This week I'm reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and it's inspiring me to be strategic about toys and areas of play around the house, with a focus on creative, open-ended play.
Our fairy table aligns with this perfectly as it sees all sorts of kiddie action, from imaginary campfires, to picnic spot, to swimming pool (the trunk table perfectly fits our clam shell paddling pool), to dance stage and more.
I'm installing a shelf on the fence next to the fairy table at bench height for the kids so they can use it for a play kitchen, or nature collections, or whatever else they come up with. I'm also being more mindful to look out for beautiful examples of autumn leaves and other natural things on our walks.
This week I moved our painting station out to the deck, because it was too dark in the garage and not getting any use there. It's got a permanent place on the covered part of our deck now, but I'm keeping the paints under lock and key as this is one activity that needs my supervision.
Play-doh also has a permanent place on the deck, in a basket with all the play-doh tools. Baby J pulls it out several times a day to play with, so I know it's a keeper.
I gave myself a pat on the back this afternoon, when I saw the girls had found their reorganised dolls. I didn't hear one word of complaint over what was missing, just happy engagement with what was there.
It's all taking me back to the best of my Playcentre days, and I'm enjoying getting my excitement around the kids back.
It frightens me how stifled I must have felt in our last house. I don't think I truly realised how much until I came here and felt this amazing sense of freedom. The kids are really benefiting from it.