Multi-age Playrooms: How to Set Up a Space Everyone Will Love

 

If you have more than one child, you will know that toys seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The family playroom quickly turns from your kids’ playtime haven into a chaotic hovel, mismatched toys strewn about with no sense of order or organization. Baby toys and chemistry sets sit alongside each other and you know something has to change. If this situation is currently happening in your house, know that there is hope. Here are a few tips to help you create a playroom children of all ages will love.

 

Designate zones

As with any good playroom, it’s a smart move to have designated areas for different kinds of play. For multi-age playrooms, creating a space for each child will help everyone easily find their own toys and feel like they have their own room. If you need to, use room dividers or cleverly placed storage to physically separate the room into different areas. Otherwise, keep arts and crafts materials in one corner, dressing up and other imaginative play toys in another, and puzzles, board games, and building toys stored neatly in boxes and shelves. An organized playroom is much more functional and low maintenance than one with piles and piles of random toys.

 

This clean, organized playroom has dedicated spaces for imaginative play, arts and crafts, and plenty of storage!

 

Playroom 1

via Modernize

Space to relax

Just because your playroom is full of toys and stimulating projects, this doesn’t mean your children won’t need somewhere to relax and sit, too. Find a functional piece of furniture or two that all your kids will enjoy, or have smaller versions for younger members of the family. Bean bags, oversized cushions, and comfortable sofas or armchairs work perfectly for all ages. Combine this relaxation space with your story/quiet corner if you like, but make sure it remains accessible for everyone.

You can just imagine your kids curling up with a good book in the comfortable, inviting window seat and bean bag chair in this playroom.

White+Kidsroom

via Modernize

 

Rotate toys

Regardless of age, all children go through phases with toys. Most of us have far too many toys for keep track of, and if we parents think there are too many, our kids will also struggle to play with all of the toys lying around. Once you’ve organized the playroom, take out any broken, unused, or unwanted toys and discard or donate appropriately. If you’re still left with too many toys to store, take a few out for a month or two and rotate them back in when you sense your kids are bored with the ones they’ve been using. This will encourage your children to enjoy the toys they have available (and will also help immensely at cleanup time).

 

There are few toys on display in this playroom, so they are more likely to be enjoyed often.

 

Yellow Kids Room

via Modernize

 

 

Keep it safe

If you have toddlers or babies using your playroom, make sure any small or potentially dangerous toys are kept out of their reach. Consider storing older kids’ craft and building materials on higher shelves or closed away in bins, and make sure big brothers and sisters know not to leave their Legos lying on the floor. Speaking of storage, make sure any heavy storage units are secure and bolted to the walls if needed, because we all know that every toddler becomes a climber at some stage. Encourage daily tidying with a schedule or regular routine and you are less likely to have any accidents.

 

This playroom uses clever box shelves and counter space to store delicate and smaller items.

 

Fidi+Kids+Loft+Bedroom

via Modernize

 

Once you’ve reorganized your playroom to suit everyone, your kids will be ready to get playing. Now comes the really hard part: sharing!

 

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

 

Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.


How to Save Money on Fireworks

Festive and colorful fireworks display

 

Are you one of the fortunate (or maybe in some cases, not so fortunate) Americans that are allowed to buy fireworks in the United States?  I know living in a rural Kansas community, we have always been allowed to buy them and shoot them off.  We have a few restrictions, such as not setting them off after midnight and those who live in town can only shoot them off from July 1st through the 4th.  But for us, we can do them all year if we so choose, because we live outside of the city limits, in the country.  Of course, we’d need to take note of extremely dry times so we don’t cause grass fires or other fire hazards.   We’re also not allowed to use certain kinds of fireworks, like bottle rockets.  We’ve gotten so accustomed to not using them, that we don’t mind much.  There’s plenty of other things out there that we will enjoy.

 

Fireworks are kind of a cornered market, only showing up once a year.  Is it possible to deal shop for them?  Yes, within reason.  You’re still going to need to set a budget that will work for your family, because it’s super easy to go out of control with these things.  But, there’s a few ways that you can save some money and find some great deals.  I’m sure this advice varies by region as it seems fireworks trends change depending on where you live.  My sister lives 2 hours from me and she prefers to buy them here in my town, because they’re always cheaper here!

 

How We Save Money When We Buy Fireworks

 

1.  Shop around

You may have a favorite place to buy your fireworks from, but you may be surprised to learn that not every store or tent prices them near the same.  You will see wide varieties of prices, depending on where you shop.  Sometimes, you’re supporting a non-profit organization or ministry and you don’t mind paying a little more, but if you’re just giving someone’s wallet a little extra padding, you may want to rethink automatically going to the first tent that you see.  Consider giving your kids a list of the most popular items you buy and going and pricing them at each local fireworks store.  That way you can get the best deal out there and you can even support several different stores.  Spread the love a little bit.  As mentioned above, you may want to even check in another town if it looks like you’ll be traveling to nearby towns during that time period.  You may find that smaller communities have better pricing than cities (or even visa versa).

