Here’s a vintage shot; circa 2010. I remember feeling surprised by how early on in their relationship they made it to the cooperative play stage. It felt like it wasn’t too long ago when Kale was this helpless little blob of infancy and, though Edie was always a super nurturing big sister, the only play engagement he could offer was letting Edie play with how stretchy his face was.
Once his crawling capabilities kicked in he was able to either crawl away from the involuntary facial contorting or follow her around the house and try his best to participate in her imaginative play fun.
The play between these two have, for the most part, been quiet, cooperative and sweet from the get go and I think a large aspect of that has been my deep intention of keeping the amount of toys to a minimum and avoiding, to the best of my ability, life happens, fixed toys at bay. Toys that are not really conducive to playing with in more than one way. Rigid. Totally spelled out for the kids.
And trying to get my Craig on board with this criteria has been pretty much a cinch but sometimes challenges arise, and the conversations that ensue around this area had involved much of building, what Kim John Payne refers to as, our ‘cooperative parenting’ skills. I like to refer to it as my ‘try not to make it sound like I’m nagging’ skills.
Keeping the toy selection small, open ended and tidy has made all the difference
And we’re going to be exploring exactly how to do this in the upcoming Simplicity Parenting workshop ~ Environment.
For this module I interview a host of special guest starts including my friend Kate, a professional organizer (she does Skype consults!). She offers specific tips on decluttering and how to gracefully move on out the kid stuff that has a mysteriously collected itself in all corners of the home that don’t meet our criteria, are outgrown, broken or otherwise need to vacate.
And what does she say to do with all the treasures that survive the cull?
“Like in Kindergarten; everything in its place.”
I know that feels easier said than done. But Kate assures us it’s as easy as looking in your recycling bin.
Work With What You Got
I have a weakness for wicker baskets. They seem to follow me home like lost puppies. But sometimes even a house full of wicker baskets it’s tricky to find one that’s the perfect size and shape to house an odd collection of toys in a particular family.
Kate suggest any kind of container can be used in a creative way and looks surprisingly neat, tidy and just perfectly loved. Stuff like shoe boxes, reusable cloth bags, cardboard boxes of different sizes, mason jars and anything else you find in the blue box.
Simplicity Parenting ~ Environment Module begins on Monday and will offer loads more tips and inspiration to create a home environment filled with more imaginative play and less face stretching (expect of the smiling variety) for the whole month of October. You can still sign up for this module here.
And if you’re still curious and want to hear the sound of my voice more before subjecting yourself to all the private videos you will be receiving in your inbox upon registration, please join me for a free call tomorrow morning at 10:00 PST.
I’ll be offering a mini-workshop then, offering actionable ways to simplify in each of the four realms, answering questions and at the end of the call giving away a Bliss Pack coaching package; four one hour coaching sessions with me ($400 Value and normally offered only to graduates of my Get Your Bliss Back coaching package).
Have a beautiful, bliss in simplicity style weekend and I’ll be chatting with you tomorrow morning!