Are you overwhelmed by the idea of transitioning to natural and wooden toys? By removing the plastic and opting for ethical play pieces?
Our play space didn’t start out this way, it has been an intentional transition over the past three years. When Ark was younger I frequently made impulse purchases that consisted of plastic toys, usually ones that made noises or played music and I knew would give me ten minutes in that day to sit down and finish a coffee. As I started to read, learn and grow I discovered the magic of open ended toys. I learnt that the initial outlay of wooden toys would replenish themselves through their multitude of uses – meaning more finished cups of coffee for me too!
Before this transition, I was in survival mode, now I am intentional. A play space is like a curation that can be delicately presented in a way that encourages deeper imaginative play and curious exploration.
If you too are overwhelmed like I once was, I encourage you to start small. Declutter what you can and make purchases only when finances allow it. Birthdays and Christmas make a great excuse and I encourage you give your family and friends guidance with their gifts. Second hand purchases are your friend and always shop a good sale!
One of my concerns was, “will Ark like the wooden toys I purchase?”, “will he still ask for plastic toys?”. The answers, yes to both. We still allow our children to select toys they would like, and yes, sometimes this includes plastic toys. We also still purchase these plastic toys on occasion, such as when Ark has longed for it for a period of time or wishes to contribute pocket money towards the purchase. We love plastic animals for messy, sensory play too! However, 99% of the time, these plastic toys are played with intermittently over a series of days and then forgotten about. When the time is right, I invite Ark to be a part of the decluttering process and encourage gifting his toys to others who may need it.
When I started this transition process, I made a list of the play pieces I felt we needed.
Here is a rough framework for starting a holistic play space:
– Wooden blocks
– Gender neutral doll
– Balls – for movement play and pretend play!
– Scarves or play silks
– Sensory play materials – such as playdough, rainbow rice or simply outside in the mud!
– Something for gross motor skill development – this could be a bike or it could be a mattress on the floor!
I hope this blog as served as encouragement on your journey to a holistic play space. I am only an email or Instagram message away and would love to hear how this journey looks for you and your family.