Rooms That Grow With You
Developmental milestone: Exploration of surroundings.
Focus on: The floor.
Right now your child is: Using all her senses to take in the world around her (which explains touching the hair of the woman in front of you in the checkout line and tasting the dog’s food). It’s important for children in this stage to have easy access to their playthings so that they don’t just see but also grab, sniff, and, yes, chew. “You want your child to have a chance to discover a toy on his own and then examine it in depth to see how it tastes and feels,” says Felice Sklamberg, a clinical specialist in pediatric occupational therapy at the New York University Langone Medical Center, in New York City.
Take advantage by: Grouping like items in soft, low bins (Lego Duplo bricks in one, musical toys in another), recommends Sklamberg: “Babies are easily overstimulated, which makes a catchall toy box overwhelming, not to mention harder to access.” Storing items in small bins also makes it easier to swap out toys each week, which is something Sklamberg recommends to avoid sensory overload.