One morning as I was preparing Dylan’s space, I thought to myself, maybe I could share my preparation with my mommy friends as well.
What is a toddler play space?
It’s a safe place for him to play where all his toys are accessible to him. The table and chairs are for his height so he won’t need me to assist him. The drawers are also appropriate for his height so if he needs to open the drawers, he can see the contents right away. His age-appropriate toys and books are placed within his reach and dangerous household items are out of reach or not found within his space at all.
When do I usually prepare Dylan’s space?
Dylan has three spaces in our home here in Manila. One downstairs, where I am most of the time. One upstairs in our bedroom, where he can stay with us as we rest, and also because it’s where he sleeps. And another one upstairs in his playroom.
Dylan uses the downstairs space most often because it’s where our work space and dining table and kitchen are as well.
I would usually prepare in the morning when I wake up and the rest of the household is asleep. Once in a blue moon, I would also prepare at night, when I’m still up and have not fallen asleep next to Dylan on our bed.
Since Dylan is usually downstairs, I’ll be sharing his downstairs space in this blog post.
How do I go about preparing Dylan’s space?
I would usually mix what I place on Dylan’s activity table. There would be something for pretend play, for fine motor skills, for hand-eye coordination, and the like.
Dylan’s tool set for pretend play; Little Human & Co‘s fishing toy for hand-eye coordination, clips and a cardboard for fine motor exercise, colored popsicle sticks as his open ended toy (he can play with it however way he likes).
Bug catching puzzle (I have no idea what it’s named); Lego Duplo for fine motor skills; Lego Duplo book for reading, and Toy Tinkr‘s wooden Fruit Ninja toy for pretend play.
I make sure to keep his cleaning toy from Melissa & Doug visible or near his play space. We’re still training him to clean up after he plays or uses his toys. So far, so good. But mommies, you need extra patience. The task will take loooonger and you will be tempted to just let your househelp or even yourself finish the cleaning just to get it done quicker. Trust me, I give in from time to time too. But, your patience can go a long way in teaching your child to clean up after himself.
The green drawers at the back of the picture contains his clay and molding equipment, fine motor toys, open ended toys, and his paint and art supplies.
If he doesn’t like the toys I displayed for the week or gets bored playing it within the day, he will simply open the drawers to play with something else.
Other things to consider:
- I cycle the toys or activities I place on his activity table every week.
- I don’t always follow a theme, it depends on Dylan’s interests as of now.
- Don’t limit your child’s imagination. He can even use the chairs and the table as toys themselves.
- Place his play space where natural light comes in (if possible). This helps his awareness to the day and night cycle of a day.
This may not be the best play space you’ve seen and I’m not an expert in particular learning environments (I’m actually still learning about them). But this current set-up is what works for us in the current space that we have. I am more than willing to change over time as I learn more about the different kinds of learning environments and which one we’ll follow for Dylan.
I hope this will inspire you to plan your child’s play space, if you don’t have one yet. Have fun!