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.


Monday Randomness: Real Life Edition

Hey!  How was your weekend?  It’s been a while since I’ve shared a random update about my family and what we’ve been up to.  I thought, today is the perfect day to do just that.

 

What we’ve been doing….

We’ve been busy.  I told you all about our Schlitterbahn Kansas City trip and how I got a really bad sunburn.  What I didn’t tell you is 8 days later, I accompanied my kids’ youth group to World’s of Fun/Ocean’s of Fun, also in Kansas City.   June has been full of amusement parks!  While at World’s of Fun, I rode roller coasters that I haven’t even thought about riding in 15-20 years.  I found that I get more sick on them than I did when I was 18.  I also figured out that I must be getting old, as roller coasters aren’t nearly as fun as they used to be.  Go figure…

 

We just started roofing our house.  In fact, by the time this post gets sent out, I will probably be out on the roof with my husband, getting a couple hours of time in before he goes to work and before the heat takes over.  A hail storm came through a month or two ago and our insurance company is paying for us to replace our roof.  We decided to use part of that roof replacement money to buy a camper, so we are doing the labor ourselves.  We do have one friend we are paying to help us when he can, (he keeps us going in the right direction so we don’t mess up!).  In the mean time, we had to take off the satellite dish AND the internet antenna that picks up our wireless signal.  I’m having to use my iPhone hotspot to blog with…and can’t wait till our home is back to normal in the WIFI department.  :)  The TV I can do without.

 

We had a fun and restful Father’s Day.  We started the morning at church and then we took my dad and my husband out to Pizza Hut buffet for a fun, family friendly Father’s Day dinner.  Later, we came home and napped for 2 hours.  We ended the day by playing miniature golf at the park and then visiting Ryan’s (my husband’s) dad at his house.  It was a really nice day.  Especially since I beat the whole family at Mini Golf.  That’s a rare thing in this family!  Here’s a picture of my husband, riding a gorilla on the mini golf course, LOL.  He was having a fun time, entertaining the kids and just being all out silly.  Something my kids will always remember their daddy for.  I’m thankful to have him in my life as the father of my kids!

 

Ryan on the Gorilla

 

and what we’re planning….

 

This week, I’m going on an overnight trip to Dallas to visit the Dr. Pepper Snapple Headquarters.  They are paying my travel expenses and I get to go do a Behind the Scenes tour of the facility, do a little taste testing (Did you know that they have over 50 brands of drinks?) as well as help to build a playground as part of their Let’s Play Community Construction Grants.   I’m looking forward to getting away for a short trip, but I’m also a little nervous, as this is the first time I’ve ever been away from Quinnly (15 months) overnight.  She’s still nursing, and although it makes me a bit nervous to make her do without nursing for 2 full days, I’m looking forward to the kid break, too.  I’ll be sharing more pictures about my trip when I get back.

 

My 17 year old son is leaving us this week for a week of Summer Church camp.  He’s at that age where it’s tough to catch him at home any more, but I’m starting to really miss him and I’m not looking forward to him being gone another week.  (He and his dad were gone for almost a week already this month at a large paintball event.)  Here’s a picture of my son at the paintball event (he’s on the far right).

 

Baylee at D-Day

 

I know this is just practice for when he actually leaves home for good, but I’m not sure I’m ready for this stage of life (said in my best whiney mom voice I can muster).

 

3 of my daughters have been attending Children’s Summer Theater.  I’ve been the Mom’s Taxi Driver all month.  The final production of the play will be this coming weekend, with 3 separate performances that will no doubt be packed out.  They have loved their time in Children’s Summer Theater and while they’re excited to finally get to perform the musical they’ve been preparing for, they’re going to be sad to not have play practice any more.  Me, on the other hand, will be happy to go back to a more normal schedule.  June has been so busy!  Here’s a picture of them at their performance of Peter Pan last year.

 

Peter Pan Performance

 

 

So far, we’re having a fun filled summer, but now that the heat is kicking it up a notch, I have a feeling we’ll be staying indoors a little more and maybe tackling some inside of the house projects before the school year has to begin again.  I hope you’re having a great Summer Break so far!

