Published in Baystate Parent Magazine this month! “How to Create a Home of Learning”
Click HERE to view article in Baystate Parent Magazine!
Today’s find on the side of the road! will turn this into new, plastics are very durable (and saved me @ $100). Different types of “houses” are a very important part of imaginative play. Children can use them with dolls, Shopkins, Fisher Price people, Star Wars figures, or other. Houses add a component to play that allows children to pretend and create scenarios they experience every day (going to school, the doctors, and even just being at home). Having different house options changes the dynamic each time when they are alternated in and out. I always pick these up on the side of the road when I see them. And, when my children outgrow them or our collection of houses get too large, I donate them. I love seeing my girls faces of excitement when a “new” house waits for them as they get off the bus! Hours of fun to come!
A room with different options provides children the opportunity to explore and find their interests! However, even if a child is drawn to a preference like dolls, it doesn’t mean they will always play with those toys. Nor should you get rid of toys they don’t play with frequently. Just put them away. When toys are reintroduced, weeks or even months later, every time they are taken out they feel like new! This is called “rotating the toys”. My son didn’t play with the construction toys for weeks but this week he used them often.
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Sensory tables are one of the best investments you will ever make (when used properly)! I had two, one for when they were really small $99 and another when my oldest turned 4, $138. Many refer to these as water tables, but they are truly sensory tables and with the right ideas you will have hours and hours of FUN and learning (from sand, to snow, to pasta, to water, to other!) Red water table = http://www.environments.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=1539&scategoryid=0&CategorySearch=&Brand=&Price=
All Toys are NOT created equal! Open ended toys like manipulatives provide the greatest opportunity for learning. Manipulatives are things that can be “manipulated”, like legos, blocks, magnets. One of my favorites, that my children still use after 9 years, is “Tall Stackers Pegs Building Sets”. They have built so many variations of structures I couldn’t possibly count! ***Make sure to like our page or follow the blog to receive constant tips and ideas for learning at home
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I have abundance and can buy whatever I want, but don’t think for a minute I won’t drive by and pick up something free off the side of the road… especially things my children can use (like plastic slides, bicycles, kitchens, sleds, snow boards). And it’s because I believe in abundance that I will. I believe in recycling. It’s not because I can’t go buy it new, but in the larger scheme I now have decreased production of one more thing that will end up in a landfill. And when I am done, I leave it on the side of the road at my house for someone else. And every time someone takes it. It is like a recycling community. And if I have extra I drop it off at a local preschool in the inner city, especially bicycles I find. Children outgrow these things so fast and products are often like new. I even share clothes with friends, hand me up, hand me down. And because of this all of my children have a full closet of beautiful, like new clothes. Some bought, some recycled. I have NO SHAME in it. If more of us lived in this mindset our landfills would be less full, and more of us would understand the law of abundance. #share #abundance #recycle #freestuff