys and activities in one place can be overwhelming for children with the end result being that they play for only a very short minute or two with each toy. They end up drifting through the room moving from object to object without really engaging in any real kind of play. Well, that seems to be the case with Rowan. Perhaps other kids are different.

So I set out to remedy the situation by emptying the entire room and organizing all the toys by categories such as puzzles, shapes and colour recognition activities, word play, exploration, cars and trucks, tools etc. I then acquired 5 large storage tubs and divided the toys equally where each tub contains at least one toy or activity from each of the categories. The idea is to use the content of one tub per week in the playroom. After a week the tub will be exchanged with the next one. In this way Rowan will discover his toys anew every 5 weeks. The Montessori school uses containers and trays for the display of each activity. This gives each item it's own space and thus allows for more focused play or work. It also helps with the collection of objects after play.

Today was our first day of trying it out and I will admit that Rowan did get a little frustrated after a while, mumbling something about school. I guess it was set up a little too much like school. As the day progressed, however, I witnessed him engaging more and more with the few activities that he did like, such as lacing a shoe lace through a cardboard cut-out of a butterfly.

The same activities will be available to him tomorrow. Only time will tell whether this plan of mine will work. I really hope that it does.

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  1. Looking at it now it seems like there are so few things for him to do, but all our creative play happens in the kitchen and dining area. I will keep an eye on him though and if it seems he needs more, then I will help him out.

  2. It looks great to me. How many things can he play with anyway on one day. and he will have his favourites that he comes back to all the time. You are an inspiration! If I really get a day with the kids at the sitter, I will also sort stuff out, even though we all know, that it will only look half as nice (no even less, as I have two kids)... :-) Anke

  3. What a great idea and such a cute area. Heloise xxx