When we put in an offer on our new house, I knew that we would have the space for the kids to have their own play area. We decided that although there are enough bedrooms for them to have their own rooms we would keep them together and rather use the other bedroom as a playroom for them. And immediately I got onto pintrest and started pinning ideas.
Just as an aside, when I first signed up for Pintrest I wondered when / if I would ever do anything with the ideas I saw, but I have really used it as inspiration and done quite a few things seen on there.
So we moved in and the first thing we bought for the playroom was two bookcases. I knew I wanted to get to a place where the playroom was set up a little Montessori style and that required bookeshelves. We bought cheap second hand shelves off the side of the road and Chris and I spent part of our December holiday painting them. We turned them white and then added the two wall colours we had chosen on the backing board inside.
At the moment their Disney Bookclub collection (both the one they inherited and the one I started for them) is also in the cupboard, while they are getting pretty good at treating paper books with respect, I don’t quite trust them to leave them out yet. So one bookshelf has all their board books that they are encouraged to read on it as well as a couple of trays but the other one is almost all trays with activities on the trays for Montessori style tasks. I try to mix up the activities every couple of weeks (we found changing the tasks every week didn’t give the kids enough time to master the tasks). And activities range from beads and string, to puzzles, to colouring pages (I print off the internet) and chunky crayons, to coloured card with coloured shapes to do colour matching or learning shapes.
We painted the walls crazy bright colours, two walls are bright yellow and the other two are supposed to be bright orange, but once on the walls it turned out to be more of a darker yellow, still looks fab. The ceiling is painted blue (oneday we will get around to painting clouds ont he ceiling) and we have bought a very bright green carpet for the floor. Bright orange curtains with monkeys with velcro on their paws and feet to act as tie-backs, complete the vibrant look. We were aiming for a bright happy space which would be stimulating and fun to be in.
I wanted a ‘reading corner or quiet time corner and while I am still not totally satisfied that this has been achieved we have something to work with. I bought two spare cot mattresses (which also double as somewhere for the twins to sleep when we go out or camping) and put a sheet over them with some pillows and we have a chill out space next to the book shelf. Right from the start I knew that corner was going to have to have a tree up the wall and Chris came to the party beautifully. He drew the tree in free hand and painted it and then helped me make some sponge stamps for the leaves. We also bought some vinyl monkey wall stickers and have hung the monkeys in the tree, the kids love them.
I wanted the wall to be decorated with the kids own art and Chris had made a frame for me ages ago that was going to be hung in our old garden with the word ‘Hope’ in it in metal, but the new house does’t have a suitable place for the frame, so we painted it white, used the insides of those horrible letter and number mat pieces and stuck them on the frame to decorate it, hung some ribbon inside the frame and use pegs to hang the kids art works in the frame. Sausage is especially proud of this and loves taking new people into the play room to show them his ‘art’ and he points and opens his mouth wide and says ‘aaahhhh’. We change the art up on a regular basis as they produce new stuff. It’s their own little brag wall.
I got home from a meeting one afternoon and was draged to the payroom by Pudding who showed me the “hot”. Chris had installed a panel heater to try warm the room and painted this gorgeous log fire on the heater. The cutest thing about this idea is that the kids know that fire is “hot” and so the painting of the fire on the heater has helped us to ensure they don’t toucht he heater. Sausage especially loves telling you “fy ot”. The toys in front are the favourites the “Little People” range from Fisher Price (I can recommend these to anyone for kids between 1-5 and I buy these for most of my friends kid’s gifts).
We also have a little plastic table with two chairs that sits in front of the window that they sit at to draw or colour or for some art projects. We have a little CD player and they have their own little collection of music and story DVDs and they love having the music on in the background while they play or ‘work’ and they love dancing to it or doing the movements. In the built in cupboard I have a few bog plastic boxes to keep the toys or activities that aren’t on the shelves and they helps to keep things vaguely organised. Also by rotating toys we keep the kids more interested in them for longer. Also I keep all their craft and art supplies in the cupboard.
I absolutely love the playroom and I think the kids do too. How privileged are we to be able to provide this for our kids. Just another thing I get to be grateful for every day.