Why making the most use of the toys your child already owns is important?

Moose: Schleich, Red Deer: Schleich

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of toys your child has, or frustrated because the educational games that were meant to develop several important skills and cost you a fortune are now missing pieces, and your child hates them- you may find this article helpful.
My name is Gosia, and I show parents how to make the most use of toys their children already own, so they can save money, live more peacefully and create less waste.
I wrote a few free guides to educational activities featuring some popular toys for kids, and you can check them out here: animal figurines part I, animal figurines part II, vehicles, Lego Duplo

Why making the most use of the toys your child already owns is important? 

It boosts child's creativity
Kids have a limitless imagination, but with time, more and more borders appear in their minds. Society doesn't tolerate mistakes,  'stupid questions' and ignores the questions that require difficult answers. And at some point, children stop asking. And they have enough of people calling their ideas 'silly'.
The thing is that as teenagers and adults, we need that creativity to navigate our lives. So killing it is counter-productive. Teaching children how to make the most use of their belongings will help to nurture that creative sparkle in their minds. 
If they struggle to generate ideas, you can always help them by asking questions like- Which other toy you could use as an ambulance? What else could you use this toy for? What does the shape of this ball remind you of? 
Setting up invitations to play will be helpful too. Just pick a few random toys or objects that may not have much in common, and put them on a table, tray or rug. You will be amazed by the number of ideas your child comes up with. 
And just a quick reminder- if your child was never given space to expand and explore their creativity, please do not expect unbelievable results straight away. 

It teaches gratitude
Every object that we own was not only paid for with our hard-earned money but made by somebody that dedicated their precious time to their work. The designers, the manufacturers, the marketers, the shop owners, the delivery drivers, the shopping assistants, the cleaners- they all contributed to making things for us. 
If we understand that, and if we explain it to our kids, there is an opportunity for an important gratitude lesson here.

It helps to create a clutter-free space and saves time
The fewer things you have, the less time you need to maintain them. 
Studies have shown that children who have fewer toys are calmer simply because they aren't overwhelmed by clutter.

It helps to save money
I know just how overwhelming it is when you hear other parents talk about buying more and more toys. Then there are advertisements, bloggers, YouTubers, shop leaflets delivered to your door. Everyone wants you to buy something. Because every toy is 'educational', 'crucial for your child's growth', 'a must have'. Please remember that you do need to be keeping up with the Joneses.
We are lucky to have access to beautifully designed toys, and I truly appreciate their educational value, but let's be realistic.
If your child has 40 educational toys/games, 25 of them are missing some important pieces, 3 of them are probably at grandmas', and the dog just ate one of them, your child will make some use of only a few of them. 
But if they have 3-5 educational games related to what they are currently interested in, there is a big chance that they will make a lot of use out of these toys.
When you give your child a chance to make the most of their belongings, they won't have that constant urge for buying more and more toys. And you wont have that urge either. It feels good. 

It helps to reduce waste
When you make the most of the stuff you own, you buy less. When you buy less, you reduce waste. It's as simple as it sounds. 

Thank you for your time- I hope you found this article helpful. For more tips, please check out my Instagram

Have a beautiful day!
Gosia x


Montessori Practical Life: Striving for perfection

Hi! Today I want to talk to you all about striving for perfection and how that affects us, as parents and our children. 
In case you didn't know, I talk a lot about practical life skills over on my Instagram, as well as here, on my blog. If there is anything you would like to know, or get advice on, please leave a comment under this article, or send me a Direct Message on Instagram. I hope you enjoy reading. 

I often hear parents say that they don't want to teach their kids how to cook because they aren't that good cooks themselves. Or that they do not allow their kids to clean because a toddler or a preschooler will never do it perfectly. 

And that's the problem. We expect ourselves never to make mistakes and our kids to master skills without even having a chance to learn them. Or we never even try to teach them some practical life skills, because it either seems too hard, or we are afraid that we won't be able to come up with millions of activities every week.

That's not how it works. Your home is not a classroom, and you don't need to have 20 shelves with new activities on them every week. It is enough that when you water your plants, you invite your child to help you. Or when you are sorting the laundry, you sit your child next to you and explain that black clothes can not be washed with white clothes, or white with red. 

Then the next day, or next week, they help you put the laundry away.  You don't have to worry about having a strict plan, or activity schedule. You can just observe your child, see what they would like to learn, and invite them to help you. You don't need any special equipment. You don't need to invest any money at all, all it requires is a little bit of patience and consistency

Last year, I suddenly got very sick. It was just before the coronavirus officially hit the UK, and I was pretty much lifeless for 2 weeks straight. I never experienced anything like it before. One day, I needed to finally do the laundry, and Kian saw me trying to sort it and carry it to the washing machine. I struggled a lot. He stopped me, he took that dirty laundry, he put it into the machine, he put the powder and softener in, and he started the washing machine all by himself. And when the clothes were clean, he emptied the washing machine and helped me to hang them. He was only 3 years old. And even though for some people this may seem not very important, for me that day it meant everything. 

So what if your child doesn't vacuum properly under the table or doesn't fold the clothes perfectly? Let them do it once a week or once a month, and by the time they turn 18, they will be masters. These skills are crucial for life. Nothing annoys me more than parents expecting their kids to know how to adult the moment they turn 18, like if having an ID card was going to magically teach them how to budget the finances, cook, clean, apply for jobs, and repair their car. It's our job. And it's not scary or difficult at all. I promise.

That's all for today. Please let me know what is your experience, did your parents teach you any practical life skills? Did you start your adult life with confidence? Are you struggling with perfectionism? If so, how does it affect your role as a parent? I am really curious. Thanks for your time x


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