Do you live in an apartment or trailer or any other small space? Do you struggle how to use your space effectively? This is especially problematic when you share small space with kids and all of their toys. Today we will share small spaces play ideas and how to play when there is no space for tons of toys!
Challenge of Organizing Small Space
Living in a small space can be a challenge. Living in a small space with 4 kids and a husband is a logistics nightmare!
We are currently living in small apartment and let me tell you… it has caused me more than a few headaches trying to figure out how to fit everything in and prioritize the things to keep and the things we just don’t need.
One of the big challenges was the kids’ toys. When there is no room for toys, you learn to play other ways.
Small Space Toy Organization
Now, don’t get me wrong. We haven’t gotten rid of all of the kids’ toys. In fact, they have remained pretty high on our priority list of things to keep. Right up there with clothes and school supplies. The kind of ‘toys’ has been adjusted though.
Rather than getting a bunch of big toys that the kids will lose interest in within a day, we selected open-ended toys that have lots of a ways to play and didn’t take up a lot of space.
Some toys that made the cut and we decided to keep them:
Beyond these few specific toys, we didn’t really keep much else. A few stuffed animals for the beds round out their toy collection.
SMALL SPACE PLAY IDEAS
- Homemade play dough and slime. – Change up a basic recipe for a homemade play dough and experiment with colors, textures and scents. Same goes for slime recipes. This is an easy way to have a new toy with a limited budget.
- Arts and craft projects. – Although we had to limit toys because of small space, we still keep basic art and craft supplies. Art projects are an easy way to quicky boost child’s creativity. Children love to participate in craft projects and see the finished result of their work.
- Sensory bins. – Sensory play is essential for younger kids. They get to experience all kinds of different senses and work on their vocabulary. The easiest way to contain mess that comes with sensory play is setting up a themed sensory bin for them.
- Coloring pages. – One of the easiest ways to get kids to sit down and do some independent work is to print and hand them coloring pages. Although you might think coloring is trivial and unworthy of menting when it comes to learning, in fact, when kids use coloring pages, they work on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, patience and concentration.
- Make your own games. – You can make simple games with items you already have at hand. Here are few examples to inspire you to make your own homemade games: sound game will help with listening skills, XO hop to burn extra energy, fishing game to work on fine motor skills.
- Play outside. – Either the sun shines, rain falls or snow covers the ground, there are always benefits to spend time playing outside. Make it a goal to play outside daily – even 30 minutes counts!
- Have a giggle family time. – As you are well aware, it’s hard to spend as much time with kids as we would like, with how busy we get when we are working adults. Make it a mission to spend a small chunk of time every day with your kids having fun together.
- Cook and bake together. – Invite kids into your kitchen after you make sure you have turned kitchen into a safe area for them. They will be thrilled to assist with cooking and baking.
- Visit a museum, art gallery or a library. – Take a stroll and visit local museum, art gallery or library. Use this opportunity to start a conversation with a child about what they saw, liked or learned.
- Read a book. – Sit down for a cuddly time with favorite book. Invite a child to illustrate their favorite part of the book when you are done reading.
- Blanket games. – Single blanket can be used in a many different ways for play: we share 7 ways to play with a blanket. Get inspired to come up with more ideas!
- Raid your recycle bin for inspiration. – There are so many different treasures to explore in your junk drawer or recycle bin. Let your child take a lead after you prompt them with a question: “What can we make of this?”.
- Put on a puppet show. – Playing with puppets works wonders for vocabulary and imagination. Kids can make puppets with reused popsicle sticks, from old birthday cards or wooden spoons. Make together puppet theather from shoe box and they are ready to put up a play for you!
- Use common household items as toys. – There are many items you have in your home which can be used as toys. Start from your kitchen cupboard to find something that would interest them.
- Play with bubbles. – You can contain bubbles in a sensory bottle, blow them inside for a fun or put them into a bath tub. Bubbles are always fun!
Let your creativity loose! There are so many ways to play without traditional toys! Our list of 15 small space play ideas can be used as an inspiration to find other ways, more age and interest specific for your child.
Kim is a 7th year Homeschooling Mom, currently teaching 6th, 5th, 1st and special education preschool. Visit Kim at Life Over C’s where she shares hands-on homeschooling ideas, crafts and DIY projects.
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