The power of a play space should never be underestimated. Just as we take the time to design a peaceful bedroom or a well-organized closet, so too should we provide that same opportunity for our children. Doesn't it feel good to know where your go-to cocktail dress is hanging or where to find the crock pot you can't live without? Knowing where to find things results in efficiency, organization, and inner peace.
The effect an organized space has on our children is multiplied times 10! From external order, children create internal order. In fact, they crave it. Maria Montessori tells us: "...the small child cannot live in disorder. Order is for him a need of life." Order brings to the child predictability in a relatively new and ever changing world. Predictability brings security, and feeling secure brings about self-assurance. Isn't that what we all want for our kids? Who knew it could be as easy as a play space?!
Here is the play area in my little guy's room. He is 15 months, and he is a mover and a shaker. His shelf is currently home to what is listed below, but I rotate his toys often as I see him lose interest in certain ones. Keeping things simple is critical to the child's sense of order, and there is no way to do that if a playroom is overflowing. The best part about this is that W will put toys away independently, and most times exactly in the spot where they belong. That's the power of order!
- Stacking rings- great for eye-hand coordination and strengthening the muscles of the hand. It's never too early!
- Balls and rattling toys- because boys.
- Object permanence box- teaches eye hand coordination and cause/effect
- Language objects- cow, horse, and pig for him right now. 3-5 objects is plenty for this age.
- Ball tracker- This Melissa and Doug version is one of my favorites. It makes a great gift too!
- Musical instruments: We are rocking out with maracas and tambourines lately. Get the set here.
- Push cart- great stability for new walkers and still one of our favorite things to work with. Young children LOVE to push things around!
- Wooden knob puzzles- grasping the knobs almost exactly mirrors the grip needed to hold a pencil. Give those little hands the workout they need!
- Books- there can never be enough books! W's selection includes The Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle), Toes, Ears, and Nose (Karen Katz), and some great vehicle themed picture books too. My guy cannot get enough trucks!
There is also some wall art that is purposefully hung where he can appreciate it. Little ones should have beautiful things to look at too. My husband chose this map for W's nursery, and it has ended up being one of my favorite pieces.
Now...GO PLAY! Keep it simple, small, and enjoy it all!
Find the joy-
**Don't forget that Small Hands Big Steps can help you design the perfect play space in your home. Contact us to schedule a consultation!**