The Day I Took the Toys Away

The day I took the toys away

I know what you’re thinking, how could I take all of my kid’s toys away? Well, let me start by saying that I don’t do this every day.  I fully believe in helping children grow in all aspects of life, even their imagination. I want my children to have an imagination that can take them anywhere.

There are a few things I do to make this day successful. I believe they will help you too.


6 tips to a successful imagination day

  1. I tell my kids the night before that the next day will be imagination day
  2. I play music in the background during the day- in general music helps my kids and they love it.
  3. No TV on this day- try to unplug as much as possible. Be the example.
  4. Put the everyday toys away in a closet or spare room- the only exception I make to this is educational “toys” (i.e. puzzles or books) that I use for homeschooling each day.
  5. Think outside of the toy box
  6. Engage in imaginative play with your child.

Music speaks volumes. A musical beat can change the mood of a child. For my children music is a calming tool that they also happen to love. If you can imagine this, we have a lot of dance parties. If you are looking for free musical outlets I recommend youtube, radio, and Pandora. This is the only type of media I recommend on imagination days.

When putting all everyday toys away I suggest choosing a time when the kids are not focused on them (i.e. after bedtime). This can be nerve-racking I know. But trust me, your kids will still have a great day.

Literally, think out of the toy box. Make a list of things around your home that could be fun for your kids. Remember to think out of the box.


Out of the Box List:

  1. Blankets and pillows
  2. Cardboard
  3. Paper
  4. Laundry baskets
  5. Pots and pans
  6. Cooking spoons

Some of my kids favorite pretend games to play are beach and fort with blankets and pillows, race cars with laundry baskets and cardboard boxes, and cooking and making music with pots and pans. My kids even like to color the cardboard boxes.

I love jumping into all these games with my kids. It brings me back to my childhood and it’s fun. My personal favorites are blanket beach days, blanket forts, and making music with different household items around the house. My advice is to jump back to when you were a child and let your imagination soar with your child.

If you can’t let loose with your child who can you let loose with?

Instead of continuing the life-countdown to the next big thing take a step back. Our children will not be little forever. For one day let your imagination take over the stress of housework, life struggles, and just hit the reset button.

Let your imagination take over.

Getting a Child Ready for Kindergarten with Growing Expectations

Kindergarten is a big milestone no matter if children are homeschooled, public schoolers, or private schoolers. I will have two kids going into kindergarten next year. My oldest Connor has autism and my other little guy, AJ is in constant hyperactive mode. Getting Connor and AJ ready for kindergarten next year has proven to be no small task.

The evolution of Kindergarten over the years

Over the years, I have heard my family and friends talk about how much kindergarten has changed over the years. I’m starting to see that first hand now. Apparently, nap time in kindergarten is a thing of the past. Today’s standards for kindergarteners are higher than the standards when I was in kindergarten. Does anyone else feel that way?

As a mommy of two little boys who struggle academically, that scares me a little bit.

What I’m doing to help my boys?

I want my boys ready to conquer the world of learning. In an effort to help my boys get caught up I do what I call “homeschool lessons” at home after the boys get home from half-a-day preschool.

How I handle the lesson plans

To plan the at-home lessons I follow the interest of my children. So for example, Connor has a lot of interest in the beach lately so I use that in lessons. Today for math we counted seashells. For fun, we even made our own island out of blankets. I also use whatever show the boys happen to be focused on that day. My boys love Octonauts so I used that in my dialogue while teaching today.

Every day we do activities in wipe-off learning books, tracing pages, and read a lot of books. I typically use games as rewards for doing school work and chores. My boys thrive during learning time with background noise so while we do lessons we listen to music usually on Pandora or off a Seeds Family Worship CD.

What the Lessons Do

  1. The lessons give my boys extra academic teaching to help prepare them for what is to come
  2. The lessons give me a preview of what day to day life would be like should we choose to homeschool our children.

Materials I Recommend

Wipe-Off Books

We use wipe-off books to help cover many different subjects.

Tracing Pages

I use tracing pages to work on handwriting skills.

 

Read Books

We read a lot of books. I mean A LOT.

Seeds Family Worship

We use Seeds Family Worship to work on scripture memorizing with our kiddos. It works well for any kiddo who loves music.

Dry Erase Boards

Dry Erase Board and Markers are wonderful to help kids learn.

Games

We play games that encourage fun, learning, and life skills.

A Family Decision

The choice of how to educate children is a very important decision that each parent has to make at some point. Each option has pros and cons. Every family is different. What works for one family will not work for another. Nobody knows your child better than you so nobody else is more qualified to decide how to educate your child. Be encouraged. Do not be swayed by those around you trying to persuade you one way or the other. Do what you feel is right for your family.

Our Decision

My husband and I are committed to our children and their education. As of right now, we plan to let our boys finish preschool in the public school system. We are praying for clarity for which direction God wants us to go after the boys complete preschool. How did you decide?

How did you get your children ready for kindergarten?