Toddlers love to open and close doors and drawers. They also like to get into the things inside the drawers/cabinets, pull them out and scatter them everywhere. It’s what toddlers do. I’ve had a little problem with my son constantly opening his drawers in his bedroom and dragging out all the folded clothes, bedding, towels, any and everything he can get his little hands on. Recognizing my son’s desire to do this and to save my sanity, I decided to clear out the bottom drawers of his bedroom furniture and fill them with things he enjoys and can play with. I filled my son’s with *blocks and *ball pit balls. There are lots of options to fill drawers with: cars, musical instruments, stuffed animals, books, fake foods, etc. Luckily, we had a bunch of hand me down blocks. I wasn’t sure what to do with them anyway, so I decided to dedicate an entire drawer to them. I have to say, it was a great idea! Just today I found my son sitting in his room building with his blocks saying “up, up.” I watched from the door in excitement! I tried to get a video to share, but wasn’t slick enough. A pack of *100 ball pit balls filled his other drawer. I left clothes that I don’t care about him getting into inside another drawer. These busy drawers have been great. Whenever I need to do things in his nursery, I redirect him to his drawers.
Yes, they are messy. He throws his balls out one-by-one multiple times a day and I find blocks everywhere, but it’s developmentally appropriate, safe and keeps me from constantly saying “no” to him. Best of all, tons of teachable moments are coming from my son’s busy drawers. He’s sorting! He knows blocks go in the block drawer and balls go in the ball drawer. We work on following directions to clean up, naming, colors, actions (throwing, kicking, building), saying “up, up, up” and “fall down” when playing with blocks and the concepts open/close, in/out. We also sit down together and simply PLAY in the drawers. Yes, sit down and just PLAY one-on-one with your baby, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I like throwing the balls in the drawer as if it’s a goal and making a big deal of it. My son loves it. He imitates me and then the balls are cleaned up in no time! Score team mom!
If you have an active baby/toddler on your hands, give busy drawers a try. Please let me know what you filled them with and how it goes!
Peace & Love,
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Respect, kindness and love begin with babies…we must show them the way!