Tidying and resetting Miss 13mo’s play area while she’s having a nap so I thought I’d show you guys a snapshot of what it looks like. We haven’t got the space for a separate playroom so this is just an area within our living room (Ok I lied, this is pretty much our entire living room 😂).
I’m taking this photo sitting on the couch where I’m usually observing her play from if I’m not engaging with her on the mat. To the left is just a bookshelf and a wall where the tv goes. To the right is a small ball pit and a tray table for her to do sensory activities on and that’s pretty much the whole room.
I set up this area with the idea that I wanted to have a designated calming space sufficient for her to play either alone or with others (usually me), while having the option for me to simply sit back and read a book or do my own things etc while still being close enough to supervise and observe her playing independently. The open shelf offering a variety of activities is to encourage her independence and sense of autonomy. I wanted her to be able to decide for herself what activities she wanted to engage with and to help herself to them (especially with bubs no 2 on the way). I implement a toy/activity rotation in which the activities or materials presented on the shelf are rotated regularly depending on her interests. I always have some sort of construction materials available on the mat and the one currently in use are foam blocks. I also make sure to include books relating to her current interests, fine-motor manipulatives and open-ended materials that encourage imagination, creativity and open-ended play.
Sometimes I do set up invitations to play on the mat to make it more inviting for her so she will have a go, especially when I introduce a new activity, or when I notice that she hasn’t been engaging much with an activity.
Her two massive interests at the moment are cooking (chopping, stirring, frying) and animals, in particular wild animals. So that explains most of the activities on the shelf, like the wooden fruits/ chopping board activity, the gum nuts activity for her to do pretend cooking with, the animal figurines, animal puzzle and books. The wooden bead maze and stacking rings are there for fine-motor practice. The rainbow puzzle wheel on the bottom shelf and pastel Grimms rainbow on top of the shelf are there to encourage her creativity and imagination. The other day, I was so thrilled to see her use the rainbow blocks as bridges for her animals to walk across and the rainbow puzzle as loose parts for adding ingredients into her cooking. Pretty impressive for a 13mo I think 🙂
Rainbow blocks: @grimmswoodentoys
Stacking rings: @fisherprice
Animal puzzle & shelf: @kmartaus
Animal figurines: @oh.ivy
Wooden fruits & bead maze: www.mywoodentoys.com.au
Rainbow puzzle wheel: @chrysanthoscolor @jollybforkids
Rainbow interlocking rings: @baby.bunting