Updated: Nov 9, 2019
I did a blog a bit ago ago about reuse, refuse, rehome and recycle. It was touching on all the ways we can help our children have a planet to inherit ( to be blunt ) by our actions, using reusable nappies, recycling everything we can , rehoming toys and clothes for others and refusing to take the packaging this world comes in , in the first place. And now my wee one is bigger I need to add one more rediscover.
It started with her recent birthday, I asked for no presents , I asked for money (which went in to an account and will half go to her now as in a climbing frame and half for when she older ) which I touched on in my last but one blog about First Birthday ideas. But we did get given some things and that was great. I also asked for no presents as she was one and didn't understand the concept of them and only wanted to play with the box or wrapping paper they came in. And harping back to refuse blog , wrapping paper can't be recycled , only by you as such. By the way it is printed it doesn't go in to the paper slot but landfill so to be true to my preaching , I did not want too much of it. But have folded up what we did get and will wrap others gifts when the time comes. But one of the best gifts we were given was toys that her 2nd cousins had grown out of. Which I promptly let her play with and then popped away. And thats the key to rediscovery, our kids have a lot of toys that kinda just sit there, they have favourites and ones that are used and abused to death. Its great. But younger ones and Ive found this going all the way up to young adult where they still 'play' with toys have the attention span of a goldfish and thats being mean to goldfish when it comes to overload of senses.
Toys just kind of get passed over and gather dust. So I have found and this goes right from when they are really little to have a rota system. Have shelves, baskets , cupboards and boxes that toys get put in to and pulled out of to play with . The delight on their faces when they recognise a toy and fall in love with it again is wonderful. When they start to play with it again and especially in a new way , rediscovering it and reconnecting to it , be it able to play with it in a way it was intended ( there is no right or wrong way to play with something , thats the joy of watching them interpret a toy and its function )
I have two examples. I have stick together blocks for my wee one, firstly when introduced she threw them around, then when they came back out a few months later , she put them in a bucket and carried them around, now she has figured out they can be stuck together and stacked and that's the fun to see how high she can get them. Im sure when they make a reappearance ( once she has moved on from them ) that they will find a new form and function. And two , with a previous job, we were careful to give her both gender toys, ( antiquated notion of gendered toys anyway , don't get me started ) I came in to find that she had put her race cars to bed frilly nightdresses. I could not have been more proud !!!
I have especially found rediscovery good for a rainey day, and we have lots of those. If you have something displayed, higher up that they can see, and you offer to get it down and play with it , with them or let them ( finally ) get their hands on it. I find they have been eyeing it up , been playing in their mind with it and now with their hands, they get to do everything they wanted to. Ive found this with slightly older toys for your wee ones, put it out, or together and help them to navigate it. Also with much bigger children you can get boxes of projects be it slime making or collage stickers, gel pens etc. They are given a lot of these for birthdays and Christmas , I always popped a few up high and off the grid so they were fresh and new on a particularly stormy day . Once we have exhausted puzzles and colouring book, jumping in puddles and racing rain drops down the window panes. Even thought they were given these what could have been weeks or months ago its like receiving them all over again.
So right from the start , have a few choice pieces out and then every couple of days to weeks to months change them up , give plastics and wood a wash down and hide away. Bring out new items to delight and stimulate . Think of when they go some where new like a coffee group or play group someone uses house and their faces light up at the new stuff ! It is like that , make the playroom/ space new and exciting over and over. Saves money too
Speaking of new toys at peoples place, have a toy swap going with other mums with same age or similar aged children. Every so often , just as you would with no longer fitting clothes pass on and get back toys that everyone can get a use out of and then pass around. Everyone gets a go ?
I look forward to rediscovering my childhood and excitement that we are encourage to lose as adults ( WHY but thats another blog ) through my daughter and her revelations and realisations through play. To see the world again through a child's eyes .