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I'm Avital.

You want a present, peaceful and playful family life? I'm here to help you make that a reality.

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Why a Messy Zone is Vital | Learning Through Play

Learning through play happens through sensory exploration, hands on learning, getting messy, feeling things, learning about the world and discovering through our touch, and so much more. Tactile senses are crucial for children’s development. And not only is it crucial for their development, it’s also very soothing and therapeutic for them. And often, these are the types of things that keep our children engaged for a long time. ๐Ÿคฉ

Sensory Activities Give Parents a Break

It’s liberating for us parents, ’cause you can sit right next to them with your laptop ๐Ÿ’ป and know that they are busy doing sensory activities that are good for that development. Maybe playing with:

  • a block of clay
  • playdough
  • pasta
  • beans
  • water jelly beads
  • sand
  • mud
  • etc…

Add in a few figures ๐Ÿค– or animals ๐Ÿ– or a car๐Ÿš— and BOOM ๐Ÿ’ฅ, you’ve got yourself a long period of deep play.ย 

But I Can’t Handle Messy Play!

I know messy play is triggering for most of us. And now especially, when our kids are hardly out of the house, when we don’t have any help, when we can’t get a moment to clean up. But we’ve got to surrender to it a little bit and we’ve got to accept the fact that children like to get messy, to both keep them engaged and to give them what they need.ย 

So my absolute best tip for a messy zone is any kind of tray. I like to use the Oatey tray, which is a huge tray that goes under washing machines because the bigger the tray and the higher the walls, the more containment there is for mess, right? Sheets and vinyl shower curtains work wonderfully too!

Another tip that you could do is bring the mess into the bathtub ๐Ÿ›€ or the shower. If you have something like paint, you could put it in there with shaving cream, bubbles, water colors, or with food dye and allow your child to paint the walls.

How to Set Firm Boundaries around Sensory Play

If they start throwing it all over the place? Teach them,

“No sweetheart, that stays inside. It’s fun to throw but we’ve got keep it in the tray. And that’s the only way that we get to play with it. Otherwise we’ve got to put it away if we can’t play with it cleanly.”

Challenge: Offer Learning Through Play with a Messy Zone!

So, my challenge to you today is to engage in some messy play and set up a messy zone. Allow your kids to get messy and get dirty and get those hands exploring. Take some pictures of your children learning through play in their Messy Zone and share it out with us on Facebook or Instagram, tag me and use the #PlayPandemic! I can’t wait to see.


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My view while I get some ish done. โฃ
Toddlers can be clingy, whiny, and annoying sometimes... but one thing's for sure: toddlers are designed to play. โฃ
The trick is... supporting their current stage and phase of play. โฃ
Parents are notorious for feeling dumbfounded when their 18-month-old doesn't play with ANY of their toys. "You have all these cool toys, why won't you play with them!?" Can you relate? โฃ
That's because, oftentimes, toddlers aren't engaging in make-believe (imagining scenes, building worlds) - but exploring their own world. โฃ
๐ŸŒˆ That's where sensory play comes in (think: dry beans or shaving cream in the bathtub)... โฃ
๐ŸŒˆ Developmental schemas (think: throwing objects or spinning dizzy)... โฃ
๐ŸŒˆ Moving to music (think: dancing or putting on a drum concert)... โฃ
๐ŸŒˆ Dressing up (think: trying on your shoes or transforming into a bear)... โฃ
๐ŸŒˆ Real-life pretend play (think: anything in your kitchen cabinets or nailing trim nails into corkboard). โฃ
Play may look different for a toddler than for an older child busy with Lego - but they can totally rock at it if we find ways to support their stages and phases of exploring their world, developing their fine and gross motor skills, and just being the little scientists that they are. โฃ
Just like they were compelled to crawl (in their good time), they are compelled, wired, and designed to PLAY.โฃ
โ˜… What's keeping your toddler busy? โฃ
Psst... Have you watched my new YouTube video about this? I'd love to hear your feedback! โฃ
#toddlerplay #independentplay #schemas #playmatters #childhoodunplugged #playisimportant #toddleractivites #peacefulparenting #intentionalmotherhood #simplicityparenting #mindfulparenting #toddleractivities #workingfromhome #getishdone #momof5 #momoftoddlers #momoftoddler #learningthroughplay

Are you stuck at home (still?) with a to-do list longer than the Great Wall of China and a toddler running circles around your feet? Trying to get stuff done with a toddler in tow is like slamming on the accelerator with the handbrake on... you end up spending a ton of energy, without getting anything done.โฃ
Enter: Independent Playโฃ
If we've hung out for any length of time, you know Iโ€™m a sucker for all things #independentlyplay. โฃ
In fact, not to toot my own horn, but itโ€™s kind of what Iโ€™m famous for (if you call having more than 3 followers on Instagram famous๐Ÿ˜‰). โฃ
Anyhoo - thanks to 5 awesome hacks Iโ€™ve picked up along the way I am managing to get some *ish* done while my 2.5-year-old occupies himself... and I want that for you too!โฃ
With the #ReclaimPlay Challenge coming up and Present Play opening soon, boy! my team and I are hard at work cookin' up some amazing goodies for you. In other words, I am using these hacks like my business depends on it right now. Literallyโฃ
You'll want to head to the link in my bio @parentingjunkie to watch the FULL 12-minute VIDEO (or listen to it on the podcast ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ you get ish done), but here's the bullet point version:โฃ
5 Ways to Occupy Your Toddler (while you get ish done)โฃ
1. Sensory Playโฃ
2. Movementโฃ
3. Musicโฃ
4. Dress Up โฃ
5. Real-Life Pretend Playโฃ
๐Ÿ’ฌ If your child was occupied (screen-free) for 30 minutes... ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™™๐™ค?โฃ
Read a book? โฃ
Make some protein balls?โฃ
Write that blog post you've been meaning to since last month?โฃ
Tell me more in the comments below and tag someone you know who has a toddler at home!โฃ
#toddleractivities #kidsactivities #invitationtoplay #independentplay #toddlerplay #momlife #workingfromhomemom #momof5 #momof5motivation #screenfree #screenfreeactivities #whilemommyworks #toddlerplayideas

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