The BlitzLast week I installed yet another toy management system in the little kids’ room. I seem to change my mind about how best to do this every 6 months. This is because for the past two years my life has revolved around toddlers. (And teens, but that’s a whole other issue!)

When the little ones arrived here, they were two toddlers and a baby. Now they are two toddlers and a preschooler and, as it turns out, the preschooler was the easiest of the three as a toddler. Who knew? Life with three very young children has its triumphs and it’s challenges. I thought since most foster kids are toddlers and preschoolers, it might help someone else if I share a few things that work for us. Here are my top ten tips:

  1. Recognize that some messiness will be a part of your life and that those messes mean “someone had fun here today.”
  2. Playdough is the be-all and end-all of toddler distractions. And it’s cheap, so let the stuff on the floor dry, sweep it up and throw it away!
  3. A carpet/upholstery cleaner is the best investment I ever made. It makes a tinkled-on sofa “no big deal” instead of a crisis.
  4. Three very young children throw up, poo, and tinkle on a lot of things. Just saying.
  5. There will always be too many toys. Clear out the closet, buy a couple of big opaque totes, and think “rotation.”
  6. You can never have too much toddler silverware, tiny plates or little cups.
  7. If you have more than one toddler in your life, and certainly if you have more than two, you will need a break. Line up the sitters the minute you know you are getting the child(ren). Pick someone with slightly older kids who feels wistful about toddlers. They will think the kids are cute when you forget temporarily.
  8. Eschew fast food and start eating even more healthfully. Little children thrive on wholesome food.
  9. The very young think even chores are fun. You don’t have to entertain them, simply include them and their days will be interesting.
  10. Savor the moments. They are not little very long. It is very hard work but very rewarding work and it goes by fast. Take time each day to rock, to read, to sing and to simply observe. You will be glad you did.

Photo Credit:  Dreena T