CreativeChild RSS Feed Stress-Busting Tips for Work-At-Home Parents <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I&rsquo;ve been working from home for the last 14 years, and I still have most of my marbles. This, I feel, makes me uniquely qualified to write this. I hate to say that I&rsquo;ve learned to &ldquo;balance&rdquo; my responsibilities of parenting, working, housekeeping, bill-paying, grocery shopping, cooking, chauffeuring, and caring for myself because the truth is I&rsquo;m not sure &ldquo;balance&rdquo; is a thing. Some days are better than others, and honestly it always feels like a juggling game, but I have learned some tricks and tips over the years that reduce stress and make the juggling a little bit easier. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Of course, there are many variables that will determine what each work-from-home journey looks like, including the age of your children, the type of job you have, whether you have help, etc., but overall there are a few universal tips that will help you as you navigate the many tasks which are laid before you each day. </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>PARENT MODE</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Raising children while working from home offers both unique challenges and benefits. On the plus side, you&rsquo;ll get to be there for all the milestones and miracle moments. However, it&rsquo;s impossible to give them constant attention and get any work done, so you&rsquo;ll have to be creative in finding ways for them to be entertained while also making time to fill their cups. Here are three ways to proactively keep your child(ren) happy while you work:</span></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Set connection points throughout the day. When we proactively fill our children&rsquo;s buckets, they will be more cooperative and happy throughout the day as we work, and one way we can do this is by setting connection points throughout the day. These are short periods of time set aside to engage with our kids, giving them our undivided attention so that we can connect heart to heart. In this way, we meet their attachment needs, providing enough loving attention to help them bridge the gap between your work sessions so that you can work more productively.</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Routine is good for children in that it provides structure and a sense of security. Knowing what&rsquo;s next helps children transition easier, and having a rhythmic flow to their days is soothing. For parents who work from home, a good routine is essential. If your child has designated nap times and play times that are consistent day in and day out, you&rsquo;ll be able to get more done without interruption. </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Encourage independent play. There are several ways to do this. First make sure your child has what author and parent educator Janet Lansbury calls a &ldquo;yes space.&rdquo; This is essentially a safe, child-proofed area for your little one to play and explore in. Next, choose the right toys. Too many will be overwhelming. Bright and buzzing toys may be overstimulating. Choose creative toys like blocks, figurines, cardboard boxes, art materials, props, stuffed animals, etc. Start with a connection point (spend a little time playing together) and then transition away to let him play on his own.</span></li> </ol> Tue, 14 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0700 Your Baby’s Developing Self-Image <p class="p1"><span class="s1">When was the last time you looked at a baby and wondered about his self-image? It sounds silly, of course. We don&rsquo;t generally associate things like self-concept, self-esteem, and self-image with infants, but infancy is when these things begin to form, and there is much we can do as parents and caregivers to help a child develop a healthy and positive sense of self.</span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A positive self-image is important. How we see and think about ourselves affects every aspect of our lives, from our relationships and interactions to the goals we set and achieve. A positive-self image means better physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. It means feeling confident, competent, secure, and worthy. Cleveland Clinic describes self-image as &ldquo;an internal dictionary that describes the characteristics of the self, including such things as intelligent, beautiful, ugly, talented, selfish, and kind. These characteristics form a collective representation of our assets and liabilities as we see them.&rdquo; </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We are the first mirrors that reflect a child&rsquo;s image back to them. They come to see what we see. A child&rsquo;s sense of self develops within relationships, and relationships then reinforce what a child thinks and feels about herself. Carla Poole puts it beautifully in the article titled &ldquo;Ages and Stages: How Children Develop Self-Concept&rdquo; when she says, &ldquo;Caring for a baby is a joining together of two individuals who are searching to make a deep emotional connection.&rdquo; I think that&rsquo;s a beautiful description of parenting. Those first interactions we have with baby and every one after leaves an impression, a mark on the developing self-image. Here are three things you can do to help your child develop a positive self-image.