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DancingQueen 11:35 AM 10-05-2010
Can you guys tell me if I have too much going on in my play room? (maybe that is why destructo-boy makes such a mess)

I sometimes wonder if I should take the train table out as they really don't use it much at all

The colorful shelf holds - barbies, ponies, horses, tea set, cars, bigger cars, action figures, guys, animals, trains etc... I zip tied them on so they can no longer be dumped and it has helped a TON

The other shelf holds misc. items. fake food, utensils, cookware, small balls, blocks, rubix cubes, potato heads and parts and so on - some puzzles and a few minor things. (on top I now keep some books and my printer)





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BentleysBands 11:43 AM 10-05-2010
no not at all, think it looks great. but may i offer something? maybe dress your walls up with the alph., numbers, ect..make it look fun and inviting. other than that it looks great!!!
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countrymom 11:45 AM 10-05-2010
ok, here goes.
1. you need to paint, the colors are blah! something like a light green
2. you need some curtains, something whimsical
3. the storage shelf you have the legos on is scary looking, I would take it down.
3. I would buy taller shelfing and place colorful bins and put it where that shelf is (#3)
4. I would get rid of the foam mat, makes the room smaller
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countrymom 11:47 AM 10-05-2010
you don't have alot of stuff (I out do you ) but it just doesn't look inviting. whats behind the closet doors, can you take them off and maybe make that into a reading area with books and bean bag chairs.
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momofboys 11:47 AM 10-05-2010
I personally think it looks like a fun & welcoming room. Lots to do & lots to be entertained with. There are some things that could make it look more appealing to the eye but in general I think it's all good!
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broncomom1973 11:53 AM 10-05-2010
Personally, I like the wall colors. Maybe you could hang some of their art on the walls to make it more "fun". Otherwise, I like it.
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momofsix 01:37 PM 10-05-2010
You have WAY more stuff to dump out than I do. If you're concerned right now about things ending up all over (destructo boy?" ) maybe you might want to remove some toys. I just did this as i have 3 23month olds that love to dump! I now have only 5 of the tubs on my tub holding shelf, and one other small bookshelf for a block/car area with cars and legos. I only have 2 puzzles out at a time, and about 15 books. I have my kitchen set, but took away a LOT of the food and dishes. They still have PLENTY to play with, but I'm feeling less stressed by the mess, and they are not dumping everything all over anymore! And i rotate toys every week, so they are SO excited each week to see what new things are out! (they don't ever seem to "miss" the things that I take out!)
I like your colors and your set-up! Maybe something on the wall as others have said, but i think it looks great!
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SilverSabre25 03:11 PM 10-05-2010
I would paint that wall some color other than dark red--blues and greens tend to be more calming than red and that honestly might help Destructo Boy a bit.

I would also take out the rubber mat and reorganize some things--like put the bookshelf closer to the big chair to encourage curling up with a good book in the nice squishy chair.
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DancingQueen 06:42 PM 10-05-2010
the walls seem plain because this is my bedroom. LOL My daycare was supposed to be down stairs but we haven't finished it yet and I didn't want to wait any longer to open my daycare up. so we moved our bedroom downstairs.

the quiet reading area and baby toy area is in my living room - this is stictly free play room. We do activities in the kitchen as well.

These photos were taken a while ago and since then we've put up blinds and decorated the walls (but the color stayed the same. I put up curtains but my destructo boy decided he liked the windows better with them off.

The colored squares are there because the carpet underneath is trashed beyond repair and we don't have the funds to do the floor over yet so this was our temporary fix until we can do the flooring. I must say that the colored floor tiles were teh best choice we ever made. Easily swept every day adn I can spray them down with disinfectant every night - SO easy to keep clean.
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kendallina 07:17 PM 10-05-2010
Overall, I think it's inviting. Sure, the color could be something lighter and more playful, but as you explained you just didn't have time to do it (which I totally understand, DH and I moved our bedroom for our preschool room as well).

