Toy Story

Our now vacated bedroom was given a makeover last weekend and the boys have something they've never had before, a playroom.  Our house is configured with a wing off of the kitchen.  It has a Jack and Jill bedroom/bathroom, and we decided to bunk the kids together and use the other space to house their toys.  This decision was made in part to keep their room a quiet place meant for sleeping and in Jasper's case, for homework. We also thought it would be constructive for them to share both spaces equally, including their toys. I imagine this will lead to inevitable conflict in the coming months, but for now at least, their wing is the happiest place on earth.  Here are a few tips for creating a fun playroom...

1. Give it a home.  I'm not into labeling bins, but I do think that everything should have a place.  Think about how they play.  I am keeping the "guys" and "animals" in low drawers for Wylie, while Jasper's Star Wars action figures and legos are stored in the cabinet where only he can reach.

2. Leave room to spread out.  Most of this playroom is covered with flat surface, either carpet, table, or chair.  They have space to lay on their bellies and build train tracks, build space pods and quiet comfy places to read.  No matter how small the room, they need surface.

3. Think like a preschool.  I purposefully created areas within the room for different types of activities. One side is make believe, with a toy kitchen, dress up bin and the tee pee. The other side has a focus on projects, like legos, trains and drawing.  The chaise is the quiet place for reading books at night, and a good resting place for an adult referee.

4. Use what you have.  Kids don't care what their space looks like.  I scavenged from around the house for furniture, curtains, shelving. This room is a hodgepodge of leftovers from other spaces. 

5. Set some ground rules.  In our case...