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3. simplify toys and keep them in a communal area. if you look at the way that waldorf schools are designed, particularly preschools and play group spaces, they look like homes. the dining room space has a table and chairs--for morning tea or snack time--but it is also a crafting space. so, you'll see a cabinet with tea cups and baskets with a napkin over the goodies, but you'll also see a cabinet with the craft supplies and so on. and, in our kindy, there are drying lines across the walls where paintings are put to dry, and so it looks decorative as well!
the living room space of the kindy has two comfortable 1/5 chairs facing each other with a small "coffee table" in between. it's about child size, and the kids use this as a "play table." then, the four corners have different play spaces: a kitchen space with a toy kitchen and table/chairs; an area where cars/trucks, and building supplies are kept; an area with soft dolls, play silks and costumes, and a fourth area with a lot of different natural items. Of course, there is mixing of these toys across the room, but it's pretty straight forward play.
by having the play area in the common area, you are more inspired to tidy away, the child is with you and playing 'along side' while you are working or doing whatever it is that you do (if you spend most o fyour time in the kitchen, for example, it might be better to use this area, or an area right next to the kitchen as a play space), and then the rhythm is created too around play and tidy times.
anyway, that's what we do with toys.
boogiemonster | the hairy scotsman | anna the elf | lucy the sprite | wee faerie faye, born 01/02/11
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