I do think there is too much stuff. I try to keep out no more than 5-10 books at a time and then rotate them frequently. I would also have only 2 (maybe 3) toys on the top of each of those shelves. When there is too much stuff, the children just don't see the individual pieces and can definitely cause some misbehaving. I tend to think less is more. Also, when there is a lot of stuff out, their eyes wander and they're unable to focus on what they're playing as long.

The shelf with the colorful bins (I have one of those too in my daughter's room and love it)- I would consider only having 6-7 bins in it at a time. Again, if there are fewer choices it helps their mind to see what's there.

I rotate my toys pretty frequently, which means that I need a lot of storage space (which I dont have now, it's all shoved in a closet). But, I'd suggest that you try removing a LOT of stuff for a week and see how it goes for you. You'll probably also find that the children are more likely to play with some of those toys that never get touched when they are rotated back in. Good luck!!

Also, I didn't see any dramatic play stuff (might have missed it). Do you have food, babies, kitchen-type stuff? It's always a hit.
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MyAngels 09:51 PM 10-05-2010
I also rotate things in and out of the playroom. I use storage totes to store various things and just change out the contents every so often. I've managed to accumulate lots and lots of different things over the years, so I have plenty of variety, and the kids love getting "new" toys all the time. I've also found that they tend to be calmer with fewer things surrounding them, sometimes they would get overwhelmed with the sheer volume before I started pruning down a bit.
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DancingQueen 04:16 AM 10-06-2010
Originally Posted by :
Do you have food, babies, kitchen-type stuff? It's always a hit.
Actually yes - the white shelf to the left of the brown shelf was taken out and put in my son's room (as most of those books were his) and there is a kitchen (from IKEA that I LOVE) in it's place with more play food and dishes/pots/pans/utensils than any group of kids will ever need.

I also have hoooks by the door - and on them now are all of the dress up clothes and a wicker basket below with all of the accessories that go with the dress up clothes.

I think I'll try to limit the toys in there this weekend.
We were actually discussing taking out the shelf that has all the clear bins. Just removing it from the room all together. And also removing the train table.

The colored bins I zip tied into place so I can't use less of them. but I can certainly cut toys out.

The closet behind the chair (which is now covered in art work by the kids) is my storage area - I rotate toys in and out of there and I also have all of my arts and crafts in there. Perhaps I'll move more toys into there and rotate more in and out.

I'll update you and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the help guys!
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melskids 08:52 AM 10-06-2010
i still leave all the choices of toys out, but have limited the amount of each of them. instead of 1000 pieces of duplos, there are 100. instead of a laundry basket full of dishes and food, there is a shoebox full. instead of 100 little people, there's 10-15. (you get the picture) i also have pretty well defined "areas" where the types of toys are to be played with. (not that i never let things get mixed up) but it seems to make cleanup much easier.

it does seem like they have WAY to much available to dump

i would move some of the shelves out away from the wall lenghtwise to create more defined "areas" and seperates spaces.
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SilverSabre25 09:00 AM 10-06-2010
melskids has a great suggestion; that's what I did to my playroom (creating defined spaces) and it has really made a big difference in the level of disaster. Daredevil Boy still spreads everything around, but it's much less than it used to be. Later (during naptime) I can post some pictures of the main playroom if you like.
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DCMom 09:43 AM 10-06-2010
Originally Posted by melskids:
i still leave all the choices of toys out, but have limited the amount of each of them. instead of 1000 pieces of duplos, there are 100. instead of a laundry basket full of dishes and food, there is a shoebox full. instead of 100 little people, there's 10-15. (you get the picture) i also have pretty well defined "areas" where the types of toys are to be played with. (not that i never let things get mixed up) but it seems to make cleanup much easier.

it does seem like they have WAY to much available to dump

i would move some of the shelves out away from the wall lenghtwise to create more defined "areas" and seperates spaces.
I agree completely.

The only thing that I would add is going vertical with shelving. I know we all have a limited amount of storage for toys and things that are not in use; I have become addicted to plastic containers and the adjustable closetmaid shelving system!

It makes it really easy to rotate toys in and out. You are also able to see what you have.

