Soren's room is probably one of my favorite projects. Which in all reality becomes a project for the entire apartment. Of the many things I love about Rick - one I absolute adore is how we both see our home as a place for Soren to explore and play. Sensory play can happen at a drop of hat while baking biscuits with flour, doing the dishes and filling bowls, watering and re-planting indoor fauna, wrapping up yarn balls or even setting up his truck and car ramp on the stairs. It's all game.
However, we do encourage Soren to 'clean-up' and help put things away. I follow this wonderful blog, MPMK (Modern Parents, Messy Kids) and she has great ways to organize playrooms (in our case - the whole apartment...). I implemented some of her ideas and snagged some toy ideas here and here. The place is really starting to come together.
I love the picture labels. Soren knows where everything is and so do we! He even helps us put things back in the bins and when he spills something exclaims 'I see water, dropped it!', grabs a 'TOW-ellll!' and helps clean it up. The methods are working great.
Better yet - the tools have helped us communicate with him avoiding those wonderful tantrums. Not to say we don't have them on a daily basis - but they are much more manageable. A mom said to me recently about her toddler 'I don't view it as parenting any special way, I just treat her as a person. She's just smaller than me.'. She respects her daughter as a person. A person with feelings and experiences - that fears and that loves.
The importance in her voice when she told me that struck a chord. So when it comes to designing Soren's play area, fortress or room...however you see fit to call it - I try to think of that. If he were to re-design my office, bedroom or day, how would I expect him to respect it? So this is what we came up with. We ditched his old infant toys, pilfered through the stuffed animals and voila! Easy to find, easy to enjoy and fun to clean up!