So I decided to do a blog post about our playroom. I'm on the fence between feeling super silly for doing so and being super excited about it. I guess the excited part of me won, because I decided to post this haha. I just really love our playroom. It's my favorite room in the entire apartment, and the fact that we are even blessed to have such a space in a NYC apartment, I do not take for granted!! I love perusing Pinterest and seeing how other parents have set up their playrooms, and somehow over the last 3 years, I've become quite the toy enthusiast! (You will quickly see that my favorite toy brand is Hape!)
We moved into this apartment two years ago, so this room has been in the works for the last 2 years, and I still have ideas for the future! I love this room because it is right in between the kitchen and the living room, so I can pretty much keep an eye on the kids at all times, even when I'm cooking. The room gets tons of natural sunlight too, which I love. About the only thing I don't like is that there is very little wall space, so it makes it a little tricky to store toys and what not. But the kids LOVE running circles through the playroom and hall haha.
Okay, so here we go. This corner has to be my favorite spot. I started doing Tot School with Aly when she was 7 months old, and we love doing activities together. I was so thrilled when we moved here, and we could have a perfect little corner to dedicate to learning!
I made this interchangeable frame wall to display all of our different topics for tot school. It was very simple; I just got several cheap frames, painted them, and hot glued wire across the top! I also created each of the photo sets that I use! We also love the alphabet board underneath. I covered the edges with scrapbook paper to match, and we use these letters. Right now, Fynn is still at the age where he puts things in his mouth, so most of the time this board gets moved, as you can see in the next picture. But I love that it can easily be removed, and it also serves as a white board!
Here are a few more frames I made to display Aly's artwork. Below that is the kids' workstation. This folding table and chairs are both from Ikea and have served us well. The table is a wall mounted drop-leaf table, so it can be folded down out of the way when not in use, and it's also super sturdy, as I've caught Fynn perched on top of it a few times! This space has also turned into Aly's safe space when she wants to play with toys in peace without baby brother wrecking her creations!
The chalk board calendar I made. I bought a frame, lined the edges with scrapbook paper, and just painted the glass with chalkboard paint! We use it to track daily things that pertain to Aly and Fynn. I just recently added these bins to hold and organize my tot school plans. I love finally having some organization for it! On the top shelf, I store all of our art supplies and playdough. I absolutely love these containers, as they are too difficult for little hands to open, and can be safe to leave out for easy access. The bottom two shelves are just filled with puzzles of various forms. The puzzles are next to the table so they can be easily accessed and worked right there.
This corner is mostly devoted to pretend play. I just recently took down the teepee I had made that was in this space. That teepee lasted almost two years though!! I love having a corner that inspires imaginations and creativity!
I got the wooden bins, shelf, and cloth bins from Target. I love the open wooden bins that allow little hands to easily get to toys. We always keep out our instruments, and the top two bins currently hold cars, trucks, trains, etc. Those bins are occasionally rotated. I got the white shelf to get some extra storage, and also have some space to store Aly's toys that are not meant for babies. Inside our bins are barbies, baby dolls, dress up clothes, and the bottom drawer holds kitchen food. I also have a few 3D puzzles on this shelf. The cone has been a favorite of both kids! (Though I just went to link it, and it must not be made anymore because it now retails for $80, what?!) Again, things on the bottom half of this shelf are easy to access and safe for little hands, and the upper shelves hold Aly's toys that are just for her!
When we had the teepee in this corner, it served as a playhouse for all of our dolls and stuffed animals. It got a little overwhelming at the end! So with the new setup, I kept a couple babies out, filled one bin with doll accessories and a few favorite stuffed animals, and that was it. The play kitchen gets used on a daily basis. Aly loves to create all sorts of tasty dishes, and Fynn loves to pull everything out and taste everything haha. Oh and I almost forgot! The fridge dispenses "ice cubes" and it is the coolest thing!! Both children absolutely love caring for the dolls. They love to wear one baby and push the other in the stroller haha (NYC children for sure!!). It's been great to see how having baby dolls around has helped our aggressive one year old son learn to be gentle and calm!
This corner holds Aly's doll house. I love the imagination that it sparks with her. I often will hear her playing with this while I'm in the kitchen, and I love hearing her act out things with the family. It's a good glimpse into how she sees the world around her!
Okay first, I just have to say, poor Fynn. He's 15 months old and not a single picture on our walls haha. It's been on my to-do list forever to get a canvas made of Fynn and change out frames haha. Soon....hopefully.
This bench is sentimental to me haha. It actually used be a hanging shelf in our old apartment. It was quite the production--we had to mount it on a special thing, and then we attached a closet rod to and used as Aly's "closet" in our tiny 400 sq ft apartment. I still can't believe all 3 of us lived there so long! When we moved here, I just hated to throw it out, so we flipped it and turned it into a bench! It's perfect! On the top, I usually have some rotating toys. Inside the bins, I have one filled with plastic balls and blocks, or other baby friendly toys. In the middle is all of Fynn's train toys, and the last bin hold all sorts of wooden blocks. We keep the blocks out all the time, as they never seem to get old and provide endless entertainment and encourages creativity! The bins used to match, but a couple have gotten destroyed along the way, so for now, we are mismatched haha.
This final corner, is our reading nook! Another favorite spot of ours. I had my eyes on this beanbag for a couple of years before catching a good sale on it and adding it to our room! I love it because it's so roomy and easy to fit me and both children on it. It's also low to the ground and easy for Fynn to climb up and down as he pleases. Our bookshelf has grown substantially over the last 3.5 years. Ron and I are both huge readers, so we have enjoyed sharing our love of reading with both kids. Usually the bulk of birthday and Christmas gifts for the kids are books, and whenever Ron and I end up at Barnes and Noble on a date night, we always come back with books for the kids!
I thought I would just give a close up shot of our books, in case anyone was curious what's on our shelves! The lower shelves are board books and safe for little hands to get a hold of, and the top shelves are longer books. I'd love to hear what some of your children's favorite books are! I'm always on the hunt!
Here's a couple shots of the entire playroom. Of course it never stays this neat and clean, but what would be the point of that, right?! This rug was a very recent addition to the room Though the rug was a must have thanks to our downstairs neighbors' noise complaints (ugh), we have all loved having such a comfy place to lay, crawl, and roll around on!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into our playroom! :D