Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Our Play Space--A Place for Everything

Recently we (I) remodeled the boy-o's playspace to make it bigger and more functional. We (I) added some storage units, organized his toys into groups and bought a storage ottoman to help hide away extra toys to rotate out later, and to store upcoming Birthday/Christmas gifts etc. as well. The results have been like night and day from the before and after! I won't bother showing you the sad before but I'm very happy to show you the final results!

The first step was to get some toys organizer bins to sort things out so that the boy-o has easy access to his toys and can get the ones he wants himself. Two of the top bins have been taken over for storing items that we use all the time. One holds his bibs and smock, and the other bins holds his shoes. The tall white bin next to the toy organizer also has extra toys in it. Some of them are bath toys, some are toys he's not old enough to play with yet, and one drawer has a wicked awesome dragon costume I bought second hand for $8! It's AMAZING! The boy-o won't be able to wear it for at least another year because it's way too big, but I don't care, it was too good to pass up!

We're also big readers in our house, and the boy-o already has quite an impressive library! He has a bookshelf almost full of books in his bedroom and we have a little stash of them in the coffee table that we read as our nighttime books, but I felt it was important to have some board books (harder to destroy!) available to play with and look at in his playspace too so we picked up this little bookshelf that matches the toy organizer in colour. It's fairly sturdy, and although it's quite small, it holds a good amount of books for what we wanted. (Note the "Star Wars ABC" book!) My hubby is a French teacher and we really want the boy-o to learn French as well, so the bottom row of the bookshelf has some French books in it.

As a kid I grew up playing with Lego All. The. Time. The boy-o's isn't quite old enough for real Lego yet since he'd just eat it, but MEGA Blocks are a perfect size for him. So we have a pile of MEGA blocks in the Lego turtle for the boy-o to play with whenever he wants. (Yes I know that's brand mixing) He loves that the lid comes off and he likes to play with the blocks even though he doesn't really get the stacking aspect of them yet.

If you've read my previous posts about sensory toys you'll know we have quite the collection going, so one of our dinosaur baskets is devoted specifically to sensory toys, homemade and otherwise. I wasn't sure at first how much playtime those objects would get if the boy-o had his choice of what to pull out to play with, but they get put back away all the time.

"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish..." We decorated the boy-o's nursery in Dr. Seuss theme, and this is a dresser that I painted for his room. With all the hand-me down clothes we got he out grew his little dresser pretty quickly so now it's in his playspace as a spot to store old toys that he's too big for. His playmat gym is disassembled in there as is his vibrating chair. It also adds a nice splash of colour to the corner of the room! Each of the drawers has a baby lock on them so he can't pull the drawers open as well.

Our Baby Einstein Jumper was a huge hit when we first got it, but the boy-o is less interested in being locked into place now that he's so mobile. We still love it as a place to put him when need to run and grab laundry etc. We have a little Cars mat that we've put underneath it to stop the floor from getting scratched, as well as to give a little cushion under his feet when he's bouncing away like only a Tigger can!

One of our most recent purchases has been our storage ottoman. Best. Decision. Ever. It provides a soft surface for the boy-o to pull up on and practice his cruising, and it gives us a large space to store extra toys we're not using, toys he's not old enough for, and a space to hide away toys for upcoming birthdays or Christmas gifts. (Yes, I like to shop early and grab stuff when I see it!)

So that's our playspace! The boy-o has about 1/3 of our living room devoted to his play area, and now that it's so much bigger he actually stays over there to play quite a bit which is a big relief because now when he wipes out it's on the mat instead of the hardwood floor! It didn't cost us much to revamp the space but it's been more than worth it to know that he has a safe and functional place to play. 


  1. I don't have small children anymore (teenagers), but I could definitely use your organization skills! Four of us and not one of us have a lick of ability...well, that probably isn't true. We have no desire to use that ability at home!

    1. Thanks for your comment Carrie! I can totally understand not having the energy/desire to organize your home space the way you might your work space. For us it's mostly a space issue and if we don't have his toy area organized we won't have enough room for it all!! At the end of the day it's certainly pretty tempting sometimes to just leave it all on the floor though!

  2. Great job! Looks like a fun place to play that will grow with him :)

    1. Thanks Erin! I think he's really enjoying it which is great. Before he would roam all over and didn't want to stay on his small mat. Now he plays over there almost exclusively by choice!

  3. A really great organized play area! This is will really grow with him over time!