Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Project Simplify ---- Hot Spot #3 ----- Children's Toys

Project Simplify's Hot Spot #3 was focused on children's toys and clothes.  Since I'm preparing for the homeschooling conference and trying to assess what the girls have and what would be nice to supplement in terms of educational games and puzzles, I focused on the cabinet in the family room.

What did it look like before?  This:

Disorganized, messy shelf with games, puzzles,
musical instruments, and play-doh.

I removed everything from the shelves and asked the girls if they played with or used the game or puzzle I was holding.  This process resulted in a half-garbage bag filled with games and puzzles that are going to be donated to the local thrift shop. 

For a few of the games that are "too young" for the girls, I kept them aside and put them in one of my office closets just in case younger visitors or relatives come over and they want to play a game with them.  I tend to hold onto the Ravensburger games and puzzles since they meet or exceed all national and international safety testing standards. The games and puzzles are both educational and fun, and are made from high quality materials.

After the shelves were clear, I used Watkins Natural Lemon Furniture Polish with natural olive oil.

I put everything the girls played with back on the shelves, trying to place the puzzles and games that Olivia would use on the lower shelves as well as items that are used  most often.  Here's what the shelves look now:

Board games, puzzles, and card games are on the lower shelves.
More games, musical instruments, active & "old-fashioned" games, and
needle-felted letters in a basket on the upper shelves.

The needle-felted letters are ones I made in 2008.  They were ones the girls used when they were younger to put the letters of the alphabet in order.  Now, they can use them to spell different words.  Each letter is made from hand-dyed sheep wool.  The base is a cream-color wool from sheep that I raised many years ago.  The size of each letter is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" - a good size for small hands.

Mosaic of Needlefelted Alphabet ATCs and ACEOs - Tactile Art and Learning for Children
The needle-felted alphabet set I made.

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