It's a new year, and we've lived with the new toys from Christmas for a month now, I've tripped over the castle too many times to mention, the railway track has been laid and dismantled every day and books have been read and re-read daily, but the novelty of the new toys and books has worn off now and J and T are starting to have that "too much choice and no order to it" play (you know where the flit from item to item never playing with it for longer than a few minutes and moving quickly to the next and doing the same thing). So for the month of February I've decided it's time to get organised!
I've looked longingly those amazing play spaces that I see on other blogs (check out my pinterest board for some inspiring ideas) - but unlike many we don't have a dedicated play room instead we have a lounge and dining room down stairs which are our play spaces and the children have a bedroom each - well J has a nice sized bedroom but T's is more of a box room come bedroom with which to organise as play spaces. On an evening the downstairs becomes Rainy Day Dad's and my living space and it is nice to have it so that it is adult space. As I write this I can see a garage, a pram and the blocks and that is just around the corner of my laptop which means I've not succeeded in the adult space at all.
So Task 1 I set myself last week.....
I want J and soon T's art and crafting to be mostly child led - of course I have ideas that we try out but it is lovely now that J is leading some of the art experiences that we do at home (See his animal printing idea) so the crafting supplies need to be easily accessed and seen so he can request what he wants to use and as both get older they can access the supplies themselves.
My crafting supplies were in a huge pile on the floor - mixed in with the junk modelling supplies (well technically hidden under the junk) or better described as stuff that I have rescued from the recycling pile to use to create! So I brought some clear boxes and set up different boxes of craft supplies.
We now have a pile of boxes on top of a cabinet in the dining room that are clear and J can easily see and ask for what he wants. I've organised it into
- A wet box - this contains all of our paints, glues, glitter glues and some of the more permanent pens, this is the biggest box, heaviest and also has the lid that can't easily be removed.
- Our snow cloud dough - yes we're still using this a lot - J asks daily to play in the snow and it gets brought down and played with and then put back onto the stack
- Painting equipment - this includes our messy mat, paint brushes, sponges, yogurt pots, dishes, cake cases and everything and anything that J has decided to paint with and I couldn't rescue back to it's original purpose
- Play dough - a box filled with our playdough tubs, home made playdough in bags, moulds, cutters, plastic cutlery, plastic scissors and odd googley eyes, pipe cleaners, craft sticks and various other bits that J has decided to add to his playdough at various times.
- Collage box - this is our fullest box and includes everything and anything that we could use to craft with, so there is a lot of googley eyes, tissue paper, craft foam, bubble wrap, craft sticks, and everything and anything else that I find and think OHHHH I could use it for that
- A pen/crayon box - our smallest box but still with a lid has crayons, pencils and pens in. At the moment it's on the side but the hope is that it will go on a small table for J and T to dive into when they want to draw when I tried that all that happened was J sorted the crayons into piles all over the house and T ate them - so we will try again in a few more months.