As Stephen and Irini have been getting older, Nick and I decided that we really needed to get a playroom for the kids, since the current situation meant their toys were literally in every room of the house. Originally we were going to make the spare room at the back of the house their playroom, but it is quite isolated from the rest of the house, so we felt that the children would probably not want to play in there when they wouldn’t be able to see or hear Nick and I.
After brainstorming for a while, we decided to make the front room in the house, which is meant to be the formal lounge, their playroom. This has worked out magnificently. Firstly, Nick and I had been really struggling with what to do with this room. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on furniture for a room that is hardly ever going to be used, but leaving it empty was making our house look unfinished, as well as providing the perfect spot for junk to accumulate. Secondly, this room is right opposite Nick’s office, and has a clear line of sight into the kitchen and lounge room, so both kids fell really secure playing in there even if I am not with them.
On one of the walls, I hung a pinboard to display Stephen’s arts and crafts. He is very proud of this, and shows anyone who comes into our house his work. I (very) loosely follow a Montessori philosophy at home, and treating children’s art as important is a key tenant of this. Around the pinboard, I put up removable stickers from Stuck Up Kids to give the formal room a more “kid” feel. The table and chairs are the Mammut range from Ikea – they are really nice and sturdy, and the table is lovely and big which is perfect for playing as well as for arts and crafts.
The storage system is also from Ikea (the Trofast range). The bins hold assorted toys and blocks, with each bin having one category of toy in there, which is making for easy and independent cleanup. The shelves to one side will hold the puzzles and our Montessori equipment which is currently in the back room. All of the toys and puzzles are accessible by Stephen, so he doesn’t need me to get anything. The easel was a lucky score from Toys-R-Us. I bought it for $59, and it is solid wood with storage bins, a white board, a black board and the paper roll on top. I’ve since been back and they are selling it now for $259!! The little step stool (another Ikea buy!) means that Stephen can easily reach all of the paper.
The rug is the final buy from Ikea – it is actually much brighter in real life (I had to take the pictures at night) with bright primary colours. It is a lovely thick rug, made from pure wool which makes for easy cleanup if anything is spilt on it. The room is finished off with Stephen’s Feber Chalet cubby house which is great for imaginative play (there is a little servery window at the back with a picnic bench – we play shop, cafe etc from there) and large foam shapes that Stephen and Irini crawl through and roll over and build into forts etc.