</span>&nbsp;</p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Tune in and be fully present. Parents and caregivers can create a positive emotional bond with an infant through caring interactions with lots of touch and eye contact. Interpreting a baby&rsquo;s cues is important in the development of a secure attachment. Nonverbal cues include facial expressions such as smiles and grimaces, movements such as leg kicking, and gestures such as pointing, nodding, and shaking their heads. Babies also laugh, squeal, and babble to communicate with caregivers. Look for your baby&rsquo;s responses to you when you cuddle, talk to, and smile at him. Pay attention to the first signs that she is hungry or wet or tired. Respond to those cues promptly and warmly to build trust and feelings of safety and security. By tuning in, you&rsquo;re reflecting back to the baby that she is worthy of attention.</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Pay attention to your cues. Just as you are learning your baby&rsquo;s cues, he is learning yours. He&rsquo;s picking up on your tone of voice, your facial expressions, and your gestures. Do lots of singing, talking, smiling, playing, and cuddling. Be aware of your own reactions and work to be a calm and positive role model. </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Provide encouragement and support in play and exploration. When your baby starts to crawl, walk, and interact with toys, you can help build confidence by being a &ldquo;secure base&rdquo; that he can look back and return to when needed. When you are engaged and delighting in his discoveries and experiences, he will pick up on that and feel good about himself and his accomplishments. You might offer encouragement such as &ldquo;You did it! You put the ring on the peg!&rdquo; or &ldquo;Yes! That is the color green!&rdquo; when he points to the correct color in a book. These are small but mighty interactions that send the message that your child is capable and has your support.</span></li> </ol> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It&rsquo;s important to remember that there are no perfect people and no perfect relationships. You don&rsquo;t always have to get it right; you just have to be able to recognize and repair disconnects when they occur, because they inevitably will. That&rsquo;s just part of the human experience. There will be a lot of influences that will leave impressions on your child, and many of those will be out of your control. We can never fully control the outcome. All we can do is show up every day with a relationship-focused mindset and offer our love and support. When we are the secure base, the &ldquo;home&rdquo; that our children can return to and trust in, we are giving the most beautiful and important gift we can offer - the gift of a positive relationship. </span></p> Tue, 14 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0700 Fast, Fun, For Everyone. <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Think Fast. Play Smart. Build your Brain with <span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=";" target="_blank">Word Witt</a></span>:</strong>&nbsp;Looking for some bonding time (shhhh... its educational too!) with your kids or just a FAST FUN game to challenge and laugh with friends, family, or by yourself? Pick up Word Witt, a game to connect, inspire, and enjoy by all. When we say<em>&nbsp;ALL,</em>&nbsp;we mean everyone: parents, grandparents, teachers, tutors, elementary, middle, high school, college students, and those of us that learn a different way! We&nbsp;<em>ALL&nbsp;</em>want to increase our mental ability and clarity by cross-training our brains; we lose it if we don't use it!&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=";" target="_blank">BUY NOW!</a></strong></span></p> Mon, 13 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0700 I Like You, Not Just Your Squares <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Filtered.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Photoshopped.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Edited.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Fake.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Our children see the world in pictures, and none of the pictures are real.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">From edited TikTok videos with special effects, to beautifully curated and edited squares on IG, to wildly filtered photos on SnapChat and highlight reels on Facebook, today&rsquo;s youth spends much of their time emerged in a world that suspends reality, scrapping for likes and comments on their false portrayals of self while feeding dopamine hits to 400 of their closest friends. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The need for belonging is real, innate, and powerful. Early psychologists recognized the emotional need to be accepted into relationships with other people and to be part of a group. Abraham Maslow regarded belonging as the third most important in his hierarchy of needs, coming only behind the needs for sustenance and safety. John Bowlby recognized that this need was present at birth and that being accepted or not by our parents and caregivers had a lasting impact on attachment behaviors and wellbeing. Historically, we have satisfied our need for belonging through face-to-face interactions, but now, and particularly during this pandemic, we have increasingly relied on social media to meet this need. