Now that we are in summer mode, we have extra time to make some changes. The first happened on Friday. For a family outing, we took the boys inside the library (something we almost never do). Our library has a drive-thru window that I adore. I place my holds online and simply drive-thru to pick-up. We decided to make the trip inside for a special occasion. We wanted to participate in the summer reading program and grab a free book. We also wanted to sign the boys up for their own library cards. We’ve been close to hitting the maximum holds/check-outs on my card a few times this school year. Owen is super into checking out all the books when he finds a series he loves (his current favorite is The Boxcar Children). Graham reads a reader everyday, so we stock up on a dozen or more at a time. Now they can use their own cards to get their books. It was an exciting experience for them and a good fit for the somewhat rainy day. Getting their own library cards is a sign that these boys are growing up.
This leads perfectly into our next big change. Jeremy and I have been brainstorming about the playroom/toy situation for some time. Over the last two years, we’ve purchased more storage so we can house all the toys without having to do a major purge. Throughout the pandemic, we had plenty of time at home to play. Keeping as many options for play made sense. When we moved into this home, four years ago, we had a toddler and a preschooler. We now have two elementary-school kids. They’ve graduated into a new season and the toys need to reflect that. We finally decided it was time to do a big purge. We did a massive sort on Sunday afternoon – keep, toss, donate, or sell. The boys decided to sell their train table and play kitchen. Because these items are theirs, we let them split the profit 50/50. Now the playroom is wide-open with plenty of floor space. We have discussed putting a regular height table into the room for hobbies or board games. We’ve also daydreamed about the next phase of the playroom when the kids are slightly older. We will most likely move the gaming systems into that room and add a sofa.
The one change I wanted to see happen in the playroom was moving the board games down low for easy access. When I moved the kid games into the playroom, I placed them up high on the closet shelf. I thought this would require the kids to ask to play a game. I could monitor what games were out and limit the number of games out at a time (ideally, one). My plan didn’t pan out though. I quickly became aware that Graham wouldn’t ask for my help. Instead, he would climb in the closet like a monkey to grab what he wanted. Since this wasn’t a safe way to access games, we moved them lower so no climbing was necessary. I’m hoping this new arrangement will spark an even greater interest in game play. It seems to be working for Graham. However, he makes up his own games with all the little pieces! Playing by the rules just isn’t as fun.
Overall, we are pleased with the playroom purge. The kids have continued to learn about assessing the value of their items. Selling old items to buy new items shows that we don’t limitless money or space. If you want to make room for something new, something old has to go. Since their weekly pay-day means slow savings, they can also see how selling lesser-used items is a good way to earn additional dollars. The space feels a bit bare with nothing in the middle of the room, but I’m sure it won’t stay that way for long. It’s an adjustment when spaces change, but it’s also exciting to see how the space can grow with our kiddos.