Default Style Register Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Living Room Toys?
mamamanda 04:14 AM 08-26-2015
For those of you who do daycare in your own home, do you keep many toys in the living room? I go back and forth on this all the time b/c our play room is pretty small. I currently have a lot of toys in the living room, but I feel overrun by daycare at the end of the day. I would just really love to feel like my living room was mine at the end of the day instead of feeling like I'm still at daycare. When I reorganized the playroom it was my intention to make the living room space for toys that we sit and play with one at a time, but since they have free access to the toys it never works that way. I'm really trying to teach them to clean up after themselves, but this group struggles. It's the 3-5 year olds that struggle oddly enough. My toddlers clean up after themselves great. Anyway, my thoughts are maybe moving all of the toys to the play room except for a handful of books, 2 or 3 puzzles, and the kid sized table for coloring. I keep quiet time activities like small world play sets, links, dry erase boards, busy bags, etc in a closet that the kids have to ask to open and I keep mats/blankets in the closet as well b/c they have to sit in a designated spot to play with these things so the little pieces don't get lost or in the babys' mouths. I was thinking of just using the living room during transition times and having everyone sit on their mats with their activities of choice during those times, but having them "play" in the playroom throughout the day. (Most of our play time is spent outside, but I'm just trying to be prepared for when it gets cold. Temperatures dropped this week prompting thoughts of winter. haha) Do you think that is ok, or do they really need the bigger play area option? If the toys are cleared out we could also use the living room space for group games during the winter like duck duck goose, simon says, hokey pokey, etc to give them some wiggle room, but not actually have toys in there. What are your thoughts? I'm just thinking out loud.
childcaremom 04:25 AM 08-26-2015
I have the same set up by the sounds of it.

Our playroom is downstairs and most of the toys are down there.

Upstairs is the living room/kitchen/etc and how we get outside.

We spend most of our days outside, too, so the upstairs (living room) is mostly a transitional area. Currently, I have puzzles, books, art stuff, playdough, etc. I also have busy bags and some bigger lego blocks. It works for now b/c my group is outside almost all the time.

Come the winter (and what I've done in the past), I'll have 2-3 ikea trofast shelves (single, tall ones with white bins) with some toys in them for play during art/sensory clean up, etc. Times where I need to be on that level and have them all happily occupied. Plus, my group will be mostly littles and it will be easier for me. The trofast bins are easy enough for them to pick up and at the end of the day look (to me) okay enough and not too daycare-ish. Plus if they get on my nerves, they are easily moved (the shelves, the shelves, ha ha).

I've also looked at the kallax system. I may try that.

The living room is not my first choice for play, however, I like to keep it 'set up' as a just in case. My group is all going to be young so if we come in early and have 30 mins before lunch, it may be easier to stay on the same level, rather than do the up and down. Just another option for me.
Second Home 05:45 AM 08-26-2015
My playroom is off my family room . All the toys are stored in the playroom but the dck are allowed to take toys out to the family room and play on the blanket if they want . They have to clean up whatever they take out to the family room before moving on to another toys .

At the end of the day everything is back in the playroom and the door can be closed so I don't have to see the daycare stuff if I don't want to .
Play Care 05:50 AM 08-26-2015
Originally Posted by Second Home:
My playroom is off my family room . All the toys are stored in the playroom but the dck are allowed to take toys out to the family room and play on the blanket if they want . They have to clean up whatever they take out to the family room before moving on to another toys .

At the end of the day everything is back in the playroom and the door can be closed so I don't have to see the daycare stuff if I don't want to .
This is my set up as well. I only "store" some books in a magazine rack in the family room.
Lovisa 04:55 PM 08-26-2015
The way my home is set up is there is a living room right when you walk in the front door (being used as the dc playroom). You go through a large doorway and you come to our family room. Toys always end up between the two rooms. I'm ok with it. I usually pick stuff up at nap time, then again when kids leave. The only toys that are permanently in the family room are the infant toys since they usually are in there with me. Those toys get thrown in a tub at the end of the day and shoved out of the way.
kendallina 06:02 PM 08-26-2015
In my old house it was set up that we were in the livingroom area during drop off, so about 30 minutes in the morning. I typically had one basket of toys (usually some building thing) and a basket of books available, that was it. I had to train the kids to sit and play when we were in that room, which meant for the first couple of weeks I was on the floor playing with them as people came in to drop off. Once everyone arrived (6 kids), we began our day and went upstairs to where the playroom was. Not sure if that might work for you...this was with all 3-5 year olds.
Unregistered 08:15 PM 08-26-2015
i have a small house in general so our play room is really tiny. I have 4 during the day and 4 sa in the afternoon. My kitchen and living room are all one big space. Most toys are in the playroom but I keep the kitchen set in the living area alone with a baby stroller and shopping cart. The little ones love these items and they get more use than anything in the play room. Another big favorite is toy cars so we have a small track they can bring out. All these things are easily tucked away at the end of the week, that way I don't have to look at daycare stuff. It's also nice to have the most popular stuff out when I am cooking or cleaning up after a meal. I was intimidated by the small space when I opened but I feel it works for my group. Depending on how long you stay in the living area or family room will determine how much you need in those areas. When I had the kitchen set in those areas no one ever wanted to come out of the play room which made it hard when I needed to be in the other room. Bigger toys that are easily moved are best. Blocks and puzzles end up everywhere in the bigger space so they have to stay in the playroom. Finding a good balance for you and group is important, it's no fun to feel like you're stuck in a daycare long after the children have left for the day.
Heidi 06:09 AM 08-27-2015
Kind of a crazy idea...

Do you entertain at all?

If not, you could make your current playroom your living room, and make your living room your daycare.

Otherwise, what I do now (and I have a separate space).

One room is the free-for-all, everyone-cleans-up-together room. The other is the clean-as-you-go room.

Reset the rooms so that the things in your living room are very clearly displayed in spots. Baskets or smaller toys (small quantities), puzzles, maybe a basket with coloring supplies, etc. One or two small shelves. Maybe you can put a velcro'd curtain in a nice fabric in front, remove it during the day, and put it back at the end of the work day.

The rule in that room would be use on activity, put it away, and then get another. The children will earn the right, essentially, to use that room. I'd start by only allowing one or two kids at a time, until they get it. You'll need to be on top of them for a week or so, but they will. My just 2 year old only needs occasional reminders, and he's been absent most of the last 4 weeks.

If you're in the decor group, I will add some pictures of my new space. I've been meaning to, anyway.
284878 07:10 AM 08-27-2015
I have a small play room. (spare bedroom) The kids are allowed to bring toys to my living room to play but they go back to the play room when done.
The basket of baby toys and a couple of stand and play toys sit in my living room, depending on what goes when I am closed they will stay in the living room or get moved to the play room.
I have a file bench that I have with table time toys. (puzzle and things that they have to ask to play with.) That is in my living room and is used for seating. Book shelf has my books and kids books in it.
Nisaryn 08:49 AM 08-27-2015
I don't use my living room at all or the upstairs bedrooms but everything/everywhere else is free-for-all. I baby proofed everything downstairs (the kitchen is like a jail-house for my utensils!) and blocked off my living room for that very reason - a place to deflate after daycare hours are over. But our living room is smaller than the play area, our house configuration is really weird :/ Plus my hubby has a lot of game consuls and games that are kept in there and those are off-limits. It was better to just block the whole area off rather than leave the temptations out especially when they are allowed to use consuls at home. Now that I'm adding preschool (and dropping two infants) I didn't want to have to argue with them over that LOL.
Reply Up