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Social connectedness is particularly important during adolescence as &ldquo;adolescents who perceive a weaker sense of belonging among their peers are more likely to engage in maladaptive behaviors and experience negative emotions both concurrently and in the future.&rdquo; (<strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">Source</span></a></span></strong>) Social connectedness contributes to levels of anxiety, loneliness, and depression as well as plays a role in the &ldquo;cognitive representations that adolescents develop regarding who they are and their place in the world.&rdquo; Therefore, it&rsquo;s important to understand how these experiences are affected by social media.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Certainly social media can play both a positive and negative role in a teenager&rsquo;s life. The research on this topic is still in its infancy, and results have been mixed. Some studies have reported that texting and social networking does help young people feel more connected to their peers which facilitates belonging while others have found that a sense of belonging is more likely to come from social networking for boys than it is for girls and can make adolescents more vulnerable to bullying and ostracism, which negatively impacts belonging. There is a lot we have left to learn about the impact of social media on the developing minds and self-images of our children and adolescents, but one thing is for certain - a thumbs up on Facebook isn&rsquo;t enough to sustain them.</span></p> Thu, 09 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0700 Shine From The Start <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Ashley Andrews is the Chief Executive Officer of Tiny Twinkle. Ashley and the team have over 30 years of combined experience in the baby products industry.<br /></span><span class="s1"> <br /> Our mission at Tiny Twinkle is to be thoughtful in all things we create in order to improve the lives of our customers and to also positively impact the world. This mission is accomplished by continually creating innovative designs, utilizing superior materials and maintaining safety testing as our highest priority.<br /> <br /> Tiny Twinkle is a United States based company working with a global team to successfully create some of the most sought after baby products on the market today. Ashley&rsquo;s highly successful experience with product development and international sales has fueled the worldwide success of Tiny Twinkle.<br /><br /> Tiny Twinkle&rsquo;s leading design talent is Creative Director, Chris Marzuola. Chris brings over 20+ years of creative talent designing, developing, and marketing award winning baby and children&rsquo;s products. His work has been recognized internationally within the industry and various media outlets. Chris has successfully developed lines for well known brands such as Disney, Warner Brothers, Nintendo, and Hello Kitty.<br /> <br /><br /></span></p> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 Practice addition and early multiplication while moving your turtle around the island, collecting cards along the way to win!  <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">SimplyFun</a></span> publishes award-winning educational board games for kids ages 3 and up and believes in the undeniable power of shared play to learn. Each SimplyFun game promotes one of four main educational categories: Life and Thinking Skills, Reading and Language Arts, Social Sciences and Studies, and Math and STEM.</span></p> <p class="p1"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" width="200" height="138" />&nbsp;<br /><span class="s1">With nearly 150 games in the collection that benefit children at different ages and skill levels, <span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">SimplyFun</a></span> games are helping parents balance screen time with face-to-face attention and togetherness. The best part: the games are specifically designed to fit into busy schedules &ndash; most games take 30 min or less to play, start to finish. Commitment to quality has helped SimplyFun win over 200 awards from leading organizations in the world of play, education, and parenting.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #0000ff; font-size: 16pt;"><strong>*<a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">BUY NOW!</a>*</strong></span></p> Wed, 25 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 A fun game of lickety-split decisions, chance, suspense, and strategy for everyone! <h1><span style="font-size: 11pt;">We are a family of game makers, dreamers, and doers destined to deliver fun-filled games for all ages. </span></h1> <h1><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">PBN'J Games</a></strong></span> was born from a family quarantined. We longed for a little bit of sparkle, laughter, and some much needed fun during those dark days. We whipped out our beloved games and discovered that our tiniest players struggled to play with us. </span></h1> <h1><span style="font-size: 11pt;">So, we went to work redesigning and revamping those favorites (and tossed in new and unique ones as well) to delight and educate us all. </span></h1> <h1><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Our goal is to produce games that you'll enjoy playing with your families and friends (and continue the fun after the kids have gone to bed).</span></h1> <h1><span style="font-size: 11pt;">We&rsquo;re saving a spot for you at our table!