We finally are getting some things done around the house. Adjusting to life with two little ones has taken some time. We wanted to create a play space downstairs for the girls but I was reluctant to get rid of the seating area we had next to the kitchen. We used it a couple of times a year for dining on the holidays and it was a nice little area to have for entertaining. But, really, having a space for the girls to keep their toys so we could still have a living room was more appealing. So we took the plunge. We sold the couch we had upstairs in our loft and moved the couch from the seating area upstairs and went to making-over the space into a kid friendly zone. Here is the result.
We reused half of the rainbow play mats we bought last summer for G’s birthday party to create a fun and safer environment.
Then we added some shelving from Home Depot. They are Martha Stewart shelves with bins in Trout. I like the look of them, but my husband is disappointed in their sturdiness. We tied them to the wall with brackets so they are child-safe, but he doesn’t like that they are a little wonky of each other. Still, they will get the job done and will be something useful to keep all the toys corralled.
I kept the top cubbies and the top shelf open to fill with “featured toys” for the units we are doing in preschool with the girls. The bottom bins provide ample storage space for the toys they have without adding more bins, but there is room to grow if necessary.
We included the easel we bought for G for Christmas this year and it get a lot of use by her. She just loves to “draw” on it and we play toddler pictionary on it almost daily. The other side is a white board, but I am not quite ready to unleash her creative talents onto that one; so we keep that side to the wall.
We also included the play kitchen for the girls. Again, this is a source of lots of creativity, as G loves to cook in her kitchen while I cook in mine.
The items I am most happy to have in this room are the play table and chairs. We use these for a variety of activities every day and even the chairs are a source of entertainment for G. She is still learning how to manipulate them just right, so she doesn’t end up tumbling to the floor, but she has mostly gotten it down. We have already used the table for tea parties, art projects, farm play, puzzles, and pretend play. I know these pieces will continue to be used making them one of the wisest investments in the room.
Just outside the “room’s boundary” of padded tiles, we put W’s Exersaucer, which she absolutely loves. She is a bit enthusiastic about bouncing in it, so it ends up scooting around the area quite a bit, but it is a great way to encourage parallel play with our girls. G often spends time teaching W what each of the items on her Exersaucer are and then bringing her various toys, just in case the ones surrounding her are tiresome.
I know the girls will have such fun in this space. And we will only miss the extra seating a few times a year.