Saturday, April 17, 2010

simplicity parenting

i have had this book for a while, but i have not made it past the preface. today, i needed to have already read the book, as our little one's skills of climbing and moving furniture rapidly developed. (well, small furniture), so i had to jump to chapter 3 - simplifying the environment.

we are in the process of trying to rearrange our adjoining living room and playroom (intended to be dining room) to make it safe for a almost 6 year old and 1 year old to share the same space. we had our little guy sectioned off in the living room but he's able to hop up on the furniture that was acting as the barrier. now, we are in the process of trying to rearrange the blockade to keep him safe in the living room. i say blockade because today we started utilizing a smaller wooden kitchen as a gate and by lunchtime he was pulling and dragging the kitchen set over, in order to get to the playroom. with this pic and the fact that he took his first steps at 8 1/2 months, need i say more about my little guys's determination and strength!

we initially were going to move our daughter's smaller things to the higher shelves on her playstands, but looking over at her toys, almost all of them are too small for a 1 year old. she has lots of baskets full of treasures, like sea shells, rocks, pine cones, gemstones, beads, marbles, coins, tree blocks and sticks, wooden balls, beach rocks, acorns and fairies upstairs in the hall (the only other place possible) would take her away from where most of our family activities are and that would not work well for our family.

what i love most is that her treasures are that they are open-ended. from the first time she took some pine cones discovered on a nature walk and set them out to represent our family, i saw the light of open-ended toys. shortly after, flower gardens were created from colored blocks, sea shells were arranged into fairy paths, tree blocks and polished stones became the birds at our feeders and our overgrown Peegee hydrangea bushes became her "secret hideout". of course, along the way, her treasures have grown. 

i do have to go back to the beginning of the book, but, what have you do with all your little older one's treasures? do you scale them back from time to time? do you rotate them?


boatbaby said...

I am already pondering this EXACT issue and ours hasn't even been born yet. :)
Like you, Z has baskets of stones and coins and shells and such and these are his main play things. We don't have any good ideas, living in denial until faced with it I guess. It seems higher shelves that the big kid can climb to get would make sense. I wonder how Amanda Soule with her 1-9 age spread does it with their nature items...?

Queen of the Butterfly Ball said...

Good post and great question!! I am dealing with that same question here at home, only multiplied by 3! I've 3 bigger boys (12,9 & 6) and a 4 month old girl. Our boys have tons of tiny treasures that I don't have the heart to take away. (What would they play with if I did?!) But how am I going to keep the little one safe once she starts crawling? I am at a loss! I'll be sure to watch the comments on here... maybe someone else will know what to do!

With my oldest, we just didn't let him have those tiny things until our 3rd was past the "put everything you find in your mouth" stage. Which, thankfully, didn't last long on our 3rd baby... but it's much too late for that now! We've lovely rock collections, marbles, all sorts of natural treasures collected over the past 6 years, and millions of tiny legos, among other things.

How do people with really large families do this over and over again?!?!

Anonymous said...

We don't have enough toys to rotate, so the same ones are out all the time. I would like to be able to rotate seasonal baskets of books though...I'm hoping to keep an eye on charity shops to find seasonal books!

How is Simplicity parenting? Worth buying? ♥

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just wanted to say, with our basket of nature bits, they are just put on a windowsil low enough for K to reach (almost 5) and high enough that our LO couldn't reach it when she was too young. Now our LO is two, she is allowed to play with the nature bits, but i do keep an eye on her and make sure she is not being 'mouthy' with anything.

ONe PiNK FiSH said...

We do rotate out the topys. We also made sure that the older one was playing an a table or something not on the ground. The little one of course still wanted to play with him, but it was at least time for me to intercept.

I also would get the younger one toys that were a larger version of the msall ones. I would try to set up the same atmosphere, so he felt he was doing the same thing.

Another option is to play with them and constantly and consistently remove the smaller items from the youngest ones mouth if when needed and say something simple... not for mouth, for hands and place the item back in his/her hands.

This last method worked best for us in reality. I would have them playing side by side with similar toys ready to intercept as soon as needed.

Christine said...

hi mamauk!!! i have not had a chance to read through it to give it my approval.

onepinkfish - i know my little one loves everything his sister plays with

boatbaby - yes i'd love to ask amanda

queen of the butterfly ball (love that name!!)- in trying to get an area safe for the little one, we had to put the little things up in her room for some time.


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