</span></h1> <p><span style="color: #0000ff; font-size: 11pt;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank">LEARN MORE!</a></strong></span></p> Tue, 17 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 4 Ways to Support Kids Post-Pandemic <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Masks are coming off. Concerts are back on. Summer camps are running, and a new school year is just around the corner. For many adults, we are beyond ready to put this pandemic behind us and jump full-fledged back into our normal pre-COVID lives, but for children, the transition might not be so easy...or welcomed. This shift back to normal might feel overwhelming and even a bit scary for a lot of kids, and they&rsquo;ll need extra support over the coming months from those who love them.</span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The past year and a half was a long one for us all, but from a child&rsquo;s perspective, it feels much longer. Children grow and change at such a rapid rate, and a long quarantine period such as this has had an untold impact on their development. I suspect we will be learning about the effects for years to come. Their lives were turned topsy turvy, their peer relationships hit hard, their academics knocked around, and family life likely impacted as well. To expect them to flip the switch back to normal is asking too much. While we adults endured it, our children grew up in the middle of it. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Our kids are likely feeling a lot of swirling and conflicting emotions about this &ldquo;return to normal.&rdquo; They may be happy about seeing their friends again <em>and</em> worried if the relationships may feel weird now. They might be excited to get back into the normal routine at school <em>and</em> worried that they&rsquo;ve fallen behind academically. They could feel excited to rejoin their sports teams <em>and</em> anxious about the busy schedule to come. These conflicting emotions can be confusing, and they may wonder if they&rsquo;re alone in feeling this way.</span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The children who struggle with social anxiety and other mental illnesses may notice a rise in symptoms now that they&rsquo;re expected to face their peers and teachers daily. In our rush to return to normal, we can&rsquo;t forget about kids like these who maybe aren&rsquo;t as ready as we are to flip life around again. And for those kids who <em>thrived</em> in a slower-paced world - the introverted kids, the sensitive ones, the quiet souls who did well with online learning, enjoyed sleeping in, and could breathe easier with the comfort of family surrounding them more often, they have something to say, too. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As we move into this next phase, and our children head back to school, camps, clubs, and sports, here are 4 ways we can support them.</span></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><strong>Pay attention</strong>. We need to talk to our children about what they are feeling, but more than give advice or cheer them on, we need to hear them out. We need to offer them a safe place to feel all of their conflicting emotions, to tell us about them without us trying to fix them or brush them away. Our kids have been through so much over the last year and a half, and they need to be heard and understood. So, just listen to your children with empathy and compassion for their experiences. If they&rsquo;re not talking, you can listen to their behavior. If they&rsquo;re acting out more, irritable, anxious, or displaying more physical symptoms of anxiety, this means they are stressed and need some extra support. </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><strong>Give them some control</strong>. You may be raring to go with all the activities you were involved in before, and if your child is as well, that&rsquo;s fine, but many children will need time to transition back to &ldquo;normal.&rdquo; Let your child know that they don&rsquo;t have to jump back into all the things at once. Allow them some autonomy to decide what&rsquo;s best for them in regards to activities. There has been so much to happen that they have had no control over, so allowing them to have some control over the activities and events they attend could feel very empowering. If they feel more anxious than before about getting out there, offer support and encouragement. If your child needs to ease back in gradually, honor their emotional process and trust that they are doing the best they can. </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><strong>Support emotional connections. </strong>Psychologist and author Katie Hurley says that &ldquo;kids develop coping skills within the context of caring relationships.&rdquo; One of the building blocks of resilience is a sense of safety and security with family and friends. Do things to strengthen your connection such as spending quality time together without distractions like cell phones, and support their positive connections with other adults such as coaches and teachers as well as trusted peers.</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1"><strong>Help them learn problem-solving skills.