Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flexibility and Growth

When we moved into our house, I knew we were planning on having children. I kept that in mind when I was house searching. I wanted all the bedrooms on one level. Somehow, intuitively I knew that walking up and downstairs in the middle of the night wasn't something I wanted to do. I had no idea that even at 4 they still need us to come in the middle of the night to check on them. I wanted a kitchen that had space for kids to help cook and I wanted a toy room on the main level so that they could play and be part of the action. The house we bought is an almost perfect layout. I love it. As soon as I saw the formal dining space, I knew that there would never be a formal dining room table in there. Before we had kids, it is were my pet turtle lived and we thought we'd put up some book cases and have a library. 

That never happened and soon we found out we were having twins! Here is a photo story of how our "formal dining" room space has evolved over the years. 
Before kids. We didn't even have curtains up. My pet turtles lived over there on the left.

 Twins! We decided to have a temporary nursery downstairs along with their nursery upstairs. One crib was down because they took so many naps during the day, and I didn't want to have to go up and downstairs, escpecially at first holding two itty bitty babies. We also had a changing table downstairs.

 Around 7 months old, we took the second crib upstairs because they were finally big enough to sleep in two separate cribs. By that time they were taking all their naps upstairs anyway.

 Around 10 months when they started crawling, we put a baby gate. The playroom effectionally became known as "The Pit."

 When they started pulling up on stuff and getting into things, the changing table came out of the room. The toys also of course changed over time.

 Before their second birthday I bought this Trofast system from IKEA. By this point they were starting to get toys with more pieces and keeping things together was getting hard!

 I added a bridge for stuffed friends and wires to display artwork.

 On the other side of the room we mounted a chalkboard/magnetic table and a smaller trofast unit. The table flipped down out of the way. It is also IKEA.

 They got a dollhouse and a kitchen set for Christmas and they were in the toy room for a while.

 The wall table didn't end up working the way I wanted so a smaller table that had been in the kitchen moved into the playroom. The doll house never got played with, so it went up in storage.

The room looked like this for a long time.

Then right after this last Christmas we have now converted the playroom to a school room. We turned the family room upstairs into the playroom. Now they go upstairs to play and down here for art and school lessons. I love how flexible this room has been for us! I have two kidkraft desks for the girls to art and work at, and that little table is currently holding their computer. I love having a bit wide work area for kids this age. They need elbow room and plenty of space to sprawl out their work. It's working great for us so far! I have ABC's mounted on the wall, so they have a reference when trying to write their letters. The bins contain, scissors, markers, colors, pencils, games like: go fish, old maid, candyland, hi ho cherry o. There is playdoh, lacing cards, different size beading activities, magnetic letters and animals, coloring books, blank paper, reading books and painting supplies. Some they can access whenever they want, and some things we only get out as a "project."


MandyE_TwinTriumphs said...

Now I finally understand the half wall!  :)

I love how you envisioned the room before kiddos, and how it's been so flexible for you over the past four years.  I have always loved your shelving units, and I really, really love the set-up you have now for "lessons".  Perfect!!!

Amanda Dittlinger said...

 What do you mean you understand the half wall? Did you not know what it was before?

One thing I figured out early on is that if you don't have a system for organizing the toys you go crazy. Or at least I do! LOL.