Inside: Yes Space is creating play spaces for babies and independent toddlers that are a safe play area. It promotes independent play for babies and independent toddlers. RIE Yes Space aka Yes Room.
“Independence in a Controlled Environment” sounds like a contradictory statement, but it really isn’t. The RIE Parenting, calls this yes space.
YES SPACE = Play Spaces for babies that have safe and limited play objects that baby can enjoy and learn independent play, and preferably gated play area for toddlers.
And this post is all about that. Yes space and its benefits!
I was talking to a friend the other day, and she mentioned she was motivated by my children’s independence, as she saw them in our Instagram stories (Join us here on Instagram).
And, she wanted to try to introduce independence to her baby who’s 1 yr old, but it turned out to be a little messy, and created a lot of work for her. As we were chatting more about it, she’s mentioned this but she’s probably OK with independence in a controlled environment, so she’s assured her baby is safe.
It clicked with me that is a Yes Space is; “play space for babies to be independent in a controlled environment.
So, I grabbed the opportunity and introduced her to the idea of “independent baby play”.
What is Yes Space?
Let me define “yes space” for you:
A yes space is a spot in your home where you don’t say NO to a child for anything.
In order to not say no, we need to make sure everything in this yes room OR rie yes space is safe enough for the child.
So much so that you should be able to leave them by themselves in that place without you being worried about their safety.
So if it is a baby like a year or less than a-year-old, I would make sure that there no little objects, that can be swallowed by them.
Or if it’s a toddler I would not leave the electrical outlets open for them or I would not keep a chair or a couch in that area, so they don’t jump off it and hurt themselves and preferably a gated play area for toddlers.
These were just a couple of examples.
Basically, you need to creat a safe play area where you can trust your child and let them be by themselves and not be worried about their safety.
Every family is going to have different limits for this yes space.
For some people, it is going to be that child’s room or nursery where they have put up a baby gate and are comfortable with leaving their child in that room.
For others, it is a gated area in the living room, or it’s a home office turned it into a yes space.
I know some people who work from home with their children playing independently in their yes space. (And this idea is such an ideal scenario to me!)
It’s your comfort level and it’s your area.
So you’ll always be the best judge as to the spot, the kind of toys and objects to put in there. Just make sure they are safe, easy, and interesting for them to work with independently.
RIE Yes Space At our Home
Personally, we don’t have a lot of yes space in our house as such, it’s just one yes room in the house, but it’s all that you need.
Our family room is where we spend most of our time, but it’s not enclosed, so it’s not a yes space.
But my patience (if you may) is very high with my kids. I am pretty lenient on what they can explore and what not. I’m OK for them to do anything until it’s not a safety issue for them.
We do have a yes space in one of the bedrooms. We have put up a baby gate in this room to make a gated play area for toddlers and it does not have anything that is dangerous for them. Just a very few toys, some board books and an inverted DIY climber sorts for the baby (well.. a load or two of unsorted clean laundry usually accompanies her toys).
I created this safe play area more so for my baby, where she explores the toys in the morning while I work. She is usually up with me in the morning, but is happy to just explore and boy does this baby like independent play! I like that I don’t have to worry about anything in this room.
I am mostly in the room with her, but sometimes I sit right outside the room, so she can see me but I am not right there with her.
It’s really great to have a spot where I can let her explore and I do my work without worrying about her.
Importance of Yes Space!
Encourages Thinking: Kids are great thinkers and philosophers (no pun intended) when we don’t break their train of thoughts. And, yes spaces are a great way to help them encourage to think and learn better since they’re undisturbed there.
In the post about How to ask questions to your two-year-old so they respond the first time; I talk about their “train of thought”, and how it affects their functioning.
Independent Play: Independent play is when your child enjoys their own company and like exploring on their own.
Independent play for babies makes independent toddlers.
This independent play is hands down the best thing I picked up from RIE Parenting Style. And, yes space makes your child more independent, as we let them play there without interruption.
Yes, space is the key to developing an “independent play” habit in your baby or toddler.
Increased Attention Span: Yes Space also increases their attention span very drastically; since we don’t disturb them in there. And, since everything is safe for them to explore there; they can keep focusing on one thing for very long. Kids are very persistent and this takes their persistence to a whole new level and hence increased attention span!
Peace for Parents: For parents, yes spaces are particularly a boon! Really, think about it; if your child develops a habit to play by themselves, you will have so much more time to do the things you want to do or take that break.
I’m not being sale-sy. This is real! Yes space does give you more time for all the reasons, I just mentioned above.
It’s such a win-win for both parents and kids.
Yes space may sound complicated but it really is just a safe play area for toddlers and babies where all the things that they can hurt themselves are removed, so you don’t have to yell…”Nooo Don’t do that!”