thekidhasarrived said: I’ve been trying to set up our stuff like this too, but having a hard time. Toddler only wants to play with trains. Freaks out if I try to keep only a selection of books out. No puzzles, because he needs to be in constant motion. Sigh.
I’m glad you said this! I started to address this exact issue in my post, but it was getting too long, so I started a second post all about this. Keep an eye out for it in the next week or so, but know that there are PLENTY of days when Knox doesn’t touch a single thing on his shelves except his dinosaurs, and, he plays with them in ways that do not seem to the naked eye to be “educational,” however, I am a firm believer (after years of teaching all different kinds of young children) that little people instinctively know how they learn best. If we, as educators and parents, follow their lead we can not go wrong because it is through play that they learn about the world around them. It is our job to simply find a way to relate that world to them through their existing interests.
Knox has only very recently started to show an interest in trains, so I don’t have a lot of specific examples for that subject matter off hand, but if you’re interested in expanding his horizons, use trains. I can guarantee that if you begin exploring every aspect and detail of trains with him (how they work, what they carry, different types, etc), not only will he be fascinated but he’ll want to know more (not just about trains, but about other things related to them). For example, Knox wanted to learn all of the dinosaurs names and was very interested in what they ate. Once he learned which ones ate meat and which ate plants, etc., he wanted to know what other animals ate. Start with the library! I bet he’ll be willing to part with some of his books temporarily if he sees new ones coming in every couple of weeks (but don’t put away his favorite books, they are favorites for a reason…and he asks you to read them over & over for a reason, too - he’s trying to figure something out, sometimes we just don’t know what exactly!).
I hope this helped…and hopefully my next post will, too!