</strong> This pandemic is one of many trials our children will have to overcome in a lifetime. Teach them problem-solving skills by brainstorming solutions together. If they can&rsquo;t catch up in algebra, what are the solutions? Designated daily study time? A tutor? A meeting with the teacher? If they are having trouble making a decision, teach them to list out the pros and cons and encourage them to look for win-win solutions to conflict. Having these skills will give them the confidence to bounce back from this pandemic and overcome future challenges. </span></li> </ol> Wed, 11 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 Playful Ways to Help Kids Calm Down <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Our children&rsquo;s brains are under construction! The prefrontal cortex, that area which houses executive functions and is responsible for emotional and behavior regulation, impulse control, logic, critical thinking, focus, and flexibility won&rsquo;t be fully developed until the mid-twenties. This is why children are impulsive, have tantrums, and sometimes make poor decisions. It isn&rsquo;t naughtiness; it&rsquo;s development!&nbsp;</span></p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">We cannot force growth and maturation, but there are a few things we can do to facilitate growth, and one of the biggest ways we can support healthy brain development is to teach our children emotions regulation skills. With practice and repetition, they can improve their executive functions and build strong circuitry that leads to emotional health and well-being.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>##adbig##</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Talking to our kids about how to recognize, name, tame, and process their feelings is paramount to raising an emotionally intelligent person. Nurturing emotional intelligence sets our children up for success. Studies show that children with high EQs have better relationships, stay in school longer, get better grades, are less likely to smoke, and also make better leaders. So, as you can see, how we handle our feelings is a big deal!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Teaching kids how to calm down when they have BIG emotions is a core component of emotional intelligence. If we teach them science-based strategies that are simple and fun, the strategies are more likely to stick. Be sure to practice these techniques when your child is calm and relaxed, not just in times of stress. Here are 10 playful ways to help kids calm down.</span></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yoga games. Science shows that physical activity is good for growing executive function skills. Yoga is great to introduce your child to because it combines physical activity with mindfulness, and using yoga games adds in that playful element that makes kids want to participate. It can be as simple as Follow the Leader or Simon Says. Check out </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">this list</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of 8 engaging yoga games!</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deep breathing is a great way to calm down quickly, but it can sound quite boring to energetic kids. Some playful ways to make breathing exercises fun are taking big dragon breaths and blowing fire, or blowing out the candles on each of your 10 fingertips.&nbsp;</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Squeeze something like a stress ball (a balloon filled with playdough works great). As the nerves and muscle contract in your hand, the nervous system reduces certain hormones that control stress.&nbsp;</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do animal walks such as frog jumps, crab walks, etc. Pretend to be a giant elephant stomping across the plains or a stealthy panther about to pounce!&nbsp;</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hang upside down or do a handstand. Inversion directly triggers certain relaxation responses in our bodies and turns off the fight or flight stress response.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blowing bubbles is a fun calming strategy because it naturally slows the breathing pattern. Add some aromatherapy with this </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">lavender bubble recipe.</a>&nbsp;</span></strong></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Listening to music can have a very calming effect on the body and mind. Turn it up and dance a little!</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Better yet, SHAKE! Throw those hands up in the air and shake, shake, shake all the frustration out of your body.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Make up a silly rhyme, then say it backwards! Focusing the mind of a cognitive task engages the &ldquo;thinking brain&rdquo; which means your brain has to disengage from the emotions center.&nbsp;</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Create with your hands. Whether through finger painting, building LEGOS, kneading playdough, or squishing sand, getting busy with your hands reduces anxiety, and creative acts have been compared to meditation because they release dopamine, a natural antidepressant. </span></li> </ol> Wed, 11 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 Creative Storage Ideas for Kids’ Rooms <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My father-in-law used to call my two children &ldquo;tornado&rdquo; and &ldquo;hurricane&rdquo; because of the mess they left in their wake. One minute the house was tidy, the next minute there were LEGOs, action figures, trains, wooden blocks, and cars everywhere. If my boys were ever great at anything, it was wrecking a room.