 


GIVEAWAY: EGUMPP Grammar Curriculum for Students

This review is sponsored by EGUMPP.  While I am a homeschool parent, this curriculum will work for homeschoolers and public schoolers alike.  If you have a child in need of some extra grammar instruction, please read on to hear more about it and to have a chance at winning the giveaway!  All opinions are 100% my own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.  

Man with laptop showing thumbs up

English.  It was my favorite subject in school.  I always found it to be really easy and relatively enjoyable.  I’m not sure why, because I absolutely hated diagramming sentences.  Did you like to diagram?  I know there’s a few “weirdos” out there who do…but me, I’d rather just write stories and read books when I’m talking about an English class.  Thankfully diagramming sentences isn’t all that English class is about!

 

As a homeschooler, typically I don’t stress out too much about teaching English.  I want them to spell well, read well and write well, but seriously don’t care too much about them knowing how to diagram sentences.  However, I do realize that knowing how to diagram a sentence is a lead in to knowing how to use your grammar properly.  My son is in 12th grade this year, but when I was going through his transcripts, I realized he was short one credit of English.  For us, it’s not a big deal, because we found an online program that will help us finish up and get that last credit, all while making sure he’s ready to go to college and write term papers.  It’s called EGUMPP.

 

You may be wondering what in the world EGUMPP stands for?  I know I did.  It stands for:  English Grammar Usage Mechanics Punctuation Program.   In short, it’s an online web based program that helps prepare your child, whether they’re in middle school, high school or even college age, to fill in any gaps that they have in their grammar and punctuation instruction.  You would be amazed at how many people begin college with inadequate grammar instruction!

 

what-is-egumpp

 

We recently started the program and so far I’ve been impressed.  Let me tell you a few of my favorite aspects of the program:

  • They use audio and video to communicate with the student, making it very hands off for the parent or instructor.
  • They make it easy to understand and slowly build upon each principle that the student is learning.
  • It can work for so many age levels!  If my middle schooler is strong in grammar and usage, she can use this course, or if you need to make sure your high schooler is doing well enough before sending him off to college (like me), you can use this course, too!  They even use this course for students in college who are not strong writers, to improve their skills!
  • They have online flashcards to help you review the information you were just taught.  You read the statement or question and then click “Show Answer” and it will show you the answer so you can see if you’re right.  Egummp
  • It breaks each module up, so that you can only focus on one aspect at a time. For instance, Grammar is module one, Usage is Module 2, Punctuation and Capitalization & Punctuation is Module 3 and Writing Mechanics is Module 4.
  • The “Practice to Mastery” section aims to let you literally practice what you’ve been learning and will grade your abilities.  If you aren’t up to speed, you will have the opportunity to continue practicing until you’ve improved your grade.
  • It allows my student to work at his own pace.
  • It includes lesson-ending writing tasks using the concepts within the lesson to ensure a higher level of retention.

Who is EGUMMP for?

It all depends on how strong you are in grammar, usage, punctuation and writing.

  • Middle Schoolers who want to be strong writers.
  • High Schoolers – EGUMPP prepares your high schoolers for the SAT & ACT all while preparing them for college as well!
  • Even College Students – You would be amazed at how many college students show up with the unsatisfactory ability to write essay papers.  EGUMPP will help get them up to speed so that they can graduate with higher scores.
  • Independent Learners – In order to use EGUMPP, you must be able to use a computer and watch videos and follow instructions.
  • Homeschoolers who want a hands off grammar approach.
  • Nonhomeschoolers who have children who are struggling and need more instruction in this area.

 

WIN THIS!

EGUMPP Logo

 

EGUMPP is being very generous and 10 people will have the chance to win a suite of EGUMPP Products.  This includes all 4 modules.  Each winner will receive an EGUMPP Suite that includes a license key and an eBook for each module. Each module license key provides access to that module for one year plus access to the eBook for that module.  This is an online product and nothing will be shipped to you.  If you’re entering to win, be sure to check the email address you comment with regularly.  You would be amazed at how many giveaway winners never email me back.

 

Would you like the chance to win?  Leave me a comment below and tell me who you would use this for if you won.  It can be you, your child, your best friend’s child or even your grandchild.  If this will help someone you know, be sure to get entered!  Giveaway ends on Saturday, May 9th at 11:59 P.M PST.