6 Ways to Create a ‘Yes’ space in your home

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Sian Thomas

I'm a trained teacher and mama to three awesome children. We are a family of expats, travelling the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, we live in Vienna, Austria. I'm passionate about helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

6 ways to create a yes space

I work with mums to help them embrace and enjoy the early years. I absolutely LOVE what I do – let me help you too.

This week I’m talking about ways you can create a yes space in your home.

If you’ve ever found yourself repeatedly shouting, ‘no, don’t do that!’ millions of times a day, this post is for you.

So what exactly is a ‘yes’ space anyway? Well, as you’ve probably already guessed, it’s a space where your children are free to play without being reprimanded or cautioned constantly.

Here’s what you need to consider:

1. Age appropriate toys

Consider the needs and developmental stage of your youngest child. If you have any children under the age of 3, ensure that any choking hazards are removed from the room.

2. Limited items

Contrary to what toy adverts would have us believe, kids don’t deal well with too much. It is overwhelming and quite honestly, the reason why children will ‘dump and run.’

Check out the 5 steps to play space organisation article here.

3. Secure furniture

Furniture needs to be secured to the walls to avoid the risk of it falling on your child. Just like you would in a baby’s room, avoid placing furniture near windows. Check cords on blinds and replace/ put out of reach in order to avoid strangulation.

4. Items at eye-level

To truly avoid the temptation of climbing, make sure all items are at eye-level. Your little learners will become much more independent if they are not having to constantly ask you for help reaching items, too.

You can read more about our favourite play space furniture here.

5. Avoid items that need close supervision

Sure, an art space is really nice to have but if you can’t trust your child to create without smearing paint on the carpet and drawing on the walls, you need to remove them from temptation.

Our current solution is the IKEA Raskog trolley. My 4 year-old daughter is perfectly capable of wheeling the trolley from the utility to the table all by herself, but I also avoid the problem of my 2 year old son redecorating without my knowledge!

6. Pay attention to play schemas and interests

Following play schemas is a huge part of my own parenting and education methods. Put simply, it’s about looking at repeated patterns of behaviour, then providing toys and materials that will help extend that curiosity.

As one example, if your toddler suddenly starts throwing everything in sight, they are likely exploring the trajectory schema. They aren’t being ‘naughty’ – simply seeing what happens.

Instead of constantly shouting, ‘no, stop throwing!’ remove any items that could get damaged or cause injury (wooden blocks, for example) and replace with balls and soft toys.

You can find out more about schemas by clicking the ‘Playful Days at Home’ graphic at the end of this post.

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