The Cluttered Playroom

So I’ve read all the chatter about how an organised and clutter free playroom allows for your child to not feel overwhelmed by a huge array of toys. I absolutely know that too many toys can cause your child to not focus on one activity at a time as they become distracted by the next best thing. But…

Despite knowing all of these things, and despite multiple huge clear-outs I’m yet to ever achieve the beautifully Pinterest photographed Scandinavian dream of a playroom. Surely I’m not alone in this? Please reassure me dear Reader?

In our last house I blamed the room itself and the fact I knew we’d one day move out so there wasn’t too much point in investing in the space. As we ventured into our (what I hope is a ‘forever’) home I had the dream, no less the vision, that the blank canvas room that I was going to turn into the children’s playroom would be a thing of wonder. How wrong I was. Yet again there are shelves bursting with books and games, and a general look of a tired, cluttered and unloved space. How did it happen again?

Well, I can tell you how. I don’t really care enough.

Shocking to some, maybe, but I tidy that room at least twice a day, I play in there with the children, I introduce fun activities to them, we have a messy, fun, playful time. Would we have a better time in a beautifully finished space with near to empty shelves so that it looks continually neat and tidy? I don’t really think so!

My one and only tip to creating a playroom that doesn’t overwhelm and that does keep your children genuinely interested in being in there is the toy rotation. Not heard of this before? Not to worry, its the simplest method to keep your little ones happy and content – encouraging self play and a genuine love of the toys that they already own, rather than the ones they might see in a tv advert (thank you very much Milkshake TV – if I have to see another Happy Napper advert I might scream).

How to introduce the toy rotation method:

  1. Choose a time when the children are not there
  2. Start by choosing toys that you haven’t seen them play with for a while
  3. Take a large box that will fit in the garage/attic/under a bed somewhere. Fill it with a wide selection of toys – ideally ticking off the following; creative, mentally stimulating, physically challenging, team based, imaginative, books.
  4. Don’t lie about what your doing. Be completely honest with your kids, when you can, and don’t hide the fact that you’ve done this. Personally I’ve found this to really work, and I even get the kids to help me choose the toys that they are happy to go away each week.
  5. Change the box on a weekly basis and make a really big deal out of getting the box out.

Good luck with your playroom and I wish you a tidier life than mine.

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