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.


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.


My Photography Story – An Improving Beginner

My Photography Story

(This post contains affiliate links)

How does a girl who doesn’t really pay attention to details get interested in photography?  She has a bunch of kids!  7 of them to be exact.  I am one who absolutely hates taking the kids to a photo studio to get their pictures taken.  We used to do it regularly when I had less kids, but as my family grew, I decided we’d have to take pictures of them at home and use those.  Only one problem… my photos weren’t that great.

 

I had seen pictures that I loved that I thought looked really good, where the main subject was in focus and the rest had a blurred background.  I studied and studied how exactly to get that affect and discovered I had to get an SLR camera.  It’s funny to me now looking back that my measure of a good photo was the blurred background.  I now know that there are plenty of great photos without that affect as well.  But, I was a novice, nonetheless, and decided I must have the camera that could help me do that.  Of course, having the blurred background is still pretty cool……

 

Quinnly by Autumn

 

We were on vacation when the urge hit.  It was time to upgrade that camera so we could get some great vacation shots.  My birthday was that week and my husband decided that we could buy the camera for both of our birthdays and Christmas and our anniversary, too, in order to justify paying for it.  Although I think we may have overpaid (being the ultimate deal shopper that I am), I’m so very glad to have my little Canon t1i DSLR camera.  While I can still take pretty normal, not so great pictures when it’s set on “auto” or when the lighting isn’t so great, I have the capability to take much better pictures when I want to or need to.  I’m learning as I go and it’s been a lot of fun!

 

Since we bought the camera, I do use it a lot for taking pictures of the kids, but I actually use it more for blogging.  I’ve been learning about using light and how to change the settings of the camera and how to shoot photos in manual mode.  I sometimes feel like it’s a huge learning curve and don’t want to mess with it, but when I do, I get some pretty great photos!  I’ve also learned a lot about how to edit my photos to enhance them, making them even better than they were, or to cover up any mistakes I made.

 

Because of my budding fascination with photography, my oldest daughter also developed the urge to learn photography.  In fact, we just bought her a new DSLR camera for Christmas.  She’s been practicing like crazy and has taken some beautiful shots.  She took this beautiful sunset photograph with her new camera and won 2nd place in a local kids photography contest.

 

sunset by autumn

 

Last year I bought a digital photography course for my daughter so that she can enhance what she’s learning.  We were going to use it as a course in school, because she is hoping to eventually start a photography business.  But….I learned about something even better than that course that we started with.  It’s called The Ultimate Photography Bundle and I’m going to use this as a thorough education in photography for both of us!  There’s 3 different levels to it, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.  We’ll have to start in the Beginner section, but there’s some things in the Advanced section I’d like her to learn as well, so I think I’m going to buy all 3.  The 3 things in the bundle that I think will help us the most in the Beginner’s section are:

 

  • Photography Masterclass: Your Complete Guide to Photography ($199 value)
  • Seeing the Light: Making the Most of Available Light and Minimal Equipment ($12.00 value)
  • iPhone Only Photography ($29.00 value – because sometimes I don’t want to lug my big camera)

 

If you’re interested in learning more about photography or just improving your photography skills, let me suggest you start with this free gift:  Free Guide to Photo Composition and perhaps join me in buying the Beginner’s Photography bundle.

 

What about you?  What’s your photography story?