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After you’ve had a child, you become bombarded by all the necessities. From diapers and cribs to baby proofing and bottles, there is a lot more to parenthood than adorable clothes and stuffed animals. While it is tempting to exhaust yourself with cute things for your baby and get lost in the endless diapers and laundry, make sure that you set your child up with a strong educational base. Thankfully, this base is created in thoughtfully selected educational playtime that will foster a love of learning from the beginning.
Books, Books, and More Books
The first addition to your child’s playroom should be a well-stocked bookshelf. In order to foster a lifelong love of reading, make sure that your child has books from the very beginning. Allow their bookshelves to evolve with their age or developmental level, and especially their interests. Instead of toys, ask friends and family to buy books for your child – their favorite stories and beloved fairy tales are a great way to share memories with a happy, growing child. Plus, it will create an additional opportunity to share some bonding time with your child as you read him or her bedtime stories.
Arts and Crafts
Children are naturally imaginative and creative. You do not need to designate an entire room to arts, crafts, painting and more unless your child begins to show a love for art. Make sure that their art and craft supplies are well-organized (and out of the way if you have a younger child). There should be an open, sturdy place for your child to create, such as a desk or table with chairs, as well as an easel. Childhood is the ideal time to get messy – what better way to express this fun element than with art?
Move, Move and Move Some More
Children love to move, and their energy supply seems nearly endless. One critical element of a playroom is the ability to move around comfortably – and safely. It is, after all, a place where children should be able to wrestle, toss things, jump, roll, and tumble. A squishy foam puzzle will help create space for these big movements. The playroom is a place for them to be children, to have fun, so make sure that they can do so safely and happily.
Avoid Too Much at Once
While you want to allow your child to express themselves and feel free to play as they please, you do not want to give them too much choice. Having too many toys – i.e. options for play – can overstimulate young children. As well, children often come back to play with only the toys that they prefer, so having too many toys can simply be a waste. You can also initiate a playroom toy rotation system and change items up once a week or a few times a month.
When you become a parent, there is a lot of pressure to do everything right. It is important to remember that all you really need to do is raise happy and safe children. Arm your playroom with creative and educational toys, books, a soft floor to play on, and plenty of space. It is not necessary to create a playroom with entirely educational toys and materials, but realize that play means learning in young children.
We have some great tips for Managing Toy Clutter so you can take control of the playroom in your home.