Here at Creative QT we strongly believe that in today's fast-paced society, families need to proactively Make Time Together. Did you know that Creative QT actually stands for 'Creative Quality Time'?
Business owners, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, are committed to spending their precious family time in positive and meaningful ways. They don't want to be tidying up and gathering toys, when they could be engaging in imaginative and educational play with their five kids. That's why they've dedicated their working hours to developing learning and organization-based toys that help families fight the good fight: the fight to consolidate and organize toys, the fight to be intentional and inspire imagination, and the fight to be the hero in their childrens' lives.
In this post we hope to share with you some insights into how taking the time to declutter your homes, will support your family in their bid to spend more quality time together.
It's not about the stuff!
Ever felt like all you do all day is clear up after your kids? You're not alone! Sometimes whole days pass where you are relentlessly throwing entertainment tools at your kids to keep them busy while you get the house in order. Whether its toys, screen time, art activities....... whatever it takes to keep them out of the way right? There's no judgement here, we've all done that on many occasions. But what if there wasn't so much 'stuff' to keep tidy in the first place?
Kids' bedrooms and toy rooms often look like the Tasmanian Devil has passed by! Yes they've had fun playing, but boy oh boy do we spend hours cleaning up after the play. Imagine if instead of spending that time tidying up, we were spending it engaging in the play with our kids? How awesome would that be? And how much better would that make us, and our kids, feel?
Sure kids love new toys, but kids love nothing more than the attention of their Mom and Dad. Removing some of the 'stuff' from your lives will remove so much of the tidying up. It will bring a sense of focus and calm to play time, along with a stronger sense of purpose. Your kids will love nothing more than to sit with you and build a LEGO creation, or do a puzzle, or play in the pretend kitchen. These things are made so much easier if you intentionally allow the time for them to happen. It's not about the 'stuff', it's about focusing on the people around you and engaging their imaginations in play.
Open-ended play is the way!
When you are considering how to declutter your kids' belongings, think carefully about what they enjoy playing with and what will benefit them most. Often toys us parents think are awful, kids think are amazing! That doesn't necessarily mean they are educational toys though.
Try to keep hold of toys that inspire imagination and creativity. These types of open-ended toys are a great way to Make Time Together. For example, building bricks encourage all family members to collaborate, communicate and create. Regardless of age, building bricks allow individuals to express their imagination whilst also developing fine motor skills.
Toys and materials that encourage role play are also fantastic for family play. Our kids love making pretend restaurants with all of their kitchen toys. From language development, to fine motor skills, to pricing and numeracy, role play toys are fantastic for play based learning.
Everything has a place!
This simple philosophy will change your lives! Hands up who's living room floor has toys strewn across it? Or hands up who's kitchen table seems to constantly attract crayons and paper scraps just before dinner time? Consistency is key here. Teach your children where everything belongs and make sure you model these good habits.
After activities or playing, take the time to put the materials away in their usual home. You can even go so far as to apply a simple 'one in, one out' rule. Before any new materials com out, the current ones must be put away. This can go for toys, books, games, arts and crafts materials, anything really. But for this to work you and your kids must know where everything lives. Creating simple storage spaces that are clearly labelled will certainly help this. So instead of spending that half hour tidying up your kiddo's previous activity, you can spend the half hour sitting down and joining them for their next activity!
Get rid of the clutter, and enjoy each other!
It seems wrong to get rid of toys that you have paid good money for and that's understandable. You can donate them to a local school or library, or find a charity where you know they will benefit kids in need. This can be such a valuable experience for your children in itself.
Just remember, it's not the stuff that your kids will remember in years to come, it's that time Dad dressed up like Superman and chased his little villain around the house. Or that time Mom and Dad visited Restaurant de la Yum for a slap up meal cooked by their three little kiddos. Or even that time the whole family spent hours building the ultimate LEGO mansion together. These are the memories that matter.
Make sure you are intentional and Make Time Together with your family!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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Shared materials are a thing of the past this school year so we've been getting creative with ways to make individual learning resources with our products. In this blog we share how to use ourStoryBricks® andPeel 'n Stick Baseplates to turn a small $1 container into a multi-purpose learning box which fits conveniently inside a student's desk.