Our Playroom and Creative Space

Playroom  Creative Space | Mama Papa Bubba

After five {quite painful} days of looking for a new place to call home here in Vancouver, Brad and I {not surprisingly} ended up having different favourites.  My choice, a 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom / 2 level townhouse, was small, but in a really lovely vibrant community filled with young families and coffee shops, restaurants, and other amenities that were all very walkable.  His choice {and the one we ended up choosing}, was a big, old, quirky free-standing  3 bedroom + office / 1 bathroom home on the outskirts of the city in a less walkable neighbourhood…  So what sold me on the house that in my mind meant more cleaning, more time in the car, and needing more stuff to fill it?  Without a doubt, it was the spacious, beautifully-lit sunroom that I knew would make a perfect playroom and creative space for Miss G.  And while it’s still a work in progress as we empty out our last few boxes and re-purchase a few of her items that weren’t worth shipping, it’s already become a favourite spot in the house.

Here’s a look at the space as you walk in…

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I love seeing how other people set-up and organize their playrooms and creative spaces, so let’s take a little tour, shall we?

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First up, our sensory play corner – a simple little wooden table and chair set with a wooden drawer chest on top.  This is where we keep our homemade play dough and slime, our play dough kits, and a range of cookie cutters, silicon moulds, mini rolling pins, stamps, and loose parts.  As the seasons change, we’ll definitely change up the doughs, kits, and cutters to keep the station fresh and engaging.  {The pretty little canvas above is a really easy heart resist art project that Grae made in Kuwait and the ribbon mobile was something I made for the play-filled backyard birthday bash we hosted when she turned two.}

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Next up, our main toy storage area.  We’ve had this TROPFAST storage shelf since Miss G was a tiny little thing and we’ve always managed to put it to really good use.  Right now, it’s filled with a combination of big and small bins and houses our Duplo, our unifix cubes, our magnetic play parts, our puppet collection, much of our LEGO collection, a few random tea party and ice cream shop supplies, and a giant stack of wooden puzzles.  On top we keep a small Mr. Potato Head set Grae was given, plus the lovely cash register she got for Christmas last year, and whichever LEGO project she’s working on and doesn’t want to take apart just yet.  {Above is the simple origami heart garland Miss G and I made for our annual Valentine’s Day tea a couple of years ago.}

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Off to one side, we have a basket of stuffies that G loves {despite my general dislike of dust-collecting stuffies… Seriously, how does one collect so many stuffed animals without ever purchasing one?}

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And on the other side, we have a little drawer tower filled with doctor supplies Miss G had at her 3rd doctor-themed birthday party and in her doctor station in Kuwait.  {This set of true-to-life human x-rays is the coolest.  Also a must?  This kid-sized working stethoscope.}

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This fun RANDERUP low-pile rug makes a perfect spot for Miss G to pull out a bin of toys and play, and the neatest part is that she often incorporates the differently coloured stripes into her play as habitats, sleeping bags, hospital beds, roads, etc.  {Over on the side we have more LEGO, a bin of small musical instruments, and a bin of cars, trucks, and tractors}.

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Also nearby is a bin of seasonal books I like to keep out {right now it’s filled with back to school and fall themed stories}, as well as a couple of comfy cushions for cozying up with.

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Alright, onto one of the very favourite spots in the room…  Our dress-up station!  This costume stand was built by Grae’s Poppop several years ago and has been so great in helping her keep her dress-up items organized and tidy {not to mention that she’s had plenty of hanging practice because of it too}.  On top, we store our dress-up hats and down below we keep things like skirts, wings, and masks that don’t hang well.

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Over on the other side of the room, we have our books and games shelf, along with a couple more cushions and a carpet to read and play on.

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Children’s books are one thing I can almost always justify buying and I started collecting them when I began teaching in 2003, so we have a lot of them – this is just a small sampling!  You can see some of our favourite stories here, plus Grae has been absolutely loving three book series from Scholastic recently – Word Family Tales, AlphaTales, and The Best Me I Can Be – I think she feels like they’re ‘schoolish’ and thats a big thing in our house since she recently started Kindergarten.

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{Above the shelf is one of the many fabric buntings I sewed for Gracen’s 2nd birthday party, as well as a beautiful photo / button collage she received as a special gift from one of her little friends in Kuwait.  Oh, and off to the side above the pillows is the simple name resist art project Grae did while in Kuwait.}

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In the next corner, we have our little art / creative space.  While we had a huge mama and munchkin creative space in our apartment in Kuwait, this time we went for a much more compact design, housing most of our art supplies on a RÅSKOG rolling cart and just having a small table with a couple of chairs.

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Though our size of our art space as decreased, most of our basic art supplies have remained the same  – we continue to love our washi tape, glitter, glitter glue, Mr. Sketch scented markers, Sharpies, and our ultra low-temp glue gun. One recent addition, however, is a couple of gorgeous sets of SAX watercolours which are absolutely lovely and well worth the investment, in my opinion.  One of the things that I love about our new creative space is that we can very easily roll our art cart around the house {or even out into the yard} if desired.

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Lastly, we have our literacy shelf.  While I do hope to put together a proper literacy station similar to the one we had in Kuwait in the near future, this little shelf does the trick for now.  It’s filled with wooden magnetic letters, alphabet cookie cutters, foam letter stickers, alphabet stamps, Scrabble tiles, our name rocks, our name stamp, and all sorts of different types of paper and writing utensils.  Also included in this area is Miss G’s Melissa & Doug mailbox, which I think serves as a great writing motivator and her collaborative journal which we’re just getting into the swing of using regularly again after a busy summer.  For now, we just borrow items from here and use them either on the floor or on the art table, and that works just fine.

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And there you have it…  Our playroom and creative space as it is now…  I’m excited to see all of the fun this space will bring. ☺

 

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9 thoughts on “Our Playroom and Creative Space

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing these pictures! I love your blog and I’m so relieved you continue while back in Canada! Can’t help thinking that this room looks like a perfect home school room 🙂 Glad you found a great Kindergarten for your sweet girl though! I hope your new place will soon feel like home to you and that your huge transition continues to go well for your family.

  2. My husband and I have the exact same conversations about our new home. Are you happy with your decision to move to the outskirts? I also want to live in a highly walkable neighborhood close to work to cut down on commute time but that means giving up the potential for space.

    1. It’s a tough one, Amy… I will say that I’m perfectly happy here in the big old house on the outskirts of the city {though I’m probably one of those people who would just choose to be happy anywhere}. The added space is nice and we’ve figured out how to use most of it quite effectively, but it definitely means a TON of cleaning and that we drive more than we would have. Having lived here for 6 weeks or so now, I still think I would have picked the smaller townhouse in the highly walkable neighbourhood if it was solely up to me, but that’s because I enjoy the challenge of getting the most out of a space and I’m very much an out-and-about person, so I’d take community over living space in most instances. Best of luck with your decision… I know it’s not an easy one!

  3. This playroom is amazing! The kids will surely be creating a lot of masterpieces in such an inspiring space. Once they’ve finished their artwork, easily organize it all with Keepy. It’s a family friendly app for saving and privately sharing everything your little artists make. Take a look: http://keepy.me

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