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How to organize a space so it works for both your baby and your older children

by respaced on September 9, 2013

child cleaning up

At home, it can be difficult to set up a space where children can play when one of the children is under the age of 2 and the other child is older. The younger child is in danger of putting small toys in her mouth and choking on them, while the older child has reached the age where he/she wants to play with toys with smaller pieces, such as Legos and Playmobile. So aside from setting up two completely separate playrooms, how can you accommodate both children? There are two ways of dealing with this.

Your first option is to put all of the toys with small, chokeable pieces in one color of bins, say, red bins. All other toys can go into a different color of bin. Let the older child know that he can only play with the toys in the red bin while baby brother is napping or away. You might want to monitor clean-up to make sure all of the itty-bitty pieces get put back in the red bins after playtime.

Another option is if the children have separate bedrooms, make sure all of the toys with tiny pieces are stored in the older child’s bedroom. Make it a rule that those particular toys can only be played with in his bedroom. Your older child will probably appreciate having a place to play with his Legos where his baby sibling won’t come in and destroy what he has built!

It’s important to allow each child to play with age-appropriate toys, so let me know which of these two methods work best for you. And if you have another idea for accommodating children of different ages in the playroom, please share it in the comments below.

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