I have already talked about that controversial substance, homemade playdough (to add further fuel, I'll just say that I see no point in buying the stuff), so this is not about that delicate topic per se, but more about the broader idea of setting up your mind and your home to allow your growing children to do things by themselves!
But in a way that doesn't make you insane.
Today let's visit Meg at Sew Liberated.
Making a Montessori-style activity space happens to be something she's passionate about (can you believe that rug that she made while pregnant?), and that's good for us, because it gives us ideas of how to incorporate the child's work into our plans for our family.
Don't worry -- not everyone can have a room like Meg's, nor do I think it's necessarily important to aim for exactly that -- most children want to be with you and the other children.
They can have their corner in the rooms where you yourself work all day (kitchen and den are where you'll find me, usually, or outside, I guess, although I can't imagine that right now).
I wish I had a picture of Bridget's kitchen corner when she was younger. Just a corner of the den with objects her size for keeping house. It's because of that corner that she learned to be so neat and tidy that she thanks me now when I vacuum, although usually she just does it to her own specifications!
Children are overwhelmed by clutter and disorganization. Why is it that we give them a million little pieces to dump out and then get frustrated that they can't pick them up? Because we are focused on the idea of them playing with their toys, rather than on making the whole process of taking something out, using it, and then putting it back do-able.
(Come to think of it, maybe we have this problem ourselves!)
Besides convincing yourself that even a baby can do it himself -- just watch the video!
-- the big key learning here is the importance of having few things (especially toys! There are very few worthwhile toys!)...
...and the undeniable importance of...
|Isn't this beautiful? But actually really simple.|
In the category of "Things I wish I had realized long ago" the biggest one is "Shelves are my friend."
A place to put them.
The patience to let them "do it by myself" -- patience that is grounded in the knowledge that nothing terrible will happen if it's not done just right, since overall order reigns.
While you are over there enjoying little Finn and his serious play (and I love this older post too) would you say a prayer for Meg's family as they await the arrival of their little one, Lachlan, and peace as they deal with his serious heart condition?