This post is part of a Small Spaces Blog Train and I will be sharing about our living spaces catered for our kids. Take a peek at what fun means in those spaces, as well as some tips on how I get all those toys organised for the boys.
Well, before I get into the small spaces catered for my kids, I got to give a little introduction to my other half. You see, he’s pretty anal. He’s interior design trained, but a ladies shoe design/R&D person by profession and his life revolves around a lot of symmetry and accuracy. When we were planning for the renovation of our place, I had a hard time. Sorry, I meant our ID had a hard time. Everything is measured downright to precision and he has zero tolerance for any error. TV has to be right in the middle of where the sofa is placed, all the material colors must be matched closely across the various material used etc. The measuring tape is his best friend. In short, he’s an OCD. Clean, neat lines, symmetry is in his blood.
Me? I think I’m pretty messy. I like cleanliness, but am ok with things being messy. I think a little mess gives things a little character. I abhor dust, dirt and all and my favourite past time is cleaning toilet bowls. I find it pretty amazing that we can still make it work as a couple. He is constantly clearing up my mess, I am constantly creating new piles for him. Together with our 2 active boys, life’s pretty interesting in the household.
If I let my husband have his way, I think our house would be like a showroom, void of any character and just looking pretty and neat. Heh. Here’s the peek!
The Playroom/The Toy Room
When we first renovated our place, I wanted an entire room free so that it can be transformed into anything I want it to be. Playroom, jungle house, study room, bedroom, guest room etc. It was just a bare room with walls, floor and windows. Nothing else. We bought 2 sets of the Ikea TROFAST to be placed in the room to keep the toys. Symmetry is a requirement. Till today, the TROFAST is still working very well for us even though the playroom had gone through quite a lot of changes. I recently also added a BILLY book shelf to the room, and I can’t quite decide if that’s a good idea anot. It used to sit in the kids’ bed room for their bed time stories. I had to ask permission to disrupt the symmetry by the way.
What about the details?
This sits atop the billy book shelf at one corner of the room, to represent our little family and what the boys like. My husband complains that everyone (the peppa pigs) gets to sit but he doesn’t. Papa Peppa pig is too fat, and topples when I try to put him in a sitting position.
That’s our collection of children books, which is constantly growing. I need to stop buying books, and learn to borrow from the library instead. But books, they are my weakness. I bought every. single. one. of them here. The books are shelved firstly by their height, and then by type. I do have some books in series, and Jerry’s favourite are the Maisy ones. The 3D pop-up ones are my favourite though, and the kids love it when the spider jumps out when I flip the pages. Care is taken to ensure that the books are not packed too tightly, and the little fingers still can draw out the books easily.
I have been thinking about getting those open book shelves where the front of the books can be seen, but I don’t really have any space for that. I was also being frowned on when I shared the idea with the husband. Sigh! I should build him a cave and let him stay inside instead.
Jerome loves reading his books! Each morning, afternoon and night, he is often seen with a book approaching me and telling me, “read story book!”.
The toys are sorted into the TROFAST shelving by type.. Some of the bulkier ones are sitting atop of the shelves like the following:
I won’t be showing all the drawers that I have on the TROFAST, because some of them are quite empty and you’ll probably notice how we sort our toys in the house after seeing a few of them. We don’t actually pack them within the drawers because we don’t feel it is necessary to. The boxes get swapped around as well when a certain pool of toys grow bigger or when we throw things out. Tip: If you are thinking of buying the TROFAST, they aren’t very good for heavy stuff, so we tend to put the heavier stuff at the bottom, and have them sit on the shelf instead of letting them hold by the strips at the side.
Takes a bit of creativity to do this one..
Last but not least…
Each time, the kids are only allowed to take out 1 box to play, i.e. 1 box of duplo, or 1 box of train tracks. We are trying to follow what the school teaches so there is some consistency there, and hopefully, lesser mess to clean up.
At 1130pm, this kid is still pouring out all his toys and telling me that he wants to cook.. don't know to laugh or cry. I have tons of to-dos at the back of my mind but he wouldn't let me out of his sight or multi-task at all. I need a magic wand to put him into snooze land. #jerrychoo #sporemombloggers
Walked past the playroom and saw an interesting bridge. I asked the husb if it's his work.. He said no. So #jerrychoo built this and I thought it was pretty interesting because conventionally, you would put a wooden strip between the 2 arches. And.. The amazing thing is that it won't collapse when I press the centre of the wooden block. Kids really can challenge the conventional things that you thought it would be.. creativity at its best.
We restrict them by the boxes, and not by the area that they can play in. They are free to bring the boxes out into the living room or walkway, but the golden rule of thumb is, they have to pack and bring it back. The packing pack is relatively easy because since everything is contained within the box, they just need to throw everything back in the same box and it has been working for us. The difficult times is when Jerome pulls out more than 1 box at a time and mixes up everything together. It then becomes a sorting game and they get to sort everything into their own respective boxes.
The side of the room lies a kitchen top, and some huge vehicles that can’t fit anywhere. We have a fire engine, a Mater, and a Optimus Prime Truck. The other side of it is a small work table for the kids to do their colouring, or sometimes, a dinner table for their masak masak.
The husband would rip off those drawings at any one instance if I’ll let him. He cannot stand the ‘mess’ but I feel displaying the kids’ work helps them with their confidence. Jerry is also getting very good at drawing what he wants to, so I do want to encourage him to draw more.
The husband is very pleased that I tidied up the playroom to take pictures for this blog post and is strongly encouraging that I take on more of such blog trains. In his exact words, “Anyone starting a kitchen space or a living space blog train so that you will clean up the area?” I told ya he is an OCD!
It is currently Jerry’s bedroom because Jerome never slept in there. We plan to house the kids in the same room in the future, which explains the pull-out mattress underneath the bed. The boys’ bedroom is mostly untouched, unfortunately. Jerry used it for a month or so when we first moved it, and then we started finding him on our bed when we wake in the mornings. So he crawls out of bed in the middle of the night and crawls onto our bed to co-sleep. We eventually decided to all sleep in the same room to save on electricity.
The boys bikes and rocking moose is parked here as well, and Jerry’s bed holds loads of plushies…
Hopefully, we can move the boys back into their own room soon. I do miss the days where I can sleep without someone kicking my face! The boys clothes are also in this room but I’m too shy to show because it is not exactly very organised.
The Kitchen Refrigerator.
I started by having a magnetic puzzle where the boys can sit and do while I go about washing dishes or prepping dinner. The puzzle has a few missing pieces now, but we have added some alphabets that the kids do play with. Now that Jerry is learning to spell in school, this might really come in handy as a spelling board of some sorts. I had 2 sets of alphabets mixed in here so that we can spell most words.
And that’s the end of my post! Hope you’ll have enjoyed it and have gathered some tips for your own place or triggered some ideas. I would love to hear your comments if you have tips on improving what I have. If you have enjoyed reading and would like to be notified of my next post, do subscribe to the blog at the right side bar. Or, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram for my latest updates!
This Small Spaces blog train is hosted by Mum in the Making, and click the button for a look at more small spaces written by other mums!
Next up on the blog train is Jolin from The Js Arena.
Jolin is a blessed mother to a loving hubby and two adorable boys.
The Js Arena is where she captures and documents memories of her motherhood and parenting journey.
Join her tomorrow as she shares about the small spaces she has created for her boys.