Even though we live a very simple life here, we do have a little children’s play room (something which is quiet unusual for people over here).
And we do have toys, subhanallah, not a whole lot of them, but alhamdulillah enough, and sometimes I think we have even too much…
That’s why one of my priorities for this year’s spring clean was the kid’s room.
Baby grows so quick, subhanallah, and she already crawls everywhere, that’s why I had to make the room safe as well, because I don’t know if it is boys in general or if it is just our boys – but mashaallah, they really are not good in taking care of their stuff. Unfortunately we do have not only wooden or toys made of natural materials (which I would much prefer), but we do have also a lot of plastic cars and things that brake very quick… So first I had to declutter the spaces from all these little broken pieces, mashaallah, and I took out all the destroyed and worn-out things and also the things that have to be mended (like books or broken cars).
And then we were ready to rearrange.
Recently I am so very much inspired by all the Waldorf- and Montessori-ideas. They simply resonate with my heart and with my ideals and to me they seem so logical in what they say about how to keep sane the children’s imagination and about the need for healthy nourishment to develop well.
We changed now our play-spaces according to these ideas:
– more un-toys and natural-toys instead of plastic or battery-toys,
– defined areas for different kinds of play (huge free play zone to play with cars and to built huts, corner and hangers for the items of imaginative play, little table and chair to draw and write, corner for relaxing with lots of new cushions to hide and to feel comfortable),
– beautiful toys at display and the others logically arranged in different baskets and marked with little pictured-/named-hangers (to make it easy for the kids to find the right place when tidying up),
– harmonious colours and materials that keep a sense of peace and warmth,
– only a few toys at hand, the others hidden in the cave – to change them from time to time to keep the interest and not to overload the children’s spirit.
I also read about the importance of doll-play, even for boys. I liked dolls myself when I was little and I really liked all the thoughts I read about the benefits of that kind of play, so I ordered now a Waldorf-doll for each of my children, hoping that they might bring a bit more softness and peace into their art of play (… mashaallah, I am so longing for more girls-like play after all these fighting- and cars-and shooting-boyish-years).
Alhamdulillah, the room looks now much nicer and play already is more harmonious here, and we also have some other aims and ideas to realize inchaalah:
– keeping the room neat and in order every evening to be ready to welcome the next day,
– making stacking toys out of natural wood. Letting the kids cut and sand and prepare the pieces themselves,
– making felt balls in different sizes and felted fruits and vegetables for play,
– avoiding plastic toys and focusing more on things like this and that (alhamdulillah, we have no toys-shops around here, but these are the priorities for the wish lists, because, subhanallah, the kids did sense the benefits and beauty of natural and wooden things after I explained and talked about it over the last weeks).
… Sorting out, minimizing, thinking, planning and putting priorities as well as focusing on real beauty concerning toys and play spaces pays off, I believe.
It really is worth to make an effort to arrange a beautiful nourishing atmosphere for our children because: “It is an immense fallacy that little children do not notice. It would be wiser to think that nothing is missed, that everything is absorbed” (Francis Edmunds).