Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tips On Tuesday: Parent Controlled Substances

I took this phrase from a mom of five several years ago. She called any toy or activity that needed supervision a "Parent Controlled Substance" ..I liked it :)

We have a system for PCS in our house, and it helps us keep up little pieces and such. A  Parent Controlled Substances are anything that requires mom's permission/assistance to get out, and/or supervision to play with.

Some PCS goes up out of reach, some just gets the designation of needing permission first.  This lets me know that that toy it is out and needs attention to be collected, picked up, cleaned up before/during or after it is played with.

First, the things that fit into this category for us are the things that have small pieces ..ones that are lost easily, easily choked on, or there are just alot of them. Games, puzzles and construction sets (Legos)  fit into this category

Then, things that are super messy ..things that require a special place to play or some effort to clean up. For us, that means paint, playdoh, and the most awful substance ever created for kids ...Moon Sand (clearly, a person responsible for children did NOT create that stuff).

Finally, things that when left to kid-control are constantly out and all over the place. I think all our kids have those toys that they play with over and over again - they get it all out and it stays there. We have several categories of things ..dress up stuff and alphabet blocks are our worst ones. They CANNOT play with these things without spreading them ALL over the house.   These things may earn the designation of becoming ...dun dun duh! ..PCS.

One of my favorite benefits of this designation is that I know when we are missing pieces, and that toy stays up and put away until we find them all. When we find that piece (and honestly, it may take awhile, but we usually do) then I know exactly where the rest of the game is and all I have to do is complete the set.  Right now our alphabet blocks are on lock down - we are missing 7 pieces from the set and will be found and recovered before being played with again.

I have to admit a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I add that last block to set knowing that it is finally complete ...only to be added back into play to be lost again :)

Another benefit, is raising the importance of taking care of our things. In our disposable society, these kiddos need to learn that we have take care of what we have, so we can have it for a long time and not just throw away the toys because pieces are missing or whatever (not that I dont get rid of stuff that has pieces missing ..trust me).

Anyway - it Works for Me ..maybe it will for you as well?!  ..what things are PCS in your house?!


  1. Hi! I came over from WFMW. Crayons are PCS in our house. They get everywhere, and white walls and radiator covers are too tempting sometimes for my little one!

  2. I have a shelf like that - paints, play-doh, glue, scissors, markers, crayons, etc... It all has to be used at the dining room table where I can see it!


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