Creating A Playful House

I like the quote that we should remember in our parenting that we are “raising human beings, not managing an inconvenience.”  This is one of the reasons that I try to create a playful house rather than creating a “play room.”

A rocking horse is a permanent part of our circle of seats in the family room

I want my kids to be comfortable in and a part of the flow of the day- to be involved in the cooking, cleaning, tidying, crafting, reading, resting, and playing that goes on everyday.  Integration into this flow facilitates their sense of worth, strength, connection, and responsibility.

Another reason is that I like beautiful spaces and objects.  So at the beginning of this parenting journey I realized the plastic garish toys would have to go, they are just too awful to look at.  Instead – a vintage bowl filled with colorful wool.  Soft to touch, beautiful to look at, and limitless play-potential.  Much better!  It also means less ‘stuff’ since you never really outgrow a pile of rocks or a drum…

Lots of imaginative play can happen with a beautiful pile of rocks and a real drum.

Our house is a house for 3 young children.  This means it is a house of play.  I try to embrace that – the couch is for jumping, the nesting tables are for making tunnels, and toys live in lots of corners so there is always a stuffed animal or a basket of pinecones nearby.

This is a space for jumping, climbing, and building. The crib is for playing in, too.

A playful house becomes a shared space where my work and the playing ‘work’ of childhood can overlap.


2 Responses

  1. I love the space you’ve created! Tell me though, what do you do w/the garish plastic toys that inevitably are given as gifts to your children from friends and family?

    • Jenna, that’s a good question. I just let the plastic-y gifts come and go out of our house…once the kids are no longer fascinated by the toy I let it disappear. As the mom I am the one who puts the pieces of a toy back together and then returns it to its place…so I tend not to do that with the toys I want to let go of, and eventually they get scattered, forgotten about, and then I let them disappear to the salvation army.

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