Heavy Work for Kids

Let’s talk about ‘heavy work’. 💪 Heavy work is any activity that requires you to put pressure on your muscles and joints as they are moving. During yesterday’s playgroup, there was some brilliant heavy work happening as the kids worked together to load up and push a wheelbarrow full of big rocks, which then transitioned to loading up and pulling each other around in a wagon. 🙂

“Heavy work helps your child in more ways than one. Aside from helping your child to feel calm and self-regulate, it also improves clarity and alertness, extends attention span, aids body awareness, and strengthens muscles.” (via Connections Therapy Center)

To trampoline or not to trampoline?

To trampoline or not to trampoline? A solid question for those with kids and yard space. I never thought we would be a trampoline family (although childhood me would have been so disappointed – how I longed for one as a kid). However two years ago a neighbor opened our back gate and rolled over a small old trampoline they no longer needed and we were sold. This one had no net and more than once my kids bounced with a little too much enthusiasm and…. 🙈. But my boys LOVED it and on days when energy was high (my oldest is 100% the energizer bunny), I would just send them outside to bounce and burn it off.

Fast forward to six months ago and this same family was moving overseas and looking to part with their springless trampoline. We jumped on the chance to upsize and found ourselves rolling over a much larger new friend (while a new family came and rolled away with our old one). During play dates and playgroup, it is the hot destination for multiple friends. Watching them learn to negotiate the space and use their bodies in new coordinated ways is a joy (and quite humorous) to watch.

So if you’re on the fence and wondering whether you should jump in (pun intended), my vote is a resounding yes!

Interested in learning more about the benefits of trampolining for kids? Visit here and here to read more!

Nathan + Maren's Play Space | December 2019

I can’t think of a better way to end the decade than by being given the privilege to create a brand new play space for two wonderful tiny humans. When I visited their home for a consult, the kids main play space was the open concept living room that connected with the kitchen. Having toys in this space works well, because it’s a great space for the kids to play when a parent is cooking and they want to be close. But the room as overflowing and with the prospect of a new play kitchen coming for the holidays, something new had to be done. The kids’s bedrooms were also jam packed with toys, most stored in way that they just weren’t being used.

The solution was creating a new play space in the finished basement, that up until now had double as holding place for things that needed storing or donating.

Continue reading “Nathan + Maren's Play Space | December 2019”

Evie + John's Play Space Makeover | November/December 2019

Lucky me! This was the second play space I have helped to create for Evie and John. The first in their old home, and this new space in the finished basement of their new home. Their parents were keen to create a space where both kids would want to play independently/together, without the need for constant parental supervision or help. They wanted this space to be the main hub for toys, and a place that the kids’ friends could run amok and have fun in.

The rundown when I arrived:

  • The space had been freshly painted white to help brighten the mostly windowless room, painters tape still needed to come down.
  • There was a large dresser in the space that was slated to be sold.
  • There was a gorgeous pile of artwork in need of displaying.
  • More functional storage options were needed for toys/materials.
  • The bunkbed was being underused and the top space used for storage.
Continue reading “Evie + John's Play Space Makeover | November/December 2019”

DIY Toy Picnic Basket | #inspiredbyCPS

We took down our tree today and packed away Christmas, with our eyes and hearts now firmly focused on the promises a new year brings. But before it’s all done and dusted, I had to repost this photo a dear friend shared my way. It’s her niece with the Christmas gift that was inspired by the work and ideas I share here. My friend thrifted the gorgeous picnic basket and all the fun accessories for it, and then topped it off with some cute Melissa and Doug Toys wooden play food. Can you even with how perfect this gift is?! Nothing makes me happier or prouder seeing what I do trickle out into the world in such beautiful inspiring ways. Keep tagging me, sharing your stories, and making my heart so full. And thank you for believing and trusting in me! x x

Felt Pieces | #unexpectedtoys

One of my littlest’s favorite gifts was a packet of stiff 8×12 colorful felt pieces (today’s edition of #unexpectedtoys). He loves to use them as part of his small world and block play, creating different landscapes for his characters to play on. Blue might be a swimming pool or an ocean when placed next to yellow sand. Green works well for grass and a place for the Paw Patrol to use the potty. 😉 Brown is dirt, and when he laid down all the colors it became a trampoline park.

To store when not being played with, I used a file organizer I had on hand and arranged them by color/shade to make it easy to find exactly the piece that’s needed.

Thrifting with kids | #curatedpsa

Dropped my first post-holiday load of things at the thrift store and popped inside to look for some more storage options for a play space I am installing this week. A quick browse turned into the motherlode (most of which was for me 🙈). Lots of retro linens for my boys’ beds, wool blankets for when we sit around the fire, plus a vintage blanket for our bed. Annnnd a few things for play spaces too, which totally justified the trip in the first place. 😉

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Note how at home my boys make themselves there – haha. A little #curatedpsa, I’ve found by saying yes to a toy or some books (always our first stop when we arrive), it makes the whole thrifting with kids things a breeze (and only costs me a couple of dollars – #everyonewins).