Updated: Nov 20, 2019
We’re fortunate to have a finished basement that automatically became home base for the toys that slowly started streaming into our house after we had our first child. The playroom got regular use and, every so often, I took some time to tidy it, rearrange a few things, and take out toys that weren’t being used any more to pass on to another family or donate.
The space got a lot of use when cousins or friends came to visit and was well loved in the two years that I ran a half-day preschool program. But still, I didn’t think too much about the organization of the space.
I had considered that materials should be sorted (the white shelf has clear bins with same toys grouped together) and items should be easy to find but that's the extent of my planning.
When my girls were 7 and 4, we visited a friend in Guelph and went to a fabulous spot called, “The Children’s Art Factory”. It was full of creative ideas that I loved and recognized the value of from my education as a Primary/Junior Teacher and knew there were things that would be amazing in my Kindergarten classroom and, even more realistic, in our own house to promote creativity for my girls.
So I started Pinning photos of art studios for kids and decided on a plan for our basement. Then I had an “AHA” moment of how we use an Art Centre in Kindergarten to promote creativity and learning and, since I’m setting up an art centre in our playroom, I should arrange the rest of the room in learning centres.
So here are the results!
Art and Writing Centre
There are art materials on the wall shelves. The lower shelf is self-serve for the kids. I put messier things I want to help with on the top shelf. The easel has whiteboard markers. The kids' art work is displayed on the wall (they have been shown which tape is safe for walls and help themselves!).
Math and Science Centres
The 6 cube shelf above has pattern blocks and loose parts (I'll make a post on loose parts soon!), calculator, magnifying glass, binoculars.
Building, Music, Imaginary play, and Reading Centres
There's a lot together here but it works! The bins have mixed toys for imaginary play (Little People, Paw Patrol characters, animals), instruments and doctor kit, wooden blocks, Barbies. The mesh basket is full of toy cars. There's a shelf of books (most of our books are in bedrooms and some in living room - more on books later!). A fun Auntie gave the girls the karaoke machine! It has flashing lights on the front of it that get used for dance parties with the lights off. My grandma passed on this organ and it has had regular use - mostly the awesome programmed, very repetitive rhythm songs that get blasted on full speed. Ha!
Drama Centre and Quiet Corner
There's a play kitchen, dress up, table and chairs, dolls, and doll strollers. I hung necklaces and masks on 3M hooks (on wall to the right of the mirror).
Under the stairs is a cozy nook or quiet corner that has pillows, rug, stuffed animals. It's a good place to go to relax, calm down, or read. It is most often used as the bedroom area when playing house. (I'll tell you more about it one day and give you a closer look at it!)
Large Motor Activity
The mini trampoline and bouncy pig are good for burning off some energy!
There is actually a lot more "stuff" in our playroom than I would recommend clients have. (Do as I say, not as I do, right?!) This place is a disaster after several kids visit and spend a lot of time playing. But I can handle the mess and the clean up (more on that another time!) and can quickly return it to the way it looks in these photos so it isn't a problem in our house.
I hope you enjoyed the quick tour and feel inspired to arrange your child(ren)'s toys in learning centres. Get in touch if you would like my help!