Woah. It’s is embarrassing to admit this, but I only JUST now made an obvious connection that I’ve been missing for 12 years.
This year has been really hard on our house (I know I’m not alone here on this). Every room has been taken over by toys. Mess. Chaos.
*screams into unfolded laundry pile*
(this isn’t my kid, but man they must have had so much fun messing up that room for the photoshoot!)
Now that we’re stuck inside again, I needed a way to solve this, or I was going to move into the attic till spring.
The answer just hit me.
During shows, I’ve always used parachutes to wrangle children into tidy piles (hey, it’s fun)…
maybe I can do the same thing with their *toys*!
I tested it before writing this (to make sure it didn’t just feel like MORE work), and it totally checks out.
I threw a sheet down in the living room in the morning, and at the end of the day, we all grabbed a corner and ‘wrapped up’ the room. It took less than a minute.
I felt so stoked (and stupid for not thinking about this sooner). 😂
And there was a bonus that I didn’t even see coming.
The next morning, my kids knew where their favorite toys were (in the sheet) and I didn’t lose 20 minutes searching for ‘Peter Venkman’s’ lego head in the couch cushions. (Yes…this has happened. More than once.)
But wait…THERE’S MORE!
I found some other ways to use this magical sheet idea:
My 2 young kids sometimes (and I’m being generous with the word ‘sometimes’) struggle with sharing. So, I tried throwing down 2 twin sheets instead of just one to see if having personal play spaces would cut down on some of their bickering (because as much as I love wearing noise-canceling headphones while I sip my morning coffee – they’re not a cute permanent accessory).
Both kids liked having their own sheet so much that I barely heard from them AT ALL for hours.
By the end of the day, they had added a couple more sheets above them to make each space their own ‘fort’, and I listened to them making surprisingly calm peace treaties (I mean ‘sharing toys without fighting’) as well. It was…omg, so needed.
I know that it was the novelty that probably drove the success of this, so I thought a bit about how to drag it out. I ended up ordering 2 smaller versions of the parachutes that we bring to children’s parties so they could each have one (and it would feel a little more exciting than a sheet). It’s been a solid week of success with this so far.
Here’s where I picked up the parachute (non-amazon, non-affiliated link, yay!).
And here are some great games you can play with it when the sun comes back out.