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How to get your kids to actually play with their toys
I’ll admit I am a huge advocate of play. I really think that we should encourage our children to spend more time playing and exploring the world around them and get off electronics. Believe me it is a struggle at our house too!! I truly believe that learning and gaining “book smarts” will come in its own time and that we as mommas don’t have to stress over our children learning their entire alphabet, spelling their names, and reading by the time they enter kindergarten. Really we just need to let kids be kids and stop pressuring them. But that my friends is a post for another day. However, by staking claim that I am a play advocate sometimes my lifestyle leaves little to be desired when my children have upturned every toy bin leaving our house resembling the aftermath of a bomb exploding and are now wandering around aimlessly either stating that they are bored or are asking to watch TV because they think there isn’t anything to do. It is frustrating to say the least!! But I have come up with the perfect solution on how to get your kids to actually play with their toys!!
So I actually stumbled across the secret in getting my kids to actually play with their toys when Curly Girl had her birthday party. Curly Girl loves Shopkins and so we decided to have a Shopkins party for her and to create a play space that resembled a grocery store!! It was so fun but in creating that play environment I decided that the best thing to do was to remove all our toy bins from our cube shelf to use to display the grocery items our little friends could buy. It was such a fun party and everyone loved it. The girls stayed engaged in play for a good 2 weeks and they were continuously shopping and even extended their play from being a grocery store to that of a clothing store and then a toy store. It was a hit!!
And this my friend is where the genius sets in. As the girls’ play with their store came to a close I started to pull out their old toy boxes to put back in the shelves and then something miraculous happened. The once old boring toys that the girls rarely batted an eye at playing with were once again exciting and welcomed. The girls spent the next week playing with the two bins that I had pulled put. There was dinosaur play that I had not seen in months and it was so fun!! It is funny how as a parent you become so accustomed to your child’s play and then as they grow and lose interest you miss the play that once was there.
Anyways the huge secret to getting your child to actually play with their toys that I discovered truly by accident is toy rotation. Rather than allowing your children to have full reign and access to their toys 24/7 organize, divide and put away. Rather than getting rid of the toys that your kids might not be playing with just put them away for a couple of months. As you bring them back out you will find that your kids are interested in their toys again and will engage in play for longer periods of time.
So when life feels a little overwhelming and toys have exploded all over your house you now have the secret weapon to keeping your house clean and organized AND the knowledge of how to actually get your kids to play with their toys!! Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!