Project: Reign in the toy chaos with some hidden toy storage.
I had to keep it simple this week – dreary weather and plans to travel this weekend mean that it isn’t the week for anything too ambitious.
I don’t read a lot of parenting books at this point, but Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids has been my recent bedtime reading. The basic idea is that in a world of screens everywhere we look, constant information, and new things to worry about, childhood must be protected and kept simple. With too much pressing in from the outside world, they can feel the pressure and become anxious, unable to focus, or end up with a jumbled-letter diagnosis. The author, Kim John Payne, focuses on ways to slow down and make space for childhood, while keeping the ‘adult world’ out. It all makes a lot of sense to me.
All of that to say that one of the concepts that resonated with me was cutting back on the number of toys a child has access to in order to simplify the child’s environment. I can see a difference in how Evy plays based on the number of toys around. Giving one or two simple toys, she focuses on those, playing independently for long stretches. But given an overflowing basket of toys, she flits from one to the other, pulling everything out, leaving trails of toys as she moves around the house, never focusing on one toy for more than a minute. It’s not a good scene for anyone.
My goal this week is to make use of some storage to put away most of her toys, and rotate a few favorites every few days. We have two storage ottomans -one large and one small – that are great for this. They need some organization and shifting of ‘stuff’, and some weeding out of toys that have been outgrown or broken.
Pretty straightforward, and hopefully the payoff will be the freedom to be immersed in play, for Evy, and a neater living space for all of us.