In recent weeks, I have been reading
up on incorporating more beauty into our school and our home.
I have to confess our children are spoiled. We have a large family and although Poppa and I don't buy a lot of toys (no birthday presents* and only three Christmas presents each**), the kids get more than you can possibly imagine from our loving families. So the play room is full, I mean sometimes it's hard to walk through it, full of toys.
In an effort to downsize, I've used Sarah Baldwin's list of questions for toys. This makes it easier to decide what to bag up and what to keep.
- Is it beautiful?
- Does it feel good (made with natural materials)?
- Does it leave room for the imagination?
- Will it inspire creative play?
- Is it open-ended (can it be used in more than one way)?
As I was on my third garbage bag of toys,
Jo-Jo said, "Momma where did all of the food go?"
Umm...well...it was all plastic, it could only be used one way,
so what was I to do?
I came up with a 6th question.
This one isn't for purchasing new toys,
but instead for weeding through the toys you already have.
6) Can it be replaced with something that meets the criteria?
And so our felt food was born. I looked around for some ideas to get started, but we didn't use a pattern. We just went about the suggestions. And what did we end up with? Beautiful, soft, play food from natural materials to be used in as many imaginary ways as my little blessings can find to use them.
*Birthdays-We do a party for our large family and friends, then we do something special for the child that our family can do together. This year for birthdays we went ice skating, to the beach, and to a science museum. It's a different place every year and different for every child. But it is special and we're together.
**Christmas-Each child has 3 gifts: a school type gift, a gift that is just for fun, and a gift that helps them grow closer to God. The stockings get stuffed with homemade gifts from each member of the family.
~For almost everything, we have a 3 day rule. It belongs to the person that received it 3 days and then it belongs to the entire family. There are some exceptions: special dollies, bedtime snugglies, etc.
Wishing you homeschool blessings,