Thursday, 27 January 2011

Let's play!!

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" ~ Proverb

I read a lot of articles supporting the theory - Children need to play in-order  to learn important skills.
Can you imagine that they are learning a whole lot by just throwing toys around(LOL!!!) . So this is for all you little Einsteins and Madame Curies out there.

If you are one of those moms who have a play room or babies room dedicated specially for your baby then I don't think this post will benefit you much. But if you live in a small space - studio type apartment and try to make a special play zone for your kid....then welcome to my world. I live in a studio apartment that divides into many rooms within one room....It has a living space, a dining space, bed room and a tiny spot for my baby to call his own.

If you want to fit a play area inside an already multipurpose room then you need to design it within the available space. Some ideas that I put into making play area for my son are as follows:

1. Define the limit: It is better to have a fixed boundary for the play area. If you think your ever growing, ever exploring baby will abide by your set boundary then the answer is NO! But it will help you to know how much is allotted to him so that you don't overdo the buying of toys bit.
Puzzle mat
How to: You can make use of anything available like a picnic blanket, a quilt,a small carpet or a puzzle mat, or even a large bed sheet folded twice or thrice to give it a cushioning effect. Whatever you choose just make sure that they are soft, has a cushioning effect and clean.
Now the base it ready.

2. Add accessories: These are the toys he/she plays with. Keep them in a box - a toy box or boxes. 
How to: Again make use of any carton or cardboard box as these are light and if they topple over your baby while he is pulling out stuff it won't hurt him and when damaged can be replaced easily with another one - cost affective, light weight and baby friendly (except that he might take to chewing on them......like mine does). It will be better if they are open on top for easy pulling out. 
You can also use laundry baskets to contain the toys. The important thing is that it is easy for your child to dig in and pull out stuff without any physical injury to him/her.

3. Decorate: If you are allowed to stick stuff on the wall then this can be done without much thought but if not then make sure they can be easily removed from the walls.
Wall stickers
How to: You can cut out cartoon pictures and stick them on the wall (make sure your little one can't reach this...or he will be tearing them and chewing them), if you get wall stickers that are baby related then you can stick them even where he can reach as they can't be pulled out by him - they come in cartoon characters, patterns, alphabets, shapes, animals, numbers....the choice is endless. Don't get excited and get carried away ( I do at times) just get a few to adorn the wall next to the play area.

4.To maintain the play area: Everything needs maintenance to keep them in top performance level especially when it is dedicated to something that is related to a kid. 
How to: 
a) Make sure to use the toy box as an indication to how much toys he can use at his play area. Don't bye too may stuff that it crowds the whole apartment....your toy box indicates the storage limit. Well if you have more then store them else where and just rotate the toys so that your kid does not get bored.
b) Inspect toys regularly and replace or fix the broken ones. Change the batteries for the ones that run on them. Throw the ones you can't fix or use the functioning part of the damages toy.
c) At the end of the day put all the toys in the box....if your child is big enough to help (pick and drop in the box) then do it with him so he gets the idea. 
d) Clean the base regularly (the mat, carpet, blanket or whichever you are using as a base) -  make sure to keep them clean and hygienic.
e) Wash the stuffed toys as they collect dust easily and can cause allergies in children.
Building Blocks
f) Use empty plastic container or big (2 liter type) yogurt or ice cream  tubs to hold smaller play things like building blocks, small toy cars so they don't get lost in the big box and is accessible to your child when he wants to play with them.

TaDa!!!.....you have your own special play area dedicated for your little one. So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, get down on your knees and have a wonderful play time with your baby.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Ranjeetha! Lovely article and thanks for the great ideas on organizing a play area within an exisiting room. And thanks for the link love.. am glad you find my organizing adventures helpful:-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Prerna for your comments.

    ReplyDelete

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