Monday, March 28, 2011

Playroom /Homeschool room

Back in December, I mentioned that we finally got our playroom organized.  Three weeks later, we moved everything from the upstairs of our house to the downstairs and started a remodel.  Just as we were settling in to our playroom, we filled it up with furniture and headed off to Gramma's house for the next 5 weeks.  Yes, 5 weeks out of our house.  It was a little rough.  When we got back into the house, it took me another 3 weeks to get everything back in order.  What an adventure.  The remodel is not quite done, but everything is functional.

There are a lot of things I don't like about this house, but I love our playroom.  I love having a place for everything.  If I can't find a place for it, it doesn't take long for me to get rid of it. (Confession - I do have a lot of stuff in closets and the garage that I plan to go through this summer).

It doesn't look like an HGTV playroom, but it is real, very functional and a pleasant room to hang out in.

I started by replacing the carpet, painting the walls, painting the wood paneling, and all the molding.  I would love to replace the lighting, but it'll have to wait.
In this first picture you'll see our reading area, dress up area, and Linnea's shelf.  
Our versatile and comfortable futon.  A great spot to read books together, fold laundry while the kids play and occasionally, a nice spot to lay down.  Oh, I totally borrowed the wall art idea from here.  We had all these covers from hardback books in the closet.  I saw that, and had an a-ha moment.  The large piece of art is from Noelle Dass.  I saw a small print of it and loved it.  I contacted the artist and she made an original painting of her original piece (does that make sense?).  Every time I walk downstairs, it makes me smile.  The blue bookcase under it was built by Dan and painted by me.  It holds a lot of Linnea's toys and board books. 

The other side of the room...the computer, full bookshelves, board games, and our toy organizers.  I would still like to organize the book better`, but for now the boys are enjoying rediscovering their books, many of which they haven't seen since we packed them up in Georgia.  The computer is used everyday.  I love the new desk, particularly the sturdy keyboard drawer.  I let the kids have about and hour each on the computer. Sometimes it is more, especially if it helps me help Linnea get her nap.  They mostly play on PBS kids and a few other kids sites.  

We have a lot of fun stuff stuffed into and on those organizers.  Wooden train parts, wooden road system, parking garage, big and little trucks, animal and people of various sizes, lots and lots of blocks, building toys, camping toys, the doll house, several rockets, and more.  The part I like is that they all have a spot and when the kids are done with them, we know where to put them.

Next up, our art area.  All three kids are crazy about painting, so I had to figure out some way to make this room paint friendly.  I buy washable paints, crayons, etc, but still, getting paint out of the carpet daily, would be too much for me.  So, I got a waterhog rug that contains any liquid and can be hosed off.  Any paint that gets on it dries and can actually be easily vacuumed.

The table, wall shelves, and art shelf were all in our breakfast nook in Atlanta,  I repainted the shelves in the lighter blue.  I also stapled oilcloth to the top of the table.  It looks good and makes for an easy cleanup.  I added the cable with clips for wet artwork - very nice.  The puppets are tucked in the corner over there.
There is another matching shelf with legos, the marble track, among other things.  Musical instruments are trucked onto that corner and puzzle are on the shelves under the table

The easel has had a various stories on it and the white board is available for whatever, including magnetic letters.  I have some frames I need to finish painting for the kids to put their work in.  My plan was to have those three colors you see there.  One color for each kids, but I am afraid it will be too colorful  We'll see.

What is left to do?   Fabric stuff.  I need to organize my sewing room and then I can work on some curtains and pillows.  I have a lot of the fabric, but not the time, yet.  Curtains always make a room feel finished to me.  I'd also love a large rug for the room, but not sure we really need it right now.  Plus, the kids love the feel of the open space.

That's pretty much it.  I gave a few links for stuff, but if there is something you want to know more about, just let me know.  I most likely bought it online, because that is just how I am.  :)

Do you have a playroom or schoolroom?  Do you use your living room, dining or kitchen for your learning time? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dr. Seuss Celebration

 I have to say, that this little party turned out pretty fun.   The day before, my kids and I decorated with balloons and streamers and a welcome sign.  I did my best to tidy up the house and did not worry about any of the unfinished projects, but did put away the tools that had been laying around.  We also made cupcakes together.

The kids (a fairly young group) arrived and made Cat-in-the-Hat hats out of construction paper.  Why I don't have pictures of these, I don't know.  We played a few games, including pin the green egg on the ham, I Can do That (a Dr.  Seuss box game - kids had to do little tricks), and we read a lot of Dr. Seuss books (thank Hilkka!)

I did my best to keep things in check.  Call it a "party" and I have a hard time keeping things to a minimum, but I think I did pretty well.   The kids and I made the (simple) cupcakes.  I made sandwiches to share, pb-n-j, and ham and avacado.  The kids loved the little Dr. Seuss toothpicks in the sandwiches and used them to eat all sorts of stuff.  I put out a bunch of fruit and called it "done."  We had some Dr. Seuss pencils and little books to share.  And of course, paper products, because that always says party to kids.  

It was just right.

Thanks to all of you who came.  We talked about making it an annual event, but choosing a different author/book each year.  I am curious to see what we come up with for next year.