Did you know that your child’s play environment can have a major affect on the way they play and interact with their toys? Here are three things to think about when setting up your child’s play space, whatever their age: 1. Let’s start with how toys are being stored. Is it in a way that makes it accessible to your child? Are things at a height he/she can reach? Are bins, shelves, and baskets open so your child can see what available to use?
2. Children like and appreciate things that are aesthetically pleasing in the same way adults do. Are like toys grouped together to make things easy to find and easy to put away?
3. Is there actually room for your child to play with the toys that they have? A train set is awesome, but if there's nowhere to set up, you'll be left with a big mess and a very frustrated child. You’ll want to make sure there is some open floor space available to actually move around and use these materials.
So why do these things even matter? The average child’s attention span is roughly 2-5 minutes per year of his/her age. That means your two-year-old will likely focus on one activity for 4-10 minutes before moving on. When he/she can see what’s available to them, it allows them to expand upon what they’re doing more easily, which in turn, lengthens the amount of time your child will play on his/her own.
The same goes for things being at an accessible height. If your child has to regularly ask you to take things out or down, their play is regularly being interrupted and in turn, less productive.
Looking for more support in this area? In my play space revamp consultations, I will work with you to review your current toys and storage systems, make customized recommendations for toys, organization, and layout of your space to help your child to play and engage for longer periods of time.
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