Sunday, April 24, 2011

A space for our girls

We live in a small 3 bedroom house and are always trying to come up with creative ways to use that space. I was came across this blog post over at Let The Children Play and was inspired by the flow of their preschool. Their were well defined dramatic, construction and creative spaces without separation.

We looked at the layout of our house. Because we were using the house the way the designer had in mind (pretty much, we were using the master bedroom as a toy room)the girls had 3 very separate spaces. A room to sleep (for the big 2, Harper sleeps in with us) a room for toys & play and the art space was in the dining room so it was on the tiles. These spaces were all over the place.

After much chatting and consultation with my bestie, we decided to use the master bedroom and the lounge room as our "pods" as they are adjoining and it is a decent amount of space. We made the dining room the lounge room-which makes it off the kitchen which is really working for us-and the room that Tannah and Willow were sleeping in became the dining room.

Would you like to see photos? I thought you might.

View from the front door. This is the art space and construction corner. I decided to put my computer table in this room so we could all "work" together and the girls would be able to use the computer as well (until I get my iPad-one day!). The extra table in the middle has so many uses from setting up play scenes to eating lunch!

This is our building/construction corner.

On the left is the farmhouse with the Schleich animals and dinosaurs underneath. Also some wooden fencing and a tray of natural materials such as shells and leaves. The big box is wooden blocks.

To the right is cars, trains and track and duplo with a few random bits and pieces.

This is the art table. I took a LOT of inspiration from this post at Childhood101. It might look a bit bare now but those corkboards are usually full to the brim! The containers on the rack from Ikea have been a massive hit with my girls. They love having some supplies where they can be easily accessed without help.

The art cupboard has all out supplies in there as well as puzzles and games, marble runs and a shelf just for my stuff!

This is on the left hand wall and houses all of the toys my girls love like their Polly Pockets, My little Ponies, Barbies and Playmobil-as well as a selection of well loved Waldorf type toys.

A view of the bedroom from the door. They have a small walk in robe and even smaller ensuite off to the left-it might seem excessive but this will be a bedroom for three teenage girls eventually! This room has all the dramatic play gear in it as well as a reading nook. I think having a bed in here works really well as it can be a baby's bed, a hospital bed or a boat! It can transform to fit the imaginations of the children.

Kitchen corner. All the bits and pieces are easy to see on the shelves. Tannah and Willow have a cork board each to pin interesting things up on. I'm keeping my eye out for a little kids sized "dining table".

Dolls table, dress up station and soft toys.

Dress ups are hung on cup hooks on the side of the storage unit (from the tip shop!) so the clothes are easy to see and the smaller bits are in buckets. Playcloths are in a basket on top.

The reading nook-my favorite! The L-shape of the bunks makes a cozy cubby underneath. We put an LED touch light in there and made a display for the books simply by nailing in two pieces of wood at the bottom of the shelf. Children find it much easier to choose from a smaller selection of books which I can rotate regularly. Add a beanbag and reading heaven.

So there you have it! I wanted to add that ALL the shelves,the wooden stove, computer table, wooden kids table and many of the toys were bought second hand. Either at garage sales, the tip shop or eBay. We cleaned up and modified them ourselves-well my husband did. The most expensive thing we bought was one Ikea desk ($70) and most of the storage tubs were bought brand new but not all at once. making your space more user friendly doesn't have to mean masses of room or lots of money spent-and it doesn't have to be all done at once. I have been preparing for well over a month and used a list to help me buy what I needed a little bit at a time. And to hit some garage sales!

Now to get playing and creating!


Deborah said...

Wow, that's inspiring! I need to hire you for consultation on our space!

Marita said...

Looks amazing.

I love the kitchen area :)

Madeline said...

Some great ideas here! I'm doing a (very slow) playroom makeover at the moment.

Stacey said...

Great idea! I'm busy thinking now how I can rethink my spaces!

greendraggon said...

Very inspiring. I can see my littles making one enourmous mess out of all those supply cupboards in about ten seconds flat but I can also see how much fun they would have :)

Kate said...

Love it!!! Wish we were able to be more flexible with our space, we all really miss having a dedicated play space. Wonder if I could convince bigs to share a bedroom.

Leah said...

Absolutely amazing! I love what you have achieved without spending a bunch of money, the biggest gains seem to come from being flexible with how you use the space. The kids are lucky to have such an awesome set up to live and learn in. I look forward to seeing how it evolves over the years when they are teenagers in the space :)

PlanningQueen said...

Looks fantastic Shae and so much thought has gone into it. Thanks for sharing all the pics, lots of inspiration in them.

Rachael said...

You make me wanna homeschool!

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Awesome! I love the way you have created so many nooks and play space.

Easy Peasy Kids said...

Wow Wow Wow looks absolutely brilliant

Muma Paparazzi said...

Fabulous....just today I have been depressed about the lack of a playroom. Our play space is spread through 3 differen't areas and I feel like I am always putting things back where they belong. Hmmm might take some inspiration from your gorgeous spaces and see what I can do.Well done

Lisa Jay said...

Great space! The large basket next to the construction mat is identical to one that always had my toys in it when I was a child. I had forgotten about it, so thanks for the flash back :)

Mama Pea Pod said...

Wow, it all looks so lovely and organised! What a great job you've done to create play spaces for your kids.

Thanks for dropping by Mama Pea Pod and leaving a comment!

Be A Fun Mum said...

Love this Shae! Looks awesome!

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