I’m a mom to two very active 13 month old twin boys. I work part time and well the times I’m not home, I’ll be honest and tell you my goal each day is to take a shower and tire them out so they’ll take good naps and sleep thru the night. If they meet developmental milestones along the way, it’s an extra bonus. Do my efforts lend themselves nicely to my lofty goals? Absolutely!
Toddlers are movers and seekers. They’re learning how to use their muscles and coordinate them. This movement has them seeking and searching for new experiences and opportunities to meet their needs. So, you’re wondering, how do I fulfill their need to with the toys I do own? I ask myself the same question and in fact it’s one I ask daily!
So, let me be honest. My home is small. However, with this challenge comes opportunity. Second, I have twins. It’s twice the amount of everything! I’ve had to get creative with my purchases to maximize space while save money too. If you’re limited on space, time, money, and you’re tired, -you’ve come to the right place!
I thrive on challenges! Here are some tips I’ve found helpful to maximize their toys, while saving money and meeting their inquisitive need while meeting developmental milestones!
The greatest and most important tip is don’t put out all of their toys out at the same time. Clean out a closet and store their toys! You can have Christmas year around! Babies and toddlers get overwhelmed like we do. Less is more!
Keep toys on a shelf they can reach. Display them in baskets or trays. At the end of each playtime, sing a song to signal clean up time. My boys are 13 months and have begun to clean up! Yes, their wife will be thanking me! This will help with memory, recall and order!
Next, I have two play areas for the boys; their bedroom and main living my area. We spend part of the day in their room and the other either on our patio or in the main loving space. It keeps exploration fun and interesting!
Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative! Here’s my crazy list to maximize space, and repurpose toy/items for play!
1) Repurpose your furniture!
If you don’t have carpet and your trucks need to roll, turn your table upside down!
2) If your baby is 5 months old with the need to pull themselves up, don’t waste your money on carts. Use your couch or ottoman.
4) Grab your bobby pillows and use your bassinet as a sit me up/play pen!
5) Push your bassinet outside and get fresh air. My twins enjoyed watching the leafs wrestle in the wind!
7) Tired of their toys and Amazon made a delivery? Give them a box!
8) It’s a sunny day and your out of coffee? Move the toys outside! A new place to play will tire them out while give them fresh air!
10) Save money and go to your kitchen! Get out your kitchen utensils and create a band!
11)Rainy day? Push them in a cart/laundry basket.
Turn it into a race!
12) Need a toddler table? I bought them one. Horrible mistake. My boys had just as much fun using an Amazon box!
14) Back to boxes. We love boxes! Cut a hole and make a peek a Boo house!
15) Make a sensory cozy spot!
16) Repurpose your activity gym by adding elastic string. This allows your child to grasp and bring items to their mouths. This sustained my boys attention much longer as they were able to get immediate feedback. The oversized bell was perfect for auditory stimulus and the the reflective shine was a effect visual stimulus that wasn’t too distracting with blaring colors and patterns.
17) If you have old vent tubing, this makes an awesome ball drop. My boys were 10 months. They couldn’t walk but they could pull themselves up and explored grasping (fine motor skills) along with cause and effect, and gravity.
18) Doing a home remodel? Save your old coffee table and reuse bath items! Check your junk drawer, fun toddler items await you and turn them into a sensory board!
19) Turn your lil ones push car upside down and let them spin the tires!
20) Save your formula cans! They make great drums and are great for stacking!
I hope you feel inspired to move your toys around and repurpose items in your home! Thank you for stopping in!