Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Structured Room Time

I finally did it!!! I finally organized all my kids toys into bins and buckets so when its room time, I can pull out a bin/bucket and say, "here play with this" and walk out. If any of you have been to our house, you know that we LOVE Ikea furniture. Over Christmas break we headed over to Chicago and picked up these very cute shelves for Anna's room. They are great since the bins are low enough that she can pull them out herself. And the bins come in different sizes to accommodate all your different sized toys. Also, she loves having the top area to play on -- it's at her perfect height.

If you recall in a previous post I mentioned how I was having a hard time with Anna staying in her room for room time...she was thinking it was punishment and would say "all done crying...". Having specific toys for her to play with has really helped her out. She actually ends up staying in her room after the timer goes off. Here are some other things I've found regarding room time to be helpful:

* use a timer (if I haven't already mentioned this...)
* be consistent and have room time everyday so it just becomes another activity you do during the day -- we even do it on the weekends!
* I've found myself at times when frustrated with the kids to tell them to go to their rooms to play. I want to be careful that I choose my words wisely and perhaps tell them to go to just go into their rooms. I don't want them confusing room time with punishment or that I tell them room time when I'm frustrated with their behavior (hope that made sense!)
* if not having structured play time, have your kids toys in places that are easy for them to reach so they aren't calling for you every 5 minutes to get a new toy for them to play with.
* set ground rules and expectations around room time.

Anyway, I can't tell you how nice and peaceful room time is in our home! Both kids go into their rooms and play for 45 minutes. Today I started to run out of things that needed to be done on the main floor of the house! ;-)

How has room time been beneficial in your home?


  1. I just found you again!
    I missed the notice that you had moved, and thought you had just stopped writing.

    Well, we have had to be a bit more creative with room time, since we have 3 in one room. I do room time at about 5:30. Griffin plays in the pack in play (in the office), and teh other two kids take turns who gets to help with dinner prep, and the other gets toplay in their room. My kids have loved room time. Maybe because it is the only time that they can actually be alone all day.
    As Griffin gets older we may have to change things. i am not sure what I think about room time in themaster bedroom. But its a possibility.

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  2. I have had room time in the master bedroom before but they must stay on the bed or on the rug. I give them set things to play with. It is not the ideal place for room time though in my mind.