Posts tagged toys
Make ROUTINES into PLAY

I also like to give him FULL ACCESS to all my safe cleaning supplies. Today I shared some “clean“ cleaning recipes above, but mostly I use a spray bottle of water and Norwex Microfiber clothes. I have a kids set that includes on for windows/mirrors, one for dusting and one for all surfaces. It hangs on his art shelf downstairs right next to his mop and broom from Melissa and Doug.

This boy clears his spot every night after dinner. Wipes his table and chair and then continues to empty the bottle by spraying and cleaning the cupboards, floor and dogs.

I love including him in the routines because even if I didn’t have the change to build a castle with him, I spent the day involving him and sharing my world with him.

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Rethink Your Toys

Not all stuffed animals are made the same. Some kids have a collection of stuffed animals. And I want to talk to you about what I look for in a good stuffed animal… and how they can be used for many different types of place.

  1. Stuffed animals are GREAT comfort items. Neither of my kids have attached to a stuffed animal, but when I was a teacher many children would have a stuffed animal that gave them consistency, comfort and a feeling over safety as they laid down for nap or left their parents to come to school. If a stuffed animal is serving your child in this way… it is something to celebrate, not condone. They are using this animal to be BRAVE with change and discomfort. This is a healthy way they are choosing to regulate. If they get older and are sucking on this animal or bringing it everywhere and you’re concerned about hygiene…. make a carrier or a bed. And have them place the animal in site, but not always in their arms.

  2. Buy stuffed animals that can be machine washed!

  3. If you have a collection of stuffed animals, you can use them in a toy rotation. Pull them out to be a zoo with blocks for a fence. Pull them out to be a pet shop, use cardboard boxes to make kennels. Use them with dramatic play.

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Top 6 Backyard Play "Areas"

I’m very intentional on the materials that I include in my outdoor space.

Instead of getting the typical big playground/swing set.

I decided to include all the elements I valued most.

If all you can fit or want is a swing-set that’s great too!

One reason I decided against the swing set is because I don’t want to spend 10 years doing under-doggies. I’m sorry #notthatmom.

Second, there’s “rules“ typically that come with the swingsets…(don’t climb up the slide, one at a time on the ladder, one at a time on the swing, don’t walk in front of the swing, there’s not room for you right here, etc.)

I wanted play materials that allowed them to expand their imagination.

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Gross Motor and Activities in the Winter

I’m gonna be honest with you and say, I HATE SNOW. Snow clothes and all that jazz, I’m over it REAL fast. So I’m not the mom out there building igloos and slides. If you’re that mom, I have lots of snow… come on over and step in for me???

What’s challenging is not giving into the tv, electronics, video games, ipads etc. all winter long. It’d be really easy to replace that outside time with these things, but guess what. I have a plethora of solutions for you.

#1. Indoor Gross Motor Toys

I’ll show you a peek at a few others we have. But my climbing, bouncing boy… he has a huge amount of energy. He wants to jump and climb, wrestle… kick things. And if I don’t give him a safe place to do that… guess what… he’s jumping, climbing and kicking me and his sister. NOT an option. Today I’m going to talk about my Lily and River climber. It’s AMAZING.

I’m all about open ended toys. This is that. There’s not one way to use it. The slide can be at a million levels. It can also be a playdough table, a place to play cars, a ramp… and then flip it over it’s a rock climbing wall or a ramp with obstacles. I didn’t discover this on my own. I put the toy out… and then just let Charlie do WHATEVER the heck he wanted with it. I love that it can be a climber, or it can turn into a fort, a ladder for his stuffed puppy to climb. It’s AMAZING.

Highly highly recommend this toy as an indoor playground, climber, slide… and so much more.

I have a 15% off code, so don’t forget to use xolauren when you checkout!

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