Window bench and toy storage
I used the baskets I already had (which I bought for $1 each at Urban Ore in Berkeley), spray painted a 4th white and made the toy labels myself with black paper, chalk, laminating sheets and cable binders. I used Ed Emberely's Make a World book to draw the images.
As for the bench, I used two IKEA floor rugs, tied them together and stapled them onto the bench, on top of 5 seat cushions. The geometric blue pillows are from our trip to Bali before the nugget was born.
It doesn't always look this tidy, but it cleans up pretty well! And of course, I was thrilled when the nugget came down and saw the baskets and pointed straight at the helicopter label and said "helacoptor". I'd say, big success!
I moved the play kitchen into his room, removed the loose silver frame, added an unused bath mat to catch any spilled water and reduced the amount of play things that accompanied the kitchen. That was the biggest lesson of all. I realized that too many pieces and options only make more mess and actually reduce the amount of time that he plays attentively.
I kept only the vintage pots and pans set with the kitchen in his room, plus the Plan Toy cut-able fruits and veggies.
I added some baking and cooking pieces to a box in the kitchen to be used when he helps to cook with me. The rest of the pieces I took outside, and created this...
It's still way too cold for mud pies and grass soup but this little nook right by the stairs is one of his favorite spots already. The white enamel container is actually from our wedding, which we used for lemonade throughout the weekend, so it makes me smile to see it is being reused here. I let it fill with rain water and then the nugget can get all the water he needs - all by himself.
The train table
"I never want to put the train tracks back together again!" I think those are the words that came out of my mouth at some point a few days before the eCourse began and they became my motivation. My first idea was to glue the whole tracks onto another top layer of wood, but I realized that would mean that when he is a bit older the tracks would not be available to play with. So instead, I glued the ramps together and then used heavy duty duct tape to keep the rest of the tracks together. I removed the bottom shelf so tall toys could fit underneath and then moved the table to the window to make a bit more room.
The storage piece on the bed is also from IKEA and gives him access to the trains when he is up early from his nap. Toddler playing in bed and not making noise for a 15 minutes - I lovely unexpected bonus!
An unused space upstairs