Lily is 18-months-old and had begun to tire of her slew of store bought baby toys and her parents were at a loss at how to encourage her to engage and play for longer periods. They also wanted to create a play space that she could grow with and that was easy to organize and keep clean. They reached out for ideas/help, and here we are today – with a finished interior play space and an outside play space still to come. Below are most of the updates and changes we made:
- The majority of Lily’s flashing, noisy, colorful toys were removed and stored away to rotate into the play space over time or to donate now she is older. There was too much on offer and it had become a sensory overload, so toys weren’t being played with, enjoyed or cleaned away.
- The biggest thing needed was storage – we built custom opening shelving to fit the space and I thrifted a variety of beautiful baskets and bowls to use to store toys.
- New open-ended toys and materials were added to the space. This included wooden blocks, scarves, bristle blocks, other building materials, and an assortment of kitchen/cooking materials.
- I also sorted and organized her pre-existing toys to make it easier to find them, play with them, and then clean them up.
- The colorful foam puzzle mat was replaced for a real rug – still colorful and fun, but it helps tie the space into the rest of the beautiful home.
- A mirror was added to her play space to create dimension and for reflection as Lily plays.
- Lily is very interested in drawing and writing, so we built and installed a wall-mounted easel with a small basket of art supplies that can be added to and put away when not in use.
- Lily’s parents wanted a bench and coat hooks + shoe storage near the backdoor, as this is primarily the door they enter and exit the house by. We custom built a bench + a coat rack with the same stain as the shelving to tie the spaces together.
- Finally more storage was needed in the living room area of the house, where a small shelf was housing Lily’s books, the homes electronics on top, and an assortment of larger toys around it. We built the same open style of shelving that we used in the main play space and stained it the same color to tie everything in.
- The bottom shelf houses small world play items like animal + dinosaur figurines and toy cars. The middle shelf is full of board books for Lily. And the top shelf is for the electronics, with space for some paper/hardback books for Lily. There is also space under the shelves to house the larger plastic toys that Lily still enjoys using.