The Not Quite Crunchy Playroom
by MC Milker
(Long Beach, CA)
The Not Quite Crunchy Playrooom
When we moved to our new house, one of my first priorities was creating a playroom in featuring natural materials and providing lots of room for imaginative play.
Not QUITE crunchy our toy collection does include some electronic and plastic toys. That’s OK – they too have a home in baskets visibly displayed on low open shelves preschool style. Most of the baskets I picked up on sale at Wal-Mart or Michaels.
The playroom image in my mind, featuring natural wooden shelves and Lazure painted walls was reinforced with I clicked on pictures of “perfect Waldorf playrooms” – beautiful, calming, creative…EXPENSIVE!
Some of the expert tips though, resonated with me.Provide an area with some open space that will allow for free play. The small table covered with a one yard square of scrap fabric can be moved to increase the space.Make conscious choices when painting and decorating walls – use lighter, peaceful colors. I sponge painted the walls a soft yellow gold since this picture was taken. I like sponge or rag painting in rooms used by children; tape marks, holes and scrapes are easily repaired with a swipe of paint on a cloth. Make Play stands w/ Canopies the Center of a Playroom
Include a Nature Table- ours is displayed on an old white wicker bookshelf. Create a Doll Corner – In our case, with a boy child, we bought a wooden firehouse, then painted it white, so it serves as a variety of things.Hang a Coat Rack - Coat Racks are great for capes, crowns, hats, and dress-up clothes. Ours also features large pieces of felt, play cords and outdoor
explorer toys.Create Theme Areas - Some examples are a housekeeping area with a play kitchen, an art area with an easel, apron and paints; a story corner complete with a bean bag and favorite books.
I was able to incorporate most of these ideas into our playroom. The low shelves feature, silks, fabric scraps, pipe cleaners and wooden beads, as well as a cash register, small cars, rocks, shells, string and yarn, and feathers.
Various dress-up items hang on hooks on the walls. An art area, doll corner and music center are tucked into odd places. The play stands,can be moved around and with some old curtains and wooden laundry clips made into a fort, castle or tent.
By a fluke, I was able to acquire play stands at a garage sale. I then brought down some old white particle board bookcases and some wooden shelves I picked up at a second hand store. The wooden kitchen set was the only big purchase.
I update our playroom about once a year now – rearranging adding and subtracting items...though not too much. This keeps it fresh and fun as my son grows and changes. The old train table is now an art and science center and I’ve added a wooden castle. The kitchen center and cash register stay though he’s entering first grade. It's great for practicing early math skills.
A believer in sustainability and creativity, I try not to buy too much or throw out too much and I reuse as much as possible. I keep what I can, buy second hand and buy quality. And I try to teach those values to my son.