I’m finding out that a big part of of motherhood is finding ways to lead your family out of ruts.
You know…ruts: when parts of your life just slide into a dull pattern or routine and start becoming more and more unproductive.
Creativity ruts, food ruts, screen-time ruts, discipline ruts.
I’m a firm believer that sometimes ruts are ok and even necessary – sometimes you just gotta survive through seasons of busyness and hardship. But eventually, it’s time to pull up the bootstraps and inspire change for the people lurching around your home.
When the kids are constantly wandering the halls complaining about not having anything fun to do, it’s time to shake things up for a little inspiration.
I usually like to start with their rooms.
Here are my 4 favorite ways to change the kids’ bedrooms or playroom to inspire creative play and get out of the rut.
#1 Take away their toys
Mwahahahaha–ok, not in a malicious way and not ALL of their toys (although tempting, I know).
Our kids rooms can quickly be overtaken with things. With too many options and too much clutter they end up not really playing with any of it. When parts of a toy set are all scattered and lost amongst the piles, they lose their luster.
By packing away a lot of the toys they aren’t playing with as often and simplifying their options, it makes it easier for them to focus on what they want to play.
Start by going through and setting aside the toys that they rarely play with. Do this first round without your kids, because as soon as they see you packing things away, everything becomes so incredibly special that they just can’t bear to part with it.
Once those items are put away in a closet or attic, then invite your kids into the process and do another round. Find what they really love – the things that get them lost in a different world as they play. You’re making space for those things to be ready and accessible to them as soon as inspiration strikes.
While deciding what goes, encourage them to think of other families – those with younger children that might be excited to be gifted some of their toys they no longer use.
Sometimes there are toys that I can see they aren’t using anymore but they still feel attached to so we compromise and say how about we put these away for a while and then in a month we can get these down and switch it out with something else. We did this growing up with a big chest. We would put two toys in and were allowed to take one back out and one to give away. It was always fun to play with something you hadn’t seen in a long time and there were other toys that it turned out you didn’t miss as much as your thought you would and were ok passing on.
#2 Create a reading nook
Reading is the best tool we have for helping our little ones develop their imaginations. Whether your child is old enough to read or not, it is never too early to create a special place to encourage a love of reading.
Here are some ideas and inspiration of what that space can be.
First off it is good to remember this space can be as elaborate or simplified as your budget and space allow.
I’ve seen people create an entire room dedicated solely to cuddling and reading with their littles. This cozy space has two of our large book slings for easy access to some favorite reads and a play canopy that draws the kids in for many restful moments.
Or a corner reserved for all things reading…
Or even just by adding some sconces and book slings by their bed (like Miranda did in her boys room).
It’s really just about creating a special quiet space for them to read, rest, or just be alone.
Wanting to create a reading nook for your kid’s room? Browse some of the different color and pattern options available in our shop for our book slings, play canopies and floor pillows.
#3 Rearrange their furniture
As a self-professed Habitual Furniture Re-arranger (HFR: pronounced ‘heh-fur’…wait, no.), I may be partial to this idea. When we aren’t too tied down to where the furniture in the room is located, you can open up so many new possibilities.
As much as you can, shuffle things around until you find the best flow of the room and use of dead space.
I just recently moved one large wardrobe out of our play room, and it opened up so much extra floor space that the kids have been taking full advantage of.
Some times a slight change of scenery is all that’s needed to make a room feel new and inspiring.
#4 Create a dress up station
I may be a bit biased, but you are ever too old to enjoy a little make believe.
It has made such a fun addition to our play room and keeps their costumes easily accessible for hours of imaginative play.
I love watching how they turn into a completely different person with the simple change of a hat, or addition of a cape. Suddenly they are no longer a three year old kid, but instead have become SUPER HERO defender of all things, destroyer of all evil, and obviously equipped with the ability to fly.
There are so many great ways to inspire creativity and play in our homes. These are just a couple things you can do right away in your own kids rooms to get things started. I know these changes have made a positive impact in our home and I hope they can do the same for you. With that being said, I am a firm believer that every family is different so feel free try some things out, put your own spin on them, and see what works for your unique family.