Clean Up! Clean Up! Everybody Everywhere
I walked into my 18 year old son’s room the other day, and after tripping over his football gear and laundry, I said, “How can you study and be organized for school when your stuff is all over the place?”
His response was what you would have expected, something to the effect of “this is my room and there is no reason I can’t keep what I want on the floor, and by the way, what does that have to do with my learning?” I mentioned to him that research from Princeton University Neuroscience Institute (The Journal of Neuroscience, Jan 2011) has shown that when the environment in which we live and play is cluttered and disorganized, it prevents us from processing information, focusing and being creative – all necessary tools for play.
When my children were younger, I would walk into friends’ homes and toys would be all over the place; in the living room, in the family room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, on the floor, on tables, even on the chairs. I remember being in one friend’s house feeling completely overwhelmed. Sensory overload would be an understatement. I remember thinking: “if I feel this way, how do her kids feel?” Whenever my children would return from her house after a playdate, they would be WIRED. When I asked my children to tell me what they played, they couldn’t remember.
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