We have our play space located in our lounge room. It’s where we spend most of our time as a family so it made sense for us to have our play space there too. We’ve got a main play area which I’ll talk about below, as well as 2 reading nooks and a musical instrument area which I’ve written about here.
We’ve got a cube shelf setup with 8 different cubes to place the work that Havvie will use. I use a toy rotation system to place work in there that Havvie is interested in and rotate the ones that she’s not using out. There is a whole wardrobe full of materials stored away, that I rotate in and out.
For us it works beautifully. These are the things I thought about when setting up this space, though there’s many options that may work better for other families:
- Where it was going to be located – when Havvie was younger we used to use a separate room that was going to be dedicated as her room. However we found as a family we generally stayed in the lounge, dining and kitchen area of our house. It felt like a chore to go to this other room to play. It was also much easier to integrate with the outdoors and practical life from our lounge room so we decided that’s where our play space would be.
- The furniture we would use – We decided to go with the cube system as it really distinguishes each item on the shelf. It also makes cleaning up really easy. Havvie knows where things go and quite often will put them back herself. It also naturally restricts how many materials you can put out to 8 so it was never overwhelming. The main thing was that it was accessible to Havvie. It was super important that Havvie would be able to independantly access everything on the shelf without needing my help.
- Making the space inviting and beautiful – It was important to me that Havvie felt called to this play space and was encouraged to engage with the work on the shelves. I also wanted it to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere so Havvie could concentrate on her work and not feel overwhelmed. We use natural materials to create this atmosphere. We’ve also added plants to add a touch of beauty. This also doubles as an opportunity to learn about the lifecycle of plants and take care for them which I’ve written about here.