A reader recently emailed to ask me how I get Damian (age 29 months) to work through workboxes every day. I thought I would answer this question in a post, so here goes:
The simple truth is I don’t!! Damian is actually too young for workboxes and formal learning (in my opinion), BUT that being said he does want to be just like his big brother who definitely does benefit from the use of workboxes. So, I got him a set and fill them for him, but I am very relaxed with how he moves through them, he doesn’t have to do them all, he doesn’t have to do them in order either, and if he just wants to play, then that is okay too! Most days he does like to work through them, although he may not do them all, if this is the case, whatever is left over stays in for the next day (but it is moved to the top). His boxes, as you can see here and here largely consist of educational toys, games, and puzzles, because at his age learning should definitely be all about playing and having fun!
When Rylan was little we did not have workboxes, but I did do two organizational things to enhance learning through play. One was to create “stations”. This would involve me placing a few key items I wanted him to work with in a noticeable and very easily accessible place. For example, a peg puzzle on one coffee table, an ABC matching game on another, and a color sorting game on his child-sized table and chair set.
The second thing that I did was to organize the toys and books on his shelves in the bedroom and living room in a Montessori-type style. The shelves were kept simple, with each activity or item being readily accessible, visible, and organized. Rylan knew where each item belonged on the shelves, so that when finished with an activity he could return it to its spot. I would rotate toys every week or two, with favorites staying out for longer, or all the time if really loved.