Monday, 26 September 2011

Big Ideas for Little People (and big people too.)

This week I've been perusing Pinterest for ideas for organisation and communication. I've been thinking a lot about rhythms and routines in the home, weekly, daily, ways of building predictability and safety. These are words I've always shuddered at but I'm starting to long for them for these reasons:
- I spend half the day feeling like I should be doing something else
- I get asked about 20 times a day by Tully if he can watch TV
- I rarely finish something I'm working on. I start sorting the washing, put some tea towels away, notice the dishwasher has finished...

Have you found ways of being more organised, or to encourage you kids to play creatively, or just sure it's the right time to be doing something? I just love the idea of a chalk board! I would love to paint my back door black! But alas, I live in a rental, so I've been thinking of ways to use what I already have to create some kind of weekly calendar on our wall.
Then I thought of this:

Yesterday, Tully and I cut up some yummy Anna Maria Horner fabric and put it in photo frames. I was in charge of the scissors and he was in charge of the little tabs holding the back boards in place.

I finally used the beautiful middle print which was given to me by my lovely friend Lucy for my birthday. It's now out of print and very rare and I dallied for ages, looking at it before I cut into it. In the end, I reasoned that it was such a generous gift, that a good way to honour it would be to use it on my wall rather than keep it on my shelf.

I didn't have many plain, light fabrics. I always go for bold, bright prints, which are difficult to write over so the hardest part was choosing the colours. But you could use paper, either with designs already on it, or have your little one paint it with water colours first.

I feel excited about this because it can either be used as a weekly planner or a daily one. And I could use the large print for notes, messages, or a place for dates to remember for the month. This morning as I was arranging them (on the floor, we haven't bought hooks yet), I thought that each morning, Tully and I could stand at the frames and write what we wanted to do that day. You could even draw the day in pictures in each of the frames (play outside, read a book, help mum hang out the washing) so little kids could understand and be part of planning the day.

And for those who can't read Tully's handwriting, this says, "Go shopping and then come home and ride scooters."

Have you found something that's worked for you? What helps you build structure and encourage creativity and play. Any other ideas for distracting your toddler from the lure of the TV, or getting involved in the household chores? Please share them with us!


  1. I did something very similar to your picture frames with the line spring street for my,not so little, madam so she could keep up with after school clubs, homework, chores etc and she loves it. We have peel off stickers that we add to them for when a job is done or if my mum needs to see something when she pops over like great marks at school.
    My daughter is older than your little one so this might be something to tuck away for later but creative "play" at the moment is a mood board for how she would like her bedroom after Christmas. Lots of ripping and sticking from magazines! It kills 2 birds with one stone, firstly I know what Santa has to pick up and can give him more than 5 mins notice on Christmas eve 2nd her room has to stay spotless till Christmas :D

  2. Thanks for your comment! Peel off stickers are a great idea I didn't think of! And I love the idea of cutting up magazines. Tully would be stoked if I let him do that! I have a bunch of National Geos I've collected over the years that have always seemed too good to cut up but I NEVER look at them. Tully has no idea about santa yet, but I think would just like the novelty of being trusted with scissors!

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  4. Love this Jodi! Great idea, great use of fabric, and fantastic input from Tully. :)

    (Sorry about the delete... my computer is playing silly on me)

  5. Great idea- love the framed fabric idea. My life always needs more organisation, it makes you feel so good to have a little order doesn't it! I recently took a couple of nappy boxes and Jesse helped me cover them with his paintings, so that we had somewhere to store all his craft and painting supplies because they were starting to overtake the house- and it's been such a relief, I just put the boxes up high in his room and they look nice and creative and are useful!

  6. This is such a fun idea, and I LOVE the Drawing Room framed!!

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog too! :)

  7. Great frames!
    No tricks here I'm afarid and things getting forgotten all the time.
    We do have rules for the TV as my kis would watch it 24/7 if given the chance. ie none in the morning and none afterschool except Friday. School holidays are different. It was ugly at first but now it is great. Best thing we did. Good luck with yours.

  8. umm....I think I need to follow you on pinterest....kritta22. I don't know how to find people yet. And are you suppose to like something, or repin it??
    Help...I'm a newbie but it's sooo fun!

  9. Love this idea! We just made two chalkboards in our house to entertain the toddler and organize the adults. But this idea with the frames is just awesome. I'm with Kritta, I think I need to follow you on pinterest...


I so love your comments! I read all of them and reply when I can. If you don't hear back, I'm lost under a mound of scraps or outside jumping on the trampoline with the kids. Jodi. xx