Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our work and play spaces

I've had a few people ask about what Nugget's spaces look like. I'm going to share them as they are, but with the caveat that they're a work in progress. We've lived in this house for about 9 months, and we're still figuring out how our flow works into it. We're constantly tweaking where furniture is and where things are stored. In fact, I did a minor re-arrangement last night before taking these pictures this morning.

First, our "work" area. This is officially the breakfast nook, but we never used it as such. A few months ago we removed our cafe table and put in a toddler-height table and stool. Nugget eats lunch and snacks here and colors and does puzzles.

The black shelving unit is new, and holds puzzles on the bottom two shelves. The light wood folding shelves I moved out of her playroom just last night and set out her "work". This has worked out great, as she re-discovered some activities that hadn't been as easily accessible before.

Nugget still doesn't get the pattern activity (her Dad put the top pattern down), but she likes to make up patterns of her own. And she might understand it more than I give her credit for, just not like it -- she told us she was going to make a pattern, but a "different" one.

This shape/color matching hasn't been out for a while. I need to make some changes -- the cards slide on the table easily, and the shapes slide on the cards. Maybe some non-skid on the bottom of the cards, and gluing a few of the same shapes on top of one another to make a bigger, heavier piece?

This is Nugget's playroom. It's not your traditional Montessori or Waldorf environment -- there's more colorful plastic in here than hand-carved wood, but she likes it. We buy most of her toys second-hand at thrift stores and resale shops for monetary and environmental reasons, splurging rarely on nice pieces like a Haba doll or Plan Toys drum. Some of her favorites in here are a doctor's kit, Duplo (Daddy builds her robots), and various Little People. Outside the door you can see her cardboard playhouse.

I have some goals for these spaces. I'd like to put more shelving in the nook/work area, as well as more artwork. In her playroom, I'd like to start a rotation system with her toys. We'd tried that about 6 months ago, pulling a number of toys into the guest room. But then she discovered that trove of toys, and we just had two destroyed rooms at the end of the day.

In the kitchen she has a nice wooden kitchen of her own and a Learning Tower, along with lots of wood and felt food and cooking implements. I'm in the process of clearing out a cabinet to keep her plates and cups in so that she can start setting her place at the table herself. Hopefully I'll get that done tonight, and I'll have some kitchen pictures in the next few days.

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