growing up good

mothering, homeschooling, and me

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I turned my kitchen into a city.

I’ve been perusing Pinterest again, after quite a long hiatus from the site.  Mostly I’ve been looking for ideas to keep my tornado active little toddler busy while I work with my other two on their lessons.

I came across a picture of a mom who taped out some squares on her floor with blue painters tape and let her kids play. Youcan see her post here.

On a cold, Friday morning in January, I decided that this would be the perfect play opportunity to motivate my munchkins through their lessons.

So while they were working somewhat independently, I started taping out our blue tape city. When they were done, we started with some balancing, I had them walk the lines.




Then I brought out the playmobil figures, a basket of assorted animals, and some trains.

My older son immediately started in with some “bad guy” stuff, attacking and knocking down trains and animals. I set some strict ground rules for this play session: No bad guys. No attacking. No rough play.

He can play like that anyime. This time, I was forcing him to think outside the war. He’s totally capable of creative, peaceful play.

He actually got into it more than his sister did. He set up most of the playmobil figures, and even gave them a table to eat at! Mary was more interested in making a long train. I guided them by helping to set up a zoo, a farm (discussing which animals belonged in each), and even a dinosaur museum.  We had a hedgehog home, a “castle”, and a train depot, too.




DSC_0627After awhile, my little tyrant (and I say that with as much love as a mother with a little whirlwind of a toddler can) got up from his nap, and he was elated to be able to play WITH his siblings. I encouraged Elliot and Mary to show him how to play, and give him toys so that he could join in.  They were hesitant to really share, but I suggested that he might be less likely to destroy the areas they set up if he had toys to play with as well.

Overall, this activity went over pretty well. They played in the kitchen like this for over 30 minutes, but what I thought was interesting is that each of them went off on their own afterwards, Elliot with some of the playmobil figures, Mary with some trains and animals, and Edison with silverware (his latest obsession). Getting out some toys they hadn’t seen/played with in awhile was a great way to inspire some more purposeful play.