Thursday, September 1, 2011

Room Time

I usually write or finish writing my blog posts during roomtime, and it occurred to me that this concept might not be known to everyone.  If you have not implemented roomtime with your children, let me introduce you to the greatest idea since naptime.

Roomtime, put simply, is time for kids to be in their rooms {or their own space}.  They are alone in a space and learn to play by themselves.  And you can take a shower.  Or write a blog post.  My kids each have their own rooms, so roomtime location is a no-brainer.  My mom used a play-pen.  Where you hold roomtime isn't that important - the idea is just to have specific boundaries.    

For Jack, I separated his toys into plastic bins with lids that are under his bed.  During roomtime, I pull out one of them.  Those are his toys for that roomtime.  That way he doesn't get tired of them and there isn't such a large mess to clean up afterward.

At Ella's age, her toys are organized by type {puzzles together, puppets together}, and she will request to play with certain things.  She isn't usually allowed carte blanche with everything in her room at once during roomtime for two reasons.  One, it's overwhelming for her when it is time to clean it up, and two, lots of the toys she has now have small parts that get lost in the mayhem, and when toys are missing pieces they aren't as much fun.  Plus, I can't stand having a missing piece to anything.  It. drives. me. crazy.  I had no idea I was O.C.D. until I had children.

Roomtime length is determined by our schedule for the day and by the kid. Roomtime lasts about an hour in our house, though there's certainly no rule.  We do roomtime soon after breakfast.  I find that doing it then works for us, but in other seasons we have done it right before lunch or after naptime.  It's up to you, but having a consistent time during the day is helpful.

There you have it - a brief synopsis of roomtime.  I hope it was helpful, but if it wasn't, well, don't tell me.  I don't handle rejection well.

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