The greatest mom-advice that I have received to date is to simplify. I have been trying harder to simplify my life, my house, and my routine. When I decided to simplify the number of toys in our house, I was hesitant. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how less toys would make my son more engaged in play. This is often the mistake I make – thinking anything I do with or for my son should be logical. I bit the bullet and sifted through all the toys in our house. I got rid of any toys that only served one purpose, required batteries, or I never saw him play with. I also packed away the toys he had grown out of. I left toys like blocks, dolls, cars, and play food. Lo and behold, it worked! He spends more time playing independently than he did before. He mixes and matches his toys, which allows for creative thinking and problem solving. Getting rid of ¾ of his toys has led him to play MORE and whine less! It has been awesome!
Porter has always loved baths. When he was a newborn, a warm bath was the surest way to calm him down. We found ourselves in a rut where he would spend about 5 minutes in the bath and then want to get out. For me, bath-time is the best time, because I just get to sit there and watch him be adorable. It’s easy. When Porter doesn’t want to take a bath, it means I have to think of something to do for another 30 minutes of the day. For a week or so it got to the point where he would cry before taking a bath and I’d have to bribe him with shows and treats just to wipe the day’s dirt off his little body. I couldn’t understand why he suddenly hated the bath when he had loved it for so long.
During his nap one day, I cleaned the bathroom. I scrubbed the tub, y’all. You better believe I rewarded myself with some chocolate! To clean the tub, I had to take all his toys out and I gave them a good washing and disinfected them. When it was time for his bath that night, I put him in the water without the toys, because they were still soaking in disinfectant. All that was in the tub was a cup. A plastic cup. He played for 45 minutes in the bath that night! He filled the cup with water, dumped it out, put it on his head like a hat, put it on any part of his body that he could, and repeated that process over and over again! Any child development specialists out there might be able to tell me whether this is a phase of development. I think it is. Don’t quote me on that, though. I’m not an expert. I’m just a mom who has realized to give my son more, I need to give him less.
Has anyone else had positive results from simplifying the number of toys in your home?
By: Michelle Donner at Poppies and Peonies Floral Design