Last summer, I decided to create a playroom… then I broke my leg and ankle. So my plans were put on hold for one year until a spurt of second trimester energy hit and I found myself, screwdriver in hand, taking apart Bella’s crib. It was time to get this party started! Our house is what most would consider tiny, less than 1,110 square feet with three bedrooms. In order to have a play space and school room, the kids would have to sleep in the same room. That was my biggest concern, but constantly stepping over toys and storing school supplies all over the house just wasn’t working anymore. We needed a dedicated space. I needed a dedicated space with organization. So, I took the crib apart, shuffled furniture around (a perk of having tile floors- it’s easy!), and at the end of the day- the play & school room was born.
Next, I needed organization. Since the nearest IKEA is over 3 hours away, I found the best Expedit alternative- Closetmaid Cubicals. I seriously love these things and I know that they hold up well because I use them in Bryson’s room and our laundry room. I’ve ordered from Amazon.com and also found them at Lowes. Walmart carries Closetmaid too so you may find them there. They work well in small spaces because they aren’t wide and that’s exactly what I needed for the school room. They also come with the hardware to anchor the units to the wall so you don’t have to worry about them tipping over. The only drawback is that they are not tall enough to store a 3 ring binder which is why I opted for the KidKraft Wall Storage Unit on the adjacent wall.
We have different areas set up around the room. Over in the far corner, you can see the KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen. We bought this for Bella’s first Christmas and it has been a hit. They love that it has everything including a washing machine. Next to it, we have the KidKraft Nantucket Table Set which includes 2 chairs and a bench. This was a gift from my parents and again, we just love anything KidKraft. The quality is wonderful. This area is their little dining area where they often play restaurant and the table also doubles as their school desk. In this corner, we also have a child size broom, pretend vacuum, garbage can, and clock.
Behind the door is another set of cubes from Target. This holds most of Bella’s toys. She is far too busy to actually play with anything and usually dumps everything in the floor and then moves on to the next thing. Justin is planning to build some shelves into the wall here because it’s such a small awkward space.
To answer a few questions:
How big is the room? This was originally Bella’s bedroom and it’s approximately 12×12.
Is this everything? Yes, this is everything we use for play and learning. Bella keeps a few stuffed animals and dolls near her bed and there is a bookcase in their bedroom, but other than that- everything is in this room. They are allowed to bring toys out and play with wherever they like as long as they put those toys away when they are finished playing. They aren’t confined to the playroom and will often choose to play in other parts of the house, usually right under me, ha.
How do you use the 10 drawer cart? Before we had a school room, it held our most used supplies, books, worksheets, etc. Now, I’m sorting Bryson’s work by day with 1 drawer for each day. So, all of his work for Monday is in one drawer as well as any supplies that will fit. I’ll also keep a list of extra things we’ll need that day to help myself stay on track. Anything I plan to use during the week that will fit inside a drawer is stored there. For instance, this week he has an “L” pattern block printable along with the Melissa & Doug Pattern Block Set in one drawer.
I don’t have that much stuff! How do you do it? When I realized that God was leading us to homeschool, I started sneaking educational, learning, and play toys on Christmas and birthday lists. When someone asked me for a suggestion, I always had a running list of items we’d love to have for learning and play. The easel and the table/ chair set were both gifts from my parents. I try to be very intentional with Bryson and Bella’s Amazon.com wish list. (I have an Amazon wish list for everything, but more for personal use. I don’t share them with anyone other than immediate family.) I also found a lot of our stuff at thrift stores or places like Goodwill.
That said, you don’t need everything that we have! We started with a set of dot markers, free printables, and wooden puzzles- that was it. Bryson loved those things!
Where can I find/ what brand is it?
Wall color: Aqua Rapids by Valspar at Lowes
White Cubes: Closetmaid Cubicals- Amazon.com or Lowes
Pink Cubes: Circo at Target
Chevron Fabric Cubes: Big Lots
Kids Kitchen: KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen
Kids Table Set: KidKraft Nantucket Table with Bench & Chairs
Storage with Bins: KidKraft Wall Storage Unit
10 Drawer Multicolor Rolling Cart: Amazon.com
USA Rug: Big Lots (I couldn’t pass it up for $16 and I looked online for a similar one, but can’t find one for less than $40.)
Laminator: Scotch Thermal Laminator (under $25!)
Easel: Melissa & Doug
Owl Canvas Wall Decor: Circo Love and Nature line at Target
Owl/ Bird Wall Decals: Lot 26 Studio (It doesn’t look like they carry these exact decals anymore, but they have some other cute owl styles.)
Curtains: Lightcatcher Thermal Blackout Panels These are the BEST! We have 3 different brands of blackout curtains in our home and these work better than any I’ve tried.
Chandelier: Tadpoles 4 Bulb Chandlier
Did I miss something? If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting It’s Gravy, Baby! The KidKraft Wall Storage Unit was sent to us for review, but as you can see, we were huge KidKraft fans already. All thoughts and opinions remain my own, as always.