4 ways to make staying home more magical- kelly stickle

4 ways to make staying home more magical- kelly stickle

Thank you @kellyhavensohio for sharing this post with us!

As the little folded leaves grow inside their tiny buds on the trees outside, another day passes where we must stay home. We are left alone with our little ones and our imaginations, and it can be daunting. But everything we need to fill our days is already there, within the house and within us, just like the summer leaves are tucked hidden in the hardy buds outside our windows. Below are a few ideas I’ve discovered that turn an ordinary space or an ordinary activity into something magical for our children. When we can’t go find magic, we must find a way to make it!

1. Place familiar toys in unexpected places.

There is something about an old familiar beloved thing being moved to an unexpected place that thrills a child. When I moved James’ barn to the tub, he discovered he could line his animals around the tub. Then he decided that his animals could be fed with mommy’s daffodils. Old toys become captivating again in a new environment, just like we might fall in love with an old piece of furniture in a new spot of the house!

featuring ocean button tank / pear bubble short / sky blue collared romper / toffee trouser short

2. Create a room within a room.

Children are small, and in comparison our homes are very big! When we see an entire room, they actually only see this or that corner. They may see their cozy bed with their favorite bear, but they don’t see the nook by the chifferobe and closet. In the living room, they may see the big couch and the red plaid country curtains, but not the antique chair and stacks of books. Rarely are they able to absorb in all, and definitely unable to delight in it all. In order to maximize their enjoyment, we need to make things smaller. We need to create ‘rooms within rooms.’ 

I stumbled upon this idea a ways back when I served James breakfast on a table for two tucked inside the curtains. Breakfast lingered for 2 hours because he had discovered a new world. The same thing happened when I created a reading nook in the corner of James’ room!

One more tip: Add adult aspects of beauty, like candles or flowers, if you safely can. It makes a child feel that their new space isn’t just a child’s play area, but an intentional scene meant to dwell in; a true room within a room. If mommy puts a candle there, it means the spot is worthy of cozying up in! 

3. Let them lead.

When I tell James we are going for a hike, I start by describing what will be there. “Giant trees with moss, and lots of puddles because it stormed last night, and pinecones.” Then I step back and let him process what this kind of adventure means. Soon he will rush off to find his socks and boots, pick a spot to put them on, and find his gathering basket of choice. Getting ready becomes its own adventure!

Outside and in, we should try to recede into the background so that our children can feel the magic of what we are doing without us interrupting. Our role is not so much to occupy them or assist them but to inspire them! Before we head out the door I might say, “look at those branches blowing wildly in the wind. Do you need a bonnet in case the wind is blowing there, too?” Then he might gaze out the window for a moment in awe before grabbing his favorite hat.

4. Be captivated by simple things.

So often the hours seem to go by slow because we are trying to rush through something when our children want to linger. For the first time, we actually have the time to linger! Despite the urge to press on down the trail, let your little guy sit down in the moss for 15 minutes and pick the “baby flowers” one by one and make a tiny bouquet. We often feel boredom creep in, but it’s most likely our boredom, not theirs. This is the perfect time to train our minds as mothers to be just as captivated by simple things for just as long as our children are! Soon we will be tasting the magic right along with them.

Thank you @kellyhavensohio for sharing this post with us!

April 13, 2020 — Makel Gardner