Sunday, August 25, 2013

productivity with a toddler in the room

Headfirst in the cat box, eating a shoe, running around butt naked, eating cat food, playing in the toilet.....

Embarrassingly, these are just a few things I have found Tobyn, my 14 month old doing while I was trying to focus on school and get something accomplished.
We've all been there, somedays you just have to finish studying or complete your homework and can't seem to give enough attention to the little precious and mischievous child currently destroying your entire house.
I had to come up with some sort of solution. We have a "third" bedroom that was a music room for Jonathan, (I say "third" because we also have a spare room that is a closed off carport, so technically four rooms. ) So we came to an agreement, his music stuff was out and Tobyn and I 
were "moving" into the third bedroom. The room you see above is now our Play/Study room and also one of my favorite rooms in the house currently.
Not because it's just adorable or anything ;)
but because I can actually be productive in there. 

I just wanted to give you ladies a few of my ideas for putting together a room or even just an activity corner to hopefully help increase your productivity each day. 

1. Have a form of barrier, whether its a door or gate, to help block off an area for you and your little to be while studying. 
Thankfully, we have an extra bedroom, but if we didn't I would just find a way to block off our living room, so I wasn't constantly up chasing Tobyn all over the house every 3 seconds.
2. Designate "your" side of the room, and "theirs"
Younger children may not understand this at first, but if you continue to give them a sense of ownership over "their" side, they will be more likely to stay over their longer and keep busy.

3. Baby/Childproof everything in the room.
This is probably pretty obvious, but you won't feel the need to look up every second to check on them if there isn't anything dangerous in the room, putting your studying mind at ease. So, cover up light sockets, pick up any little pieces on the floor that could choke them and secure anything heavy that could fall to the wall, like bookshelves. 

4. Create a creative and personal play area for your kiddo.
Tobyn LOVES music instruments (just like Daddy), so I brought his B. Parum Pum Pum Drum that we got him for his birthday and his little toy guitar into the room. As well as some books, a big bouncy ball, some foam mat letters, a rocking horse, tent and dump truck. All items that he loves, and plays with often.
** The adorable prints on the wall are Tiny Wall Designs, exclusive, custom, modern nursery prints that I create and have available for download on Etsy. Just click the Etsy tab at the top of the blog :) ***
 5. Create a creative and unique space for yourself.
I only think and study well when I am in a clean, organized space. So my desk is facing our backyard, and stays organized just for me. I painted an old desk I had to match this chair I just reupholstered. Spent less than 10 dollars on the whole desk. This is where I do my best thinking now, because it's me.

6. Teach your child to entertain himself.
This may sound harsh to some, but since day 1 I have daily allowed Tobyn to play alone. Of course I'm in the same room, but we leave him alone to be himself. That doesn't mean we never play with him, we are a very playful family. But there are times in the day where I do what I need to do, and he does what he wants... within reason. This is how I was raised and it allowed me to be to be as creative as I wanted.

7. Chunks at a time.
Go into your "room" with your kiddo only when it's play/study time. This consistency allows them to grasp better that "mommy is busy and it's time to play quietly". Talk about the room in exciting tones, as if you are "going somewhere". This stimulates the child's imagination of things to do in "the room". Also, don't expect your child to last for 2 or 3 hours in one room, chances are they will burn out. Try going in for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, then going outside. 

I hope some of these helped you guys out, because they have made a world of difference for me. 
Let me know if you tried this and it worked, or if you have similar solutions. We'd love to hear!
Happy productivity!