 

2.  Sign up for Mailing Lists

We have a certain favorite store that we’ve learned is usually priced lower than most of the other tents in town.  To top it off, this store is air conditioned!  Because they treat it more like a store, they actually have an email list where they will mail you a daily special.  My kids look forward to receiving their daily emails to see what the new coupon is.

 

3.  Watch for Coupon Mailers

We’ve also received multiple coupon mailers.  Today, I got one that said I can save $7 on a $50 order.  With my 7 kids, we easily spend $50 during the week of the 4th of July.  That’s $7 more that we can have to burn….literally .

 

4.  The Special of the Day

Some fireworks stores change their specials each day.  They keep you coming back that way.  We willingly do, too because we have saved a lot of money by buying their specials.  We once bought a 7 ball artillery shell for $1 because of the special of the day.  We bought as many as they’d let us have!

 

5.  Pay Attention

When they’re ringing you up, be sure to pay attention to the prices they’re charging.  Sometimes they are doing it on memory and may try to overcharge you unintentionally. Make sure that the prices are what you think they’re going to be and if they’re not, show them where you found the price you were thinking.  Also, many times, stores will offer a freebie with purchase or to kids.  Be sure to find out if the location you’re shopping at does this and take them up on the offer.  Sometimes they forget to offer!

 

This covers everything that is available to us to save money on fireworks.  I realize that your area may be different.  What are some different ways that work for you?  

 

I hope you have an amazing Independence Day!  Have fun and be safe!

 

Festive and colorful fireworks display

 

You may also like:

Layered, Red, White & Blue Drinks!  

Make Your Own Patriotic Wreath

Red, White & Blue Foods for the 4th

An American Flag Fruit Tray for the 4th of July


Are You Saving T-shirts for a T-shirt Quilt?

(This is a sponsored post, all opinions contained within are 100% my own and not influenced by the sponsor).  

 

I have heard about making T-shirt quilts for a long time.  It sounds like such a neat craft to make in order to preserve memories of your family’s past, but I’m the type of person who will put off a big craft project like making a T-shirt blanket, even if I’m really excited about it.  I will put it off for so long, that I may even wonder why I ever started saving those t-shirts in the first place.  Can you relate?

 

My friend Jessie, has been doing the same thing.  Being a farmer’s wife, she has been saving these cute little John Deere T-shirts that her family has worn through the years, for a long time. She’s even picked up a lot of the shirts at Goodwill and garage sales to get the shirts for the quilt ready quicker.  But…she found that she had so many projects going, she was never able to get her craft project done.  She still wanted to preserve the memories, but how to find the time?

 


 

Well, it just so happens that I was introduced to this new company called Project Repat.  You can send all of your t-shirts that you’d like made into a blanket, into their company and have them make your quilt for you!  How cool is that?  No sewing skills required of you!  They make the process so stinking easy, too, by showing step by step instructions on their site..

 

I was able to gather my friend Jessie’s t-shirts and have them sent in for her, to save her time.  Here’s the stack that I was about to mail in….as you can see, all greens and browns, because they were all John Deere T-shirts.

 

John Deere T-shirts

 

When placing the order, you get to choose which color you’d like on the back.  She chose gray.  Here’s a picture up close so you can see the thickness of the blanket.  It’s not too thick, but it was just right for the most comfortable blanket ever!

 

John Deere Tshirt Quilt

 

You send them all in and they send you an email when they receive your T-shirts.  Then, they turn your shirts into the most beautiful blanket full of memories!  You can choose different sizes, either a lap blanket (like we chose) a twin, full, queen or even a king!  Of course, the larger the blanket, the more t-shirts you’ll need.  We chose a lap blanket, because she just wanted it for her living room, so we only needed 16 panels.

 

 

 

Not long after we sent them in, I got another email saying that they were done with the quilt and that it was on it’s way back to me!  I was so excited to get it in the mail so that I could Jessie’s reaction.  Of course, I had to try it out on my own chair first to see how it looked….I think it turned out pretty sweet, don’t you?

 

John Deere T-shirt Quilt 3

 

It was hard for me to hide half of the quilt though when I folded it…lol, so I had to open it all up and drape it over the chair, too…so I could see what all of the shirts said.

 

John Deere T-shirt Quilt 5

 

Of course, when Jessie came over to pick it up, she was so excited to finally have her project done!  She loved it and so did her oldest daughter Alia!

 

John Deere Blanket

 

Are you interested in utilizing a service like Project Repat to preserve your family’s T-shirt memories?  I did a little searching online and found that Project Repat has the best prices around for a service like this! They make the process so easy and you get your blanket back really fast.  Be sure to check out their website or even follow them on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.