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children quickly amass a staggering amount of &ldquo;stuff.&rdquo; The haul from one birthday party or one Christmas at Grandma&rsquo;s can send your tidy home dreams spiraling. Don&rsquo;t fret, though. It is possible to keep a tidy house and your children! It just requires some creative storage solutions. A neat and organized system will make their rooms clutter free and the clean-up routine a snap. Here are 8 tips and solutions for decluttering and organizing your children&rsquo;s spaces.</span></p> <p><strong>DOUBLE THE FUNCTION OF FURNITURE</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rather than buying a changing table, place a </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">changing pad</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on top of a chest of drawers. This way, you can store clothes, diapers, and toys and eliminate an entire piece of furniture in a changing table. When your little one outgrows the crib, look for trundle beds if they&rsquo;re sharing a room, or beds with storage drawers. A </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">well-crafted wooden toy box</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> can double as a bench and provide extra seating with a soft cushion on top.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>ADD FLOATING SHELVES</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not sure what to do with the awkward wall space? Create a little library by placing secure floating shelves. Check out these adorable </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">cloud shelves</a>. </span><a href=""><span style="color: #0000ff;">Spice shelves</span> </a></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">are also great for this. It&rsquo;s a cute way to get books up off the floor and out of bins, and books make any space look better! Not only does displaying books front facing look pretty, but it entices your child to read.&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>LABELED BINS TO THE RESCUE</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Storage cubbies</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> with </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">labeled bins</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> make organization simple enough for your child to clean up on their own. Knowing where everything is also cuts down on frustration and time wasted searching for that favorite wooden train or all the pieces to that Melissa &amp; Doug set. By sorting and organizing toys in labeled bins, children begin to learn these organizational skills that will help them when they enter school and throughout life.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>STACKING CRATES FOR THE WIN</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Stacking crates</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> provide a lot of options. You get to design the shelving to fit your space unlike with the storage cubbies, so they&rsquo;re the perfect solution for small or awkwardly shaped spaces. They also fit neatly in the garage or attic for storing toys not in current </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">rotation</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><strong>TOY HAMMOCKS FOR STUFFED FRIENDS</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Are stuffed animals taking over your space? My youngest son adored stuffed animals, but they are a hassle to tidy up. They&rsquo;re often too big and bulky for storage bins and a bed can only hold so many! </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Toy hammocks</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are the perfect solution for getting them up off the floor, and they actually look cute hanging out in their little hammock!</span></p> <p><strong>COAT HOOKS ARE LIFESAVERS</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Coat hooks are one of my favorite solutions for small spaces. They&rsquo;re so versatile and simple. Hang artwork up for display. Get those backpacks off the floor. Organize hats, scarves, and necklaces. Hang photos or other decor from them. Colorful or whimsical hooks liven up the space.</span></p> <p><strong>TURN BOOKCASES INTO STORAGE BENCHES</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Repurpose your bookcase into a handy storage bench by placing it on its side, adding bins, and placing a foam cushion on top. Now your child has organized storage and extra seating which can be used as a reading nook, a </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">calming corner,</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> or just extra seats for friends and family.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>LABEL CLOTHING DRAWERS</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This simple storage trick will help your child get into the habit of putting their own clothes away, and they&rsquo;ll never have to ask &ldquo;Hey mom! Where are my socks?&rdquo; Labeling encourages neatness and independence. </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Here are some free label printables for you</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A good tidying-up routine will help instill in your child the importance of keeping a clean and organized space. With these creative solutions and a consistent routine, you can have the clutter-free home of your dreams. </span></p> Wed, 11 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700