Sunday, November 21, 2010

Organizing the Play Space

A few months ago, I began to realize that despite our focus on keeping just a small number of toys available for the boys to play with at one time, there was beginning to be more than could be neatly organized on the one small shelf of our living room end table. We decided that a bookshelf would be the best way to organize their things in the small area between our kitchen and living room where we spend most of our time. We had a custom bookshelf made at a local store and then I finished it myself with some homemade jojoba oil and beeswax polish (instructions here). The polish worked great and I think I may like it better than the kind you can buy. The shelf turned out really lovely, and was just what we need to open up this area while allowing for organization and room to play. The top of the bookshelf is now home to our seasonal display and a basket of books that are currently in rotation. We keep several seasonal books and a few favorites in the basket at a time, rotating the favorites in every couple weeks. The rest are stored away in a closet 'library' awaiting their turn. We have a similar, smaller 'library' for toys that are not currently age appropriate for either of the boys. In the coming months, we will return Isaac's baby toys and teethers to the library and bring out the puzzles and shape sorter.
The top shelf has a basket of wooden animals, a basket of knitted animals, some large shells we found while on vacation on Sanibel, and a soft doll. The middle shelf contains some stacking toys, a basket of various sized soft balls, and a small laundry basket with colored silks. Basically, things that are safe to be pulled off without hurting a certain little creeping baby. On the bottom shelf are all things wheeled and Isaac's little basket of teethers and rattles. The small train and its track hang out in a basket alongside the shelf. These few toys, along with Noah's larger wooden train, the play kitchen and pushcart are plenty to keep the boys busily at play.
I am loving this newly organized play space. Keeping similar items in their own space or basket makes it easy for Noah to help clean-up and get everything back to its special place at the end of the day. Even Isaac knows where to go to find his little basket of toys. I also love how it has opened up this little corner of the living room and we can now walk through and into the kitchen without having to go around the other side of the couch. More importantly, the boys are loving it, and will hopefully spend many hours playing happily here while I work nearby.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I Love love love your play space! How wonderful and simple. The shelf is beautiful! I would love to have a shelf like that built but wouldn't know where to go.
    Rosaleen xxx