This is part 1 of a 3 part post in which, I show you how I turned our spare room and a storage room into an incredible place of play and learning. Giving this space a makeover was a lot of fun, and I know we’ll enjoy it for years.
There are plenty of pics and lots to talk about, so I thought it might be easier to follow if I layed it out in three parts: our play-room, MY space in the play-room, and storage.
Here’s the story: I’ve been running a home-daycare for almost 14 years.
The children in my daycare (The Hooligans) are teachers’ children so they’re not here during July and August when their parents are on Summer Break, and in Spring and Fall when the weather is great, we spend our days outside. But on rainy days, and during the long winter months, Mother Nature forces us to spend a lot more of our time indoors.
When we play inside, the room that the Hooligans do most of their playing in is in our Family’s rec. room. All the years that my own boys were young, this worked. It was their “toyroom”.
They didn’t mind that the room was filled with kiddy stuff. They were kiddies themselves. It was their stuff. The toys and games were in there for everyone to share and enjoy.
I should add that in the 8 years that we’ve been in this home, I’ve also had bits of the daycare scattered around the main-floor, and in a couple of other rooms in the basement.
We have an armoir in our main floor family room that holds toys and a few craft supplies.
The bulk of our crafting supplies have been stored in my laundry/sewing room (basement), and and we do most of our crafting in the kitchen.
This means for 8 years, I’ve been running up and down the stairs, transporting supplies from laundry room to kitchen every time we craft (and you know how much we craft).
A little inconvenient maybe, but I’d just load up a tray with everything we needed and bring it all up. Then I’d take it all back down when we were finished.
As my guys have gotten older, the basement rec.room has begun to morph into more of a pre-teen/teenage hang-out .
They have a desk-top computer in there, an art table, a flat screen, the ps3, hockey posters, skateboard posters, books, magazines…you get the picture. They’re not so crazy about it being a “toyroom” anymore, so everyday, I pack all traces of the daycare away into closets and cupboards so the boys aren’t hanging out in a room full of Fisher Price and dolls and matchbox cars, and I try not to be bothered by the mountain of craft supplies that has slowly taken over my laundry/sewing room.
Since discovering this wonderful world of mom and preschool bloggers about a year ago, I’ve been positively green with envy (and I say that with love) over the gorgeous playrooms that I’ve come across, and I’ve been longing (dreaming, fantasizing….you name it) for a space that doesn’t have to do double-duty with my own family.
A space that I can deck right out in true daycare fashion. Where toys and activities can remain set up, day and night, in cozy, little arrangements. Where snowflakes and Valentines and Hooligan masterpieces can be hung on the walls or from the celiings, and not raise the eyebrows of my sons and their friends.
And a few weeks ago it hit me… I HAVE that space! I’ve had that space in my home all along. It’s been disguised as a guest bedroom!
HUGE epiphany here folks. HUGE. I realized that I could convert our guest bedroom to a playroom JUST for the Hooligans.
Honestly, I don’t know if my family has ever seen me so excited about a project (and I get excited about my projects!!)
In just a few evenings, I moved the guest room furniture out (which involved a lot of reconfiguring of our very small storage room), and I moved all the daycare games, puzzles and activities in!
I did leave one double bed set up because I want to have it for when we ocassionally have company, and I can use it for nappers or quiet time.
I can’t even tell you how excited I am now that I have a room JUST for the Hooligans! (My boys are pretty pumped about having the rec. room all to themselves now too!)
Happy, happy, joy, joy!!
And if you think this is awesome, just wait until you see how I transformed an adjoining space for me and all of our craft supplies!
And I DID think to take “before pics” so you’ll see the full makeover!
Here’s a sneak peak!
Click here to see the full post!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.