Thursday, June 30, 2011

Decorating with Children

Look--a pond with ducks in it!

The kid came up with this entirely on her own and I thought that was super clever--to decide that she wanted a pond for her ducks, think of the fabric tunnel which is round and blue, and then go get it (it lives underneath the couch in the living room) and set it up.

It's part of a farm that she's been working hard on, and enjoying, for several days now.

We have a small house, and most of the kid's toys are kept in the living room. I like this fact, actually, that we are all integrated together in one living space, and that it's obvious that a kid lives here too.

But I struggle with it too. I'm torn between wanting to let her be a kid and needing to clean up the mess.

Especially because my kid often plays with things in an unusual/creative way--Mardi Gras beads are not used for dress-up, they're different flavors of "ice cream" for "Rody's birthday party" (which happens roughly twice a day). Which adds to the visual clutter of things being "out of place" from my adult point of view.

And she gets engaged by all sorts of things that aren't really toys at all--rocks, pine cones, a square piece of cardboard from Target that turned into a "mask." This all is great, and I don't want to get rid of things before she's finished with them.

But then our house looks like this. For weeks on end.

How do you draw the lines around kids and their stuff and their Very Important Messes?


  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and pictures. I share your dilemma. I'm considering buying _more_ containers (pretty baskets!) to put toys away in, but of course, the stuff will never be fully contained, and would you want it to? "Yes for sure!" some days, and "Maybe not" other days. I also find that full-time day care, busy weekends out of the house, and no grandma in the house are all things that help keep the mess in check. But then I feel silly that the toys are not being played with. Woe is me. Maybe that's why I read Ohdeedoh. All those pretty, scarily neat spaces that I don't really want but can live vicariously through.

  2. Maybe I'm just jealous, but I suspect that a lot of those spaces on Ohdeedoh look like that for approximately the 5 minutes required to take pictures. (Still, I'd like to set up my house so that it is easier to get in that state, even if it doesn't STAY that way.)

    You know, your comment made me realize that I think full-time daycare is part of the reason that I'm reluctant to put the toys away. We get so little "playtime" at least on weekdays that she doesn't finish with a game or narrative or what have you in a single day, so I like to allow it to stay out.

    Eh, maybe I'm just lazy.