Here is how it all started....
When we got back from the States, I started noticing that the kids were not playing with their toys very much. The TV was becoming a constant problem and they were constantly wanting it on which is why the TV time chart came into existence. But beyond that I was surprised that they were not playing with toys that they hadn't seen in a month. And then when Peyton had friends over they too were not finding toys/spaces to play. So, I thought that maybe they needed new/different toys which I was not all that excited about since I didn't know where I would put new toys. And yes, I know when you look at the after pictures you will wonder why my kids have so many toys....my answer.....spend April-October in Saudi and you try to come up with ways to entertain kids that don't involve constant TV....you need toys! Anyways.... I started researching age appropriate toys and quickly realized that they had most of them. Hmmm....now what. So I started wondering if the space was not conducive to a good play environment.
So I started researching playroom design and quickly realized that our playroom was designed all around the TV and not for play. This is what it looked like before from when I did my Saudi Home Tour blog post last year.
We had the room split down the middle with a TV area that we designed to be a second adult hangout area as well and then the toy area on the other side. We had two large side tables and then these cube ottomans to store toys and act as a coffee table. Not too bad but when I started thinking about it the whole room was centered around the TV, there were more seating areas for TV instead of play areas and too much furniture in there.
So I started to plan.....
And this is what we have NOW.....
Biggest changes were removing unnecessary furniture. We don't need a coffee table, or side tables in a playroom and we didn't need the other large chair in there. Also a big change was the TV being put on a shelving unit and taking all of the puzzles, games etc that were high in the armoire and putitng them in more accessible baskets which encourage them to use them more. I put several games on the shelf above the TV to keep pieces from disappearing! I also have plastic bins filled with activities that I have found online for us to play with when we are bored and since the pieces are already together it is quick and easy.
A reading corner with the tent close by (we always had the tent but never had enough space to put it in the playroom permanently but by removing furniture created so much open space). The book shelves were made from painted Ikea spice racks that were only a couple of dollars a piece. I have not put the art supplies in the playroom since Graham still needs supervision and they are in a good location in the kitchen (right off the playroom) pantry in an easy to access shelf/system.
We did buy a train table later which took up some play space but is so worth it. Graham plays with it constantly and when we saw one in a store here for a reasonable price we decided to jump on it as we have not seen a train table here since we moved here two years ago! It was an early birthday present.
I added in some new bright pillows and curtains and some new artwork that I ordered off of Etsy and printed here to make it more play/kid centered and because I wanted to add some cute artwork in there :)
Now our playroom it is just a space centered around play with many distinct play areas and all the days are easy to access. I am still working on picture labels for all the bins and just need to find somewhere to laminate them and then I will velcro them on everything to help kids find toys and aid in clean up.
We are certainly so blessed to have a huge and separate play room for the kids and I am so thankful that I was able to create a better space for them to play in...it has certainly made my days much easier!