I’ve been doing a bit of reorganising lately; I’ve jiggled around the playroom a bit to make it more engaging for Jack (3.5yrs) and Sarah (16 mths). I think a space should continually evolve, especially for children, their needs and interests continue to grow and so their environment needs to continue to support their growing independence and engage their interests by changing too.
Sarah’s room only needed some small changes, but important ones. Her floor bed has matured a little; I moved the quilt from the nursing chair to her bed. She’s not quite at the stage where she is able to help make her bed. I have read suggestions that the bed should be made with minimal layers (or several layers inside a quilt cover) so the child can help make their bed. We did this with Jack, and when Sarah is ready, we will do this for her, too. At the moment though, she is enjoying helping to pull up her quilt for nap times. It is folded simply in half so all she has to do is lift the bottom. The pillows go on the floor, should she roll out.
I love the simplicity of origami; one piece of paper folded into art. I made Sarah a very simple origami mobile; six cranes suspended by fishing line and hung from her heating vent. The air gently moves the cranes, it’s really beautiful. I tried to make the mobile long enough so it is in Sarah’s line of sight but still out of reach.
My favourite addition to Sarah’s room is her cube chair. My husband made it for me using plywood and costing only $12.50. This simple chair has made such a difference to Sarah’s independence whilst dressing. It is made just for her, the perfect height, her feet are firmly on the ground and her back is straight. As she grows, we can flip the chair over, then when she outgrows this taller chair (which I think will be a while because it still fits Jack) we can flip it over again and use the back as a low table. My husband has stained the chair since this photo and it now matches her low shelves beautifully.
Sarah is now able to sit comfortably in her chair whilst she lifts each leg to get dressed and undressed. She can also put on her shoes completely independently now and is starting to put on her socks with some help.
And lastly, what’s on her shelves? Well at 16 months, Sarah is very interested in stacking, balancing and threading. So she has a couple of simple peg toys, one with shapes and the other with rings. Sarah doesn’t colour sort them yet, she just enjoys taking the rings and shapes off and putting them back on again. Sarah also has some simple wooden blocks, her beautiful wooden rainbow and her new balancing moon which she adores. It’s a little tricky but she persists and seems to enjoy the challenge.
So, just a few simple changes to turn Sarah’s room from a baby’s room into a very independent toddler’s room. I love it, but more importantly, Sarah likes it.