As we transition from a family of four to five, we have a lot of things changing in our daily routines. Not only are we introducing a new baby to the family, but our childcare situation is changing. My son has been in full-time preschool, with shorter days recently, from the time when I went back to work after he was born. My daughter has been in a full-time nanny share, and transitioned to part-time recently when I cut back at work. Now with the new baby on the way, I will be home with the kids most days. We are putting both children in a new school, two short days a week, and they will be home with me the rest of the week.
So you read that right, I’m going to have my hands full, and I’m actually excited for it. Ok, I’m terrified, but I’m trying to be positive and develop a routine with a little structure before the baby arrives.
I shared all of that because one part of planning for “routine” and “structure” has been investing in more educational type toys for preschool aged children. Also, making a “creative cart” and “learning closet.” Where do I even start? It’s still a work in progress, but this is what I have set up to date.
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Target Dollar Spot
I felt like I hit the jackpot today when I went to Target for diapers and wipes. I left with three huge bags of learning activities for the kids. Everything was priced $1-$3 and I was able to score storage items, along with chalk labels. You can purchase these items online, but only in larger quantities. In the end, I’m not sure if this is more fun for me or for them?
Learning Closet in the Works
I transitioned what used to be a coat closet into a toy storage area, with a primary focus on learning activities. The creative cart will live here, along with organized games, legos, puzzles, sensory play, and several daily charts for the kids on the back of the doors. While it is not beautiful, it is a slow transition from a disaster to organized chaos, that still functions for our family.
While the older kids will go to preschool two days a week, I want to continue their routine in the house on their off days. Are you sweating bullets for me? I sure hope so, because this nurse turned full-time momma is terrified! Send love, words of encouragement, coffee… or wine after September!
I have included several of our favorite educational type toys that are available in places other than Target. This is not a fancy interior design post, just a mom keeping it real and sharing what is working for our family! I hope to make it pretty over the years, but these are a few of the things I used on a budget. The bonus to this? We can just shut the doors! Have a great rest of your week!