My oldest child who was 12 at the time liked to do his work in his quiet room at his desk, so this room was a play and school space for kids 5 1/2, 4, and 2 years old. Those precious days go by all too fast and I've found myself in recent months, finally giving in to the fact that they're well past the counting bugs, matching games, ABC puzzles, wooden letter pieces, and other fun preschooly things. We're in the process of putting or giving those things away and updating our space. This is what we started out with:
Rain gutter bookshelves for displaying all of our beautiful picture books. A loveseat and beanbag chairs created a reading corner. And a little table just right for little ones to sit at for cutting and coloring and doing puzzles.
We eventually added a larger table and chairs for us all to sit at together when we needed to.
Construction paper always available, as well as a small container of crayons and safety scissors and glue sticks on the small table. They liked to color and scissor and create a lot. Toys were still scattered throughout the room since playing is important too.
A lego table, which has been the best toy investment we've ever made. It has gotten daily use for years. Playstands with puppets, baskets of wooden play food, and a tabletop kitchen. They liked to pull the puppet theater in front to create a drive through window, restaurant or store.
You can barely see to the right of the playstands, some toy bins where we kept our school manipulatives. Handwriting Without Tears preschool stuff, pattern blocks, base ten (MUS) blocks, counting bugs, matching and sorting games, and so on. They could lift a bin off and take it to the table to play with the contents, kind of like a center, and then return it when they were done.
I don't have a picture of the entire room since our update, we're still working on it. Here are some bits and pieces of how we've updated this room for older kids (now 8 1/2, 7, and 5) who are distracted by the toys during school now, are old enough for free access to art supplies, and need more table space:
We have various supplies in an Expedit bookcase for centers. The kids are free to pick a center and take it to one of the small tables we now have along one side of the room. It contains things like a microscope, magnifying glasses, a real working stethoscope, a grammar game and other games.
Some of our fun stuff for centers. Cash register with play money, a wooden clock, an abacus, and our math balance from RightStart math. I like having it all available for exploration and self-directed learning.
Here you can kind of see the small tables along the wall divided into centers by the bookcase. The blue bins behind the table used to be toy bins that held our preschool manipulatives and will now be used for a trial workbox run.
Art supplies available for Creating, (with a capital C because it's an important process if you ask my daughter). I'm still working on our art center.
And that's our school space, which has been a great space for us to spend our time together learning and growing.
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