I attached a photo of one of my many areas of shelving
Attached: playroomshelving.JPG (91.5 KB) 
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DancingQueen 10:13 AM 10-06-2010
dcmom - I love that. I have wooden shelves galore downstairs in a pile I just have to buy the brackets to hang them up - that is the plan eventually in that room.
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DancingQueen 06:52 AM 10-28-2010
so I made some changes - but more changes are coming.


Here is my train table - now in my living room. I have it set up with cars and car tracks right now and I rotate the train stuff in and out. The pictures were taken during the daycare day so bare with the random toys scattered where they don't belong..LOL



Here is my coat hook in the play room. It holds puppets and dress up clothes. There are several dress up items and accessories missing because my daughter has them in her room this week (long story)



I turned some shelves around to make separate areas. to the right are all of my bins with misc. toys that are zip tied down and that is my "things that move" and free play area. In those bins are blocks, cars, action figures, animals and other misc toys.
to the left is my kitchen area where there are 2 large kitchens and one tiny one and tons of food and dishes


this area was covered in the past with the train table and shelving so the squares didn't go to the wall but we're planning to finish the area



Better view of kitchen area. Above the kitchen is my wall mounted TV. The wires have since been tacked down.

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DancingQueen 06:54 AM 10-28-2010
This is my quiet play area. But with my age group it NEVER gets used for that. I have a bean bag chair that I had to take out because all the little ones ever did was take it, walk around with it, or throw it. Same with a foam love seat I had there - any suggestions greatly appreciated. And all they do with the books is take them off the shelf and throw them. REading takes place when we all read together but as an individual station I think my group is too young to utilize it properly. Again - I'll take suggestions.





I'm still not happy with this area. I have a couple of doll house type toys and small little people and characters for it. But the kids just want to drag them all over. I have a large doll house that I can't even leave in the play room because every time I leave the room it ends up fallen over with someone sitting on it. I'm at my wits end with the destruction. I'm hoping that the terminated child being gone will help a little

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DancingQueen 06:55 AM 10-28-2010
And here is the larger doll house - i have in my living room with a bunch of little people and dolls for it - but it stays in the living room because I have more control over it not falling over out there.



And here are the fun letters we made with our Cricut. I knwo they are black but they were the only colors we had and the kids love them. This is also our art wall. I just took down last week's art and started with this weeks. At the end of the week I send stuff home and we start over again. The kids love seeing their art displayed



I moved my big shelf out of the play room and into a n empty area of my kitchen and now I use it for what it was intended. I have all my arts and crafts in the bins and my printer up top and paper and daycare documents onthe shelving. The kids have already learned not to touch anything in there without permission since it is in the kitchen and I spend a lot of time in there (because it is betweein the livign room and playroom so I can see everyone) I am able to make sure this rule is followed and they do a great job. As you can see I'm still organizing this shelf.




As you can see I still need some help.

My husband and I are buying brackets this weekend to hang a 12" wide shelf all around the playroom just above the ltters. On the shelf will be clear buckets - labled with extra toys, crafts, linens for daycare etc. So that will be nice. We are also buying more of the colored squuares to finish off the room.

My other nightmare area is my shoe/coat area. I think I found a solutin and we're buying that next week as well.

I take constructive critisim very well and would appreciate it. Please bare in mind my kids are mostly age 2. I have my own 4 year old and another 4 year old starting next week (M,W & F) plus I have one SA but he is here for 1/2 hour tops.

the young ones are really really really making it hard for me to stay organized. They drag all the kitchen gear out of the kitchen area and into my actual kitchen to have tea parties on the kitchen floor. Or they take all the cars out of the bucket and have them all over the entire house. They are too young to be of much help during clean up so most of the work is mine and I just can't stand it some days. So the more organized I can be the easier all of that will become I'm sure.


