Set up your home for creative play
Welcome to Day 12 of 30 Days to Waldorf-Inspired Preschool at Home! (To start from Day 1, click here!)
Today’s task is to set up your home for creative play.
We’ve talked a lot in this series about working towards rhythm in your home, clearing unnecessary activities from your schedule, and protecting play time. I think most homeschoolers know about the importance of play and how truly open time to daydream, imagine, roam, and tinker is disappearing from the typical schedules of American children. Even in preschool. Giving your child plenty of time to play might even be one of your reasons for homeschooling (it’s a big one for me). Well, if that’s you, and you’re reading this blog, you are in the right place!
Now that you have time set aside for your preschooler to play, how can you create the right environment? How can you encourage creative imaginative play in your home?
I think you prepare the setting the same way you prepare the schedule - by creating more space. Your child already has unlimited potential for creativity. Your child already knows how to play. Your child has this amazing capacity to transform any object, scene, or character into something entirely different using his powers of imagination.
Have you ever turned children loose in an empty room? There’s an immediate feeling of excitement - oh, the possibilities! Have you ever cleaned up a play area only for your child to come over and start making a mess? That cleaned up space was so inviting!
We can give young children an empty canvas for playing on simply by decluttering and organizing our space. Tidy shelves with toys in baskets are more appealing than piles of toys. And paradoxically, fewer well-loved and simple toys are more inviting than an overflowing abundance of playthings.
How to set up your home for creative play:
1. Declutter as much as possible. Make open space for playing in. Try putting half your child’s toys away in the closet for awhile and watch what happens.
2. Set up any play spaces in a way that is simple, organized, and inviting.
3. If you need more encouragement and ideas for setting up a home for creative play, read the amazing book Simplicity Parenting.
Preserving open space in the home and decluttering is a big challenge for many of us - how is it going for you? Have you ever cleared out space or simplified and then noticed a difference in your child's play?