How I gained more intentional play with my kids.

Currently I would label myself as a stay at home mom with the ability to work in the medical field on more of an “as needed” basis, (which I am entirely grateful to be able to do this with my life right now). Having two growing toddlers that require a lot of attention, requires me to make sure my children grow and develop their social skills, dexterity skills, imaginative play, and simply exert their energy. Having a small home, and living in an area where winter NEVER seems to end, means I have to get a little creative to keep my kids occupied/engaged. Today’s post has the intention of giving you some tips about how to implement a toy rotation, toy storage and toy ideas that help your children grow, learn, and play with more intention.

Sensory Play

I snagged two containers from Target and filled them with some play-doh and kinetic sand. Both play-doh and kinetic sand currently help develop many skills little toddlers need. It helps with dexterity, sensations, imaginative play, and intentional play-time. Having more intentional play-time, means that they have an increase of focus for the task at hand. In my case, this means—– they play quietly. Which is definitely needed when you live a chaotic world.  My kids do thoroughly enjoy playing with both containers, and ask to play on a regular basis. The kids do have to be closely supervised given that the baby will try to eat it!!! (gross)  But still, they do enjoy it. Each container holds tools, letters, and shapes that go with both play-doh and the kinetic sand.

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Smartest Purchase Ever…….. Like ever…

When you have two wild and crazy toddlers, they certainly need to be able to exert their never ending energy.  One of the best purchases I’ve made when selecting the kids toys, is purchasing a bouncy house. Since we are fortunate enough to have a home that comes with a partially finished basement, the bouncy house pretty much stays in the basement all the time. The basement does work very hard for us, with it being a play area, hang out space, work out space, TV space, and storage space.  The bouncy house did come with a bag for it to be put away when needed, and it can also be taken outside when the weather permits.  I purchased this bouncy house online two Christmas’s ago, and it has probably been used 3-4 times every week since then. Again—- smartest purchase ever! When you live somewhere that has a pretty long winter, the kiddo’s do need to get their energy out. This bouncy house does just that.

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This couch is another ikea find. It has been great and has held up pretty well. It’s a sleeper sofa that serves as a place for guests, a place to lounge, and a place for toy storage. Say—— what?!?! Yes the couch has storage capabilities.  The chaise portion of the couch completely lifts up to have storage underneath. It houses many- many nerf guns, where we all have epic nerf gun battles!!!

Toy Rotation

I recently added a toy rotation at our house, because right after Christmas, their toys TOOK OVER the house. After Christmas, with an increase in the amount of toys they had, I noticed that they had a difficult time picking/selecting which toys they wanted to play with. It seemed that they would ‘dumb’ every single toy out on the floor, and sometimes, not even play with their toys. I did grow frustrated, and I wanted my kids to play with their toys with a more “intentional” purpose. When they just dumbed all their toys in the floor, there were too many things to select from, and there was certainly no intentional play.

How I started a toy rotation

In order to make a toy rotation successful, I had to gather ALL of the kids toys. (The kids do have a kitchen play set and doll house, so I did keep the doll-house furniture with the doll-house, and all pots/pans with the kitchen play set.) Besides that, all of their toys went into 4 piles. One pile remained on the main level for them to play with, and the 3 other piles went into separate containers in the unfinished part of the basement.  A bonus I noticed—- doing the toy rotation means that their toys remain in a more “like new” condition. That is definitely a perk, considering I frequently buy, sell, and trade at local consignment shops. The consignment shop that I frequent, will buy, sell, and/or trade toys. I talked a little bit about the consignment shop process in this post.

I could put a “toy-swap” on more of a schedule, however, I have been swapping toys when I notice that the kids start to lose their interest in the items that are out. When it’s time for a “toy -swap” I do tend to let the kids be apart of it. I will coach them that their current toys need to be packed away, in order for “new” toys to be pulled out. They do tend to really enjoy this process, because typically it’s like Christmas Morning all over again.

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These containers, I snagged from Target as well. Ultimately, more intentional play was the goal, and I would say it has been met. I always try my best to make chaos just a little more graceful. Thanks for stopping by.

 

xoxo

Denise

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