I wish we had more space in our house, but our eat-in kitchen doubles as a family room/art corner. We have a taller shelf with some containers that are not easily accessible – that’s where I keep messier things – paints, glue, etc. Anna’s kingdom is this artwork board that can technically double as a white board in the future, and the shelf under it. When we first set it up, Anna was excited about things on the shelves, but I let it go stale, and she only plays with those dolls on top (she insists on calling them Melissa and Doug), with her magnetic board and with “free play box” on the lower shelf. This “open-ended” box is a collection of little toys from various birthday parties, some small cars, small dolls, etc. From time to time she pulls it out and plays with the objects in various ways. I removed all the things that Anna doesn’t play with any longer from all the boxes, refilled our “Magic Folder” and set up four boxes on the upper shelf on the left as “learning boxes”:
- The Writing box with pencils, markers, cardstock and all cards
- The Math box (currently with a sorting activity to help her learn numbers 11 – 30, I’ll write about it in a separate post)
- The collage box (Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep and Shannon at Mommies’ Little Artists are great motivators) with glue, scissors, scrap paper, stickers, etc.
- Fine Motor Skills box – currently with a lacing activity
I hope that I will be organized enough to change things in those boxes regularly to keep my daughter challenged and, hopefully, independently occupied. I also made some of her Kumon books accessible to her by moving it to a different location. I am curious how she will like the changes (she was enjoying her last day at preschool this year when I was working on this reorganization project) – I hope that she will be excited.