Don’t you just love when your child is totally absorbed in creating, puzzling, or playing? I do!
We have a closet full of incredible games and toys – solitaire marbles, colored blocks, a Buddha board, dominoes, chess – but with a baby crawling around, I haven’t known what to do with all of those tiny pieces and fragile items.
So, I shut them all up in a closet.
All of our beautiful games and learning toys were just sitting in a closet. Ignored. Sad. Lonely.
Last year, I was brainstorming a way to engage my older children in some of the hidden gems in our closet and I love what we discovered. I’ve just gotta tell you all about it.
This strategy rocks. It’s super-simple. Totally do-able. And has engaged my kiddos in hours of creative play. And the really nice thing is that the games no longer feel so dejected.
I call it… The One Thing on A High Table.
Yep, that’s right. Every few weeks, I place a different thing on the high black table that stands right in the middle of our everyday living.
None of the babies can reach the small pieces and the older children (and adults and all of our visitors) are immediately drawn into the fun. If it’s a game, they may play it the traditional way, but I’ve found that by leaving it out for two weeks or so, each child tinkers around with the pieces, creating designs, new games, slow-motion videos… I’m always amazed by what I discover at the high table.
The possibilities are endless…
Even a basket of buttons or big, smooth stones beckons to a child, “Come and create a while.”
The rules are simple: it all stays on the table.
The magic wand is in your hand. Here’s the key to keeping the fun alive: switch out the game before your child is tired of it and don’t ask for input. Just “let the new thing appear”. As they walk by the table, they’ll glimpse something new and interesting out of the corner of their eye, it will call their name, and they’ll be pulled into the wonder.
The bonus: Our table happens to be right inside our front door. It’s a great location. When guests arrive, they jump right in, painting on the Buddha board, or trying their hand at Shut the Box. If you have the space for something like this, try it out! It’s yard sale season, keep your eye open for a high table of your own. 🙂