Organising resources- Guest- The Ladybirds’ Adventures
As part of our guest series on organising resources, the lovely Claire from The ladybirds’ adventures has joined us to share her top tips on keeping those learning resources (toys, books and craft materials) under control!
Welcome to Rabbit Ideas! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Claire and I live with my husband and 2 daughters in Cheshire. My eldest is 4 and currently in reception and my youngest will be 2 in June. I have always loved doing sensory play, process art and learning through play based activities with my kids. I also love sharing children’s books with them.
How would you describe the space you have, to use with your children at home?
We aren’t look enough to have a dedicated playroom or anything so we just use the house and garden generally. Messy activities tend to be done outside when we can or if not in the kitchen. I’ve even done jelly sensory play with my girls when they were young in the bath!
Whilst the girls are little, most of their toys are in our living room. I look forward to the day when most of their toys can be in their bedrooms. Books are divided between their bedrooms and our living room (the main places we read).
Which items would you say pose the biggest organisational problem?
Honestly? Most of them! My girls have lots of books, toys and art materials. I really wish we had a playroom that we could store them all in and just shut the door on at the end of the day. I guess art and craft materials would be the biggest organisational problem as some of them are so small and I need to keep them out of reach. Particularly my youngests reach as she still puts everything in her mouth.
Are there any flashpoint areas or rooms where things tend to build up?
Without a doubt the living room. Like I mentioned earlier, the majority of their toys are kept here as this is where they play most of the time. My youngest loves nothing more than to empty a box of toys everywhere!
Is there anywhere you would go to online to find organising inspiration or tips?
Pinterest is full of inspiration including organisation.
Have you found any habits or systems of organising your day which have helped?
I work 3 days a week and my eldest is at school so we fit in activities around these and my toddlers nap time.
Are there any products or storage hacks which have really worked?
I love our IKEA Kallax storage shelves. We have a 5 x 4 in our living room and 2 x 4’s in both girls bedrooms. I love them for mixing boxes filled with toys and open shelves filled with books.
For arts and craft materials I like storing bits and bobs in recycled jars and other containers. I recently purchased this mini crate that sits on the kitchen table with a mixture of different craft materials that I plan to switch regularly so my 4 year old can write, draw or create whenever she wants.
How have your storage needs changed as your child(ren) have got older?
We just seem to be accumulating more and more. Once my youngest grows out of some toys at least the boxes may start to decrease. I have heard that toys get a lot smaller and easier to store but we have not reached this stage yet.
What one tip would you give to new parents who are just starting out and want to provide a range of engaging activities for their children at home, but have limited storage space?
Don’t feel you need to go out and buy lots of materials. Children love everyday items like pots and pans. My two have both enjoyed treasure baskets like this Valentine’s day treasure basket and you can put anything you find around the house in it. Food can also be used like this Rainbow spaghetti sensory play.
Thank you for joining in this mini-series, where can we find you online?
My blog is The ladybirds’ adventures where I share lots of children’s books, activities and days out. You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest (I have lots of kids activity boards), Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you, Claire!