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Curriculum>Organizing HELP
ebonyannette 08:53 AM 01-17-2012
Hi guise!

So I need some help, I attached a pic of my play area after my 1,2 and 3 year old and this is how it looks when they get finished with it. My one and two year old are the main offenders. Anytime they see something put in place they feel the need to tear it down

This is an open area right as you come in the front door, then as you continue walking it opens to the main living room/kitchen. I have tried blocking off the "school" area (with a stroller ) so at least they cant destroy and get into the puzzles and crafts/paper etc but that doesnt always work.

So what am I doing wrong?
I keep an eye on them as much as possibly but sometimes through-out the day they wander up there to get a toy or something. There is no use in me telling them to clean up because my one year old just un"does" everything I do as Im cleaning and my 2 year old has the attention span of a goldfish. And making my 3 year old clean it up, i feel i do more yelling than cleaning cause he stops to play with whatever he picks up.

In this particular photo they did this in about 10 minutes, while i was in the kitchen

*sigh* SOOOOO, I would love to hear how you all organize your home, toy area, school area.
Attached: aphoto.JPG (168.6 KB) 
Country Kids 09:49 AM 01-17-2012
Get rid of 3/4 of the toys-especially all the large ones. I have 5 old fashion apple picking baskets that hold my toys. I have all my building blocks in those-all types-wooden, plastic ones, plastic lids of all sizes, and then ones like you teach children math with.

Then I have a shape sorter, music basket, and then a toy where you put peg toys in this board things. I also have a train table. Thats it though-and everything fits on a 3 shelve bookcase. I do have another 5 shelve bookcase that holds 3 shelves of books and some odds and end toys that only the older ones can play with.

Just start with a few things and go from there. They will learn quickly to entertain with what they have.
Heidi 09:53 AM 01-17-2012
First thing I saw is too much stuff!!

Take 75% out and store it for rotation. Especially those precious books that are all over the floor... Books are special....

A high scope program I was at had wire shelves all around the room, just out of reach, and everything in clear bins with labels. If the children wanted something from one of the bins, they "traded" one that was already out.
I wish I had the wall space for such a thing!
daycare 10:12 AM 01-17-2012
I agree way too much stuff..

My room consist of only furniture. Every day I will bring in 3 to 4 storage buckets with lids. Which only two come out at a time.

At the end of the day, they get cleaned, back into the bins and tomorrow I will bring in new ones...
melskids 10:15 AM 01-17-2012
I agree. There is WAY to much stuff out. I would put quite a bit of it away, and spend some time modeling the appropriate way to play with toys and how to clean up.

The one thing i've been working on, is it isnt just how many different toys you have out, but how much of each one.

I had enough duplos out to build a 2 car garage. The kids would just dump the bucket and then not have any room on the floor to play, and then be totoally overwhelmed when it came time to pick them all up. I put 99% of them away, and only left a small basket out. They seem to use them more productively, and clean up is much easier.

I had the same issue with crayons. I must have had 2000 of them in a big tub. They would dump them all looking for the color they wanted, and then
not pick them up. Now there are just enough for them to use....probably 25 or so..stacked upright in a formula can, so they can see the color they are looking for.
greenhouse 02:42 PM 01-17-2012
I just wanted to say " wait, is that my play area??" looks so much like my set up sometimes.
Getting rid of stuff helped a lot.
Countrygal 03:07 PM 01-17-2012
That is how mine could look if I let it..... Thank heavens mine are all little tattle tales. "so-and-so" played with a doll and didn't put it away, etc, etc, etc.... ROFL!!!

Seriously, I need to de-stuff as well. But my kids know ONE toy at a time, and books are only for the quiet spot or reading time. NOT to play with. They are in their own special place. Sometimes I feel like I ride rough-shod, but the play space stays relatively neat... I also have implemented some of the ideas I've picked up on here about play spots and having more(time with) organized play. But right now I don't have more than three or four at one time, either.....
dave4him 06:18 PM 01-17-2012
I need help with mine too!
ebonyannette 08:37 AM 01-20-2012
Thanks so much everyone for all of your help! I never thought we had too many toys, I always thought I had too little since they were easily bored with everything and throwing it all over the place.

I thought you were supposed to leave all the toys out so the kids could choose what they wanted to play with? LOL So I put them ALL out.
I used to keep all of the toys in the closet right next to this room but 80% of them never got played with.
So I guess I kind of did all or nothing, ha ha either all the toys are out, or none of them are out ha ha! I'm learning!

I want so bad to have things on the wall that they dont tear down, but if I put them up too high they wont pay attention to them at all? I havent been able to afford a REAL bulletin board yet.

I never thought about just leaving a few books out in a certain corner! thats a GREAT idea because they dont read on their own anyways right now, but if I put them away I forget about them too.

We are in military housing about to move in about 4 months so I didnt want to put holes in the wall trying to hang things or putting wall shelves up.
SO I was trying to create a "separation" of toy area and school area is that still a good idea or should I just move the bookshelf/bins out of the way and let it be one big area?

does anyone have any photo inspiration or links? I get so overwhelmed. I guess I will move the big toys to a bin in the garage. Should I get some of those plastic shoe boxes with a lid for each toy category or something?
Blackcat31 09:13 AM 01-20-2012
Originally Posted by ebonyannette:
does anyone have any photo inspiration or links? I get so overwhelmed. I guess I will move the big toys to a bin in the garage. Should I get some of those plastic shoe boxes with a lid for each toy category or something?
Here are two links to threads where members have shared photos of their spaces
ebonyannette 11:00 AM 01-20-2012
Thank You!!!
Tags:organizing tips, playroom ideas, simplify, storage - books, storage organizer - cube
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