How To Set Up Play Stations For Your Child
Interior Stylist Magdalene Liacopoulos from The Bebe Style Co. shares some work and play station ideas to help you survive social distancing at home with the kids.
For many, entertaining small children looked like trips to the local park, racing to weekly ballet or gym classes or catching up with friends for play dates. All of a sudden, we find ourselves with school and childcare closures (depending where you are located around the world), working from home, and practicing social distancing or self-isolation measures. During this time of uncertainty, I have put together some useful tips to help parents navigate this new normal with children at home.
Set Up Play Zones & Stations
One reason why preschool and daycare works so wonderfully is the component of free play with all the toys and activities available at their fingertips. Unfortunately, we can’t create the social interaction that a center offers; however with some organization and a little improvisation we can add some normalcy into our children’s daily routine by creating play zones at home.
First off, you’ll need to work out the best spot to set up. If you already have a playroom, great! However, if space is limited then a bedroom or living area will be just as effective. Next, allocate some free time to sort through all of the toys and activities – if you already have a system in place, thank your organized self! If not, read on for some helpful ideas on organizing.
For now, start by grouping things together like puzzles, blocks and Lego, dress-ups, and musical instruments etc. Take note, as you may need to fill in the gaps and buy some extra bits and pieces to be able to alternate activities to help keep things interesting. Ultimately you want to have a variety of things to do set up around the room in a horseshoe shape. Some simple ideas would include a spot for crafts, reading zone, puzzle and Lego area, and a section for imaginary play like a train set or a kitchen set up with play food.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Now that you have your play stations set up around the room, I recommend placing a soft play mat in the centre. It will not only provide comfort as your child plays but can double as a great spot for yoga, stretching, and some physical activity. I personally love the range by Ruggish, which is a rug meets play mat. It’s a generous size – it’s that of a standard size rug, and is also made with memory foam and a non-toxic external layer. Not to mention it’s has a reversible interactive map – what a bonus! Add a wooden Wobbel balance board into the mix and you have yourself a spot indoors for your little ones to exert all their energy!
Be Organized and Try To Follow a Loose Schedule
We’ve established that being safe at home with small children is not going to be easy but your best chance of getting through it with your sanity intact is to be organized and to maintain a consistent daily routine. It seems simple but having a timetable in place to slot in things from meal and snack times, to free play and quiet time – will really help. See here, The Tot Daily Schedule and modify it to suit your family’s needs.
When it comes to organizing toys and activities, follow these the simple need-to-know rules. Be sure to group ‘like with like’ – it’s a great system to have in place for you and your child. For extras or doubles of things, have them stored away so they can be swapped to change things up. And lastly, at the end of every day ensure that ‘pack up time’ has been slotted into your checklist. It’s a great opportunity for your child to learn to take some responsibility for their belongings and also allows you to be able to start the following day with a clean slate.
My Top Work & Play Station Picks
Available in more colors
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The Bebe Style Co. is a nursery, toddler and children’s room interior styling service. Visit thebebestyleco.com
Image via Shea Allen @sheeea
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