Since we’ve been quarantined for awhile now, I’ve had much more time to really observe my son at home. A reader recently asked how I organized my son’s toys. Previously I had his toys in medium sized baskets (the same ones pictured plus a few others) along the wall in the bedroom. Although his toys were organized, he would usually want to be in the same room I was in, and wasn’t engaging in his toys. He’d instead color at his table in the kitchen. It was time to reorganize things so my son had more favorable options.
This past weekend I decided to pick up an inexpensive book shelf from Target to present my son’s toys to him in a much more appealing way. You may notice that your child isn’t playing with their toys. It doesn’t necessarily mean they need new ones. Instead think about how they are presented. This is when reorganization can really help.
Each shelf has a single toy set or activity in a separate basket.
On the top shelf is a memory game and a wooden train set. The second shelf has a few musical instruments and a bag of chickpeas with two bowls which I describe a bit later. On the bottom shelf is a wooden lacing apple toy and puzzles. I keep books forward facing in a basket. I keep a few toys in a single basket in the bedroom. I also keep a basket with basic art supplies on his table. Whenever necessary I swap out toys and books that are stored away in a closet.
I stopped presenting all of my son’s toys and books to him to keep things fresh.
Another idea is to consider activities that engage your child with items you may already have in your home. One activity that my son enjoys is transferring beans between bowls. That activity costs next to nothing and is currently on the shelf for him to get to easily. I roll out a small activity rug to keep beans from scattering everywhere. Another idea is sorting items such as trail mix into a clean egg carton.
It’s been challenging keeping a three year old engaged at home all the time.
Everything would be so much easier with the playground as part of the picture, but that’s not an option right now. One thing that has been helpful is having a trampoline. A physical activity aside from running around the kitchen island really does help.
One Montessori principle is including your child in everyday activities.
I’m no expert in Montessori, but this principle has been very helpful to me, and also helps my son learn more. He enjoys helping me clean up, prepare meals, and helping me juice when I do in the evenings. I was learning about Montessori when my son was born, then fell off, and am now back into incorporating more and more Montessori principles into our daily lives. My son loves story time, music, dancing, and art so we do as much as we can daily.
What activities have been helping you with your little ones during the quarantine?
Images by Dawn Michelle