OH and please remember that I have 1008 sq ft home. so space is ABSOLUTELY an issue
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SandeeAR 07:31 AM 10-28-2010
Wow, I wouldn't know what to do with a room dedicated to the day care! Since I have 3 babies and one 2 y/o, I'm able to do this in my den. I have a small 1400 sq ft home. Den, Kitchen, Bath and 2 bedrooms.
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melskids 08:10 AM 10-28-2010
looks good! i have one suggestion though, in the quiet reading area, there is a cord running along the wall. i would find a way to move it, or secure it to the wall. they make cord holder thingys that look like tubes with double sided tape to secure to the wall. i only mentioned it cause i know that wouldnt fly here with my licensing...
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SilverSabre25 08:56 AM 10-28-2010
Looks pretty good! For the quiet area, my suggestion is to do something similar to what I did for our little "quiet corner"--turn the bookshelf so it's perpendicular to the wall and put it out near the edge, with the shelves facing the other wall, making a little "nook" (I hope this makes sense in print the way it does in my head!). Then get a bunch of pillows (just regular bed pillows) with bright, pretty pillowcases and toss them in the corner and one of those stuffed animal nets hung in the corner above the pillows to make sort of a "roof" over the area and a place for that pile of stuffed things to go. Yes, the pillows will get dragged around, used to make "houses", used to play "naptime" or "picnic" or whatever else, but it's having the suggestion there that's important I think. My kids LOVE our book corner and spend a lot of time in there even when the pillows are elsewhere. Plus, they really enjoy playing with the pillows.
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katie 09:36 AM 10-28-2010
The shelf you have with the colored buckets that sit at a slant, I have that too. I found that they just dump those and it becomes a nightmare daily. I put stuffed animals in it instead of the little things and that helped. I def have learned that with that age they are dumpers. You have to minimize what is out for the grabbing to a few options and then rotate the rest in and out. So some higher shelving for that. Walmart/Target have the shelves for 30 or 40 bucks and they are nice. Then you can get rid of the hanging shelf and move the puzzles and some of the "dumpable" items out of reach. I tried the reading area too. They don't use it unless we are reading together either. So put your books again up in visible sight but not dumpable sight. Then I would just open up as much space as possible for them to set up the days or weeks items they can use and let them rip!
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DancingQueen 09:46 AM 10-28-2010
Originally Posted by :
he shelf you have with the colored buckets that sit at a slant, I have that too. I found that they just dump those and it becomes a nightmare daily.
that was a problem here too. But someone on this board (sorry i don't remember who) suggested i zip-tie the buckets to the shelf and it has been a LIFESAVER!!!
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gkids09 12:40 PM 10-28-2010
I had the same exact problem with my reading area...The kids always threw the pillows and bean bags, or constantly fought over them. So...I replaced them with a twin size mattress. No bed, just the mattress, flat on the floor. They can't pick it up (Heck, I barely can!), so there's no throwing, and I have since made the rule that only two people at a time need to be in the reading area at once. (Three's a crowd, especially when books are involved.) The twin mattress holds two kids perfectly, and they can even be spread out. You could probably also use a crib mattress. Just put a sheet on it so it looks inviting. I also have blankets and pillows on mine, just in case...I have one kid who comes in EVERY MORNING and goes straight to the reading area and goes back to sleep. ha! Hope this helps a little. I like your room
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Preschool/daycare teacher 03:25 PM 10-28-2010
Originally Posted by gkids09:
I had the same exact problem with my reading area...The kids always threw the pillows and bean bags, or constantly fought over them. So...I replaced them with a twin size mattress. No bed, just the mattress, flat on the floor. They can't pick it up (Heck, I barely can!), so there's no throwing, and I have since made the rule that only two people at a time need to be in the reading area at once. (Three's a crowd, especially when books are involved.) The twin mattress holds two kids perfectly, and they can even be spread out. You could probably also use a crib mattress. Just put a sheet on it so it looks inviting. I also have blankets and pillows on mine, just in case...I have one kid who comes in EVERY MORNING and goes straight to the reading area and goes back to sleep. ha! Hope this helps a little. I like your room
Not trying to hijack, but can you post a picture of your reading area? Or send it in a PM so this thread isn't off topic. That is such a neat idea! I'm trying to set up "centers" but I'm not very creative...
In fact, I think I'm going to go add a new thread for center set ups...
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