Published in Baystate Parent Magazine this month! “How to Create a Home of Learning”
Click HERE to view article in Baystate Parent Magazine!
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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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
Losing my dining room and setting it up like a center based preschool may seem excessive, but believe it or not, I am able to quietly make phone calls, meals, check emails, and even go to the bathroom alone! Daily I rotate toys and facilitate activities and learning, and still with my 7 year old when she is home from school. (I will explain how in future posts!) When my children were babies and toddlers the room provided a safe place to explore and be independent (without Mommy). And yes of course sometimes I don’t feel like doing anything or miss days… It may seem overwhelming or like more work but it actually grants me time to do things like writing this (today is a snow day and my children are playing store). I set up and facilitate an activity then let them play, and separate myself from them so I am not their source of entertainment (of course I am close by to meet a need, answer a question, and engage here and there). The room is a dedicated place for them, that is theirs, for learning, playing, and making a mess. A mother or the full time provider has the most influence. We have a wonderful opportunity to facilitate learning, beyond caretaking, before full time school and beyond…