It seems like ages ago (actually, it was ages ago) that I showed you a sneak preview of the play room and promised an update when it was finished. It’s been pretty well finished for a while but somehow it always seems to be a bit messy, and I’ve seen so many lovely play spaces on Pinterest that I wanted mine to be perfect in the photos too. Finally I spent five minutes tidying up on Saturday and took some photos while I was waiting for Alvin and Carys to eat their waffles so we could get going for the day – it’s not perfect, but it’s as perfect as it’s gonna get!
So, starting from the room entrance (door on the far L), here’s the closet (currently the only ‘open’ storage space in our house; every other closet has been built out so it can be stuffed to the gills, leaving me with precious few places to store things like…wall-sized stencils…). I left that one wall blue because I liked the color and I was too lazy to paint around the door track. Also, I ran out of paint.
Just peeking out from the right hand side of the blue-wall is the high storage (from the Container Store). This is where we put things that we don’t want Carys to get into without one of us being around. Most of the jars are currently empty (we have nice button and empty cotton reel collections) but I anticipate they’ll get filled with beads and all kinds of interesting things she might stuff up her nose. Play dough and crayons are up here as well. The clock is from Design Within Reach (Alvin bought it for the living room but it ticks and I can’t stand it), and I made the ‘Go Play!’ sign from some 1950s flash cards that I found at a flea market in Brooklyn (hopefully they’ll be the only flash cards Carys sees in her life!)
These cubbies are for things Carys can access herself, except the top shelf (for the time being, because she can’t reach it yet). I made them out of plywood and painted the insides with with leftover paint from other projects.
Above the cubbies is some art that I made by cutting some leaf shapes out of pieces of wood with a scroll saw.
The tray of beans sits on the top of the cubbies. We usually spread a shower curtain on the floor before getting the tray down to make clean-up easier.
Carys is welcome to help herself to things on the lower shelves. She can now get the jars of fabric out and take the lids off without dropping the jars on her foot. Rocks have been popular; redwood needles rather less so.
There’s a coat hook next to the cubbies and Carys can now hang her own coat if it has a loop or a hood. The metal basket in the bottom cubby is used for shoes and jackets that don’t have loops or hoods. I had planned to have shoes neatly lined up in pairs under the jackets but that ended up not really happening. Or, at least, the ‘neat’ part didn’t happen.
We do rotate items in the cubbies occasionally but this tray is always on the left of the desk. Carys leaves the larger deposits from her walks in it as soon as she gets home.
When we’re out walking Carys will hand us random stones, flowers, leaves, etc. and say ‘ba-pa,’ which means she wants us to put them in the backpack to bring home. The small stuff goes in a Talenti jar for supervised play, and is occasionally ‘rotated’ out the back door.
The (homemade) teepee occupies a prime spot in the corner, turned out so as not to cover the heating vent, and also to better permit someone who is so inclined to run headlong across the room and launch themselves face first into the ‘piwwow.’
The (homemade) Piker Triangle is mostly used to improve the angle of artwork viewing these days. I made the artwork display panels out of some scrap redwood lumber, a couple of eye screws, some wire, and a tension screw that takes up the slack in the wire (looks like the lower one might need tightening!). I had planned to use them for photos of Carys engaged in her various explorations but Alvin got a new printer and filled up all the space before I could get around to it. The lower rail has some of her drawings and a painting, folded over the wire because she figured out how to get the binder clips off, darn it.
And, finally, the sofa bed is still in this room mostly because it looked totally out of place in Carys’ bedroom and we didn’t have anywhere else to put it. I made some pillows for it and it is actually a nice spot to curl up for a cuddle, or just for a parent to rest while making sure the crayons don’t end up on the walls…
The space is working well for us now except that the desk is a little high (and can’t be lowered because the drawer units can’t be dismantled. Carys isn’t using it a lot as a desk a the moment so it isn’t a huge deal; we’ll try and find another seating solution if she does want to use it as a desk before she grows into it.
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