Is order in the playroom a fantasy or can it be a fact? Here are three key actions – limit, maintain, discard – that can help to make it happen.
No one can stipulate the exact number of toys appropriate for preschoolers to own, but some limit certainly needs to be reached. A study conducted among middle-income homes in North Carolina found that both boys and girls under the age of six had an average of 90 toys.
Now what adult could organize and choose among 90 different activities? Aren’t we causing confusion rather than promoting growth, by overwhelming children with things? The important criteria at any age is to provide toys that fulfill different needs, such as active, quiet, creative, dramatic, etc.
A toddler, for instance, might enjoy a push toy, a puzzle, crayons and paper, and puppets. As parents see their children’s interests and abilities changing, they can add different toys and remove the outgrown one.
Periodically rotating the toys brings variety to playtime without adding to numbers and expense. January is a good time to select a few of the Christmas toys for temporary hibernation. A game, puzzle, doll, book, etc. can seem like new found treasure when it reappears later on a cold or rainy day.
Responsibility for maintaining the toys should shift naturally from the parents to the children, but this does not happen automatically. Asking a preschooler to “Clean up the playroom.” can sound as challenging as “Fix the dinner.” If parents and children work side-by-side at first, the cooperation multiplies. [Read more…] about How To Find, Keep Order In Playroom