Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rearrange the Mundane

A fresh perspective can be found in anything when slight changes are made.

We are a family of four living in small two bedroom house. So far we have made it work. The kids share a bedroom which contains some of their toys. The downstairs consists of two rooms. the kitchen and then the living room/office/playroom. I struggle daily with home organization. How to have warm and inviting play area for my kids but also not feel like I live in a daycare center. One way we have managed to do this is by simplifying the children's toys. We tend to fill their shelves with books, blocks, art supplies, a train table and some simple play items like a wooden cash register, telephone and kitchen items. The more wood the better in this home. It is more appealing to their senses (and mine), it is quieter on their ears (and mine). I really have found that by limiting the amount of "junk" toys we offer them they use their imaginations much more. Sure the occasional loud plastic toy has come into our home. It usually gets played with for a week and then it ends up in the closet. Not because I put it there but because they just get bored with it. I am not saying plastic is bad. I am a huge fan of PlayMobil toys. We have a large collection of PlayMobil and my children love it.

What I have found extremely helpful this week is the art of rearranging things to reawaken creativity. This can be used in your home with or without children and even in the workplace. Things become stale if in the same place for too long. I decided to move some of our toys upstairs and took others from the upstairs and brought them down. I also rearranged their play area in the living room a bit. I have found if it gets too cluttered with toys they almost get lost and don't know what to play with next. So I simplified it by moving a lot of the toys upstairs and I left a small bookcase, a basket for dress up clothes, a basket of blocks, the play telephone and cash register and a small basket of toy cars.

Their response was amazing. The tree house I had move upstairs was looked at with new eyes. They were so excited to see it in a new spot that they began playing with it every day again where it had gone untouched downstairs for weeks. It was refreshing for me to rearrange the house a bit and I could tell it helped the kids as well.


Vince said...

Do you think this would work for doggy toys and beds?

Nuclear Mom said...

I have taken to rotating toys as well. The train set comes down every other week and goes back up when he asks for it.

Like you guys we tend to prefer books, building toys and other interactive toys (meaning things they have to use their brains to do and not just push a button and watch it do something).

"My" plastic obsession is Little People. Which Leif is hit or miss with, hit currently and they are all over his bedroom floor. He also likes plastic trucks, but again we have to rotate them to avoid boredom.