Summer is coming to an end. I feel so sad saying goodbye to sunny days at the beach, walking barefoot through the woods and eating dinner outside. Aya will miss it too, because she is just like her mama: an Island girl at heart, always wanting to walk barefoot and play outside. We are happiest when we are surrounded by nature and feel the sun on our skin. And of course we will still play outside a lot, once autumn kicks in. The beautiful leaves and the fresh fall air have their own kind of magic. But the truth is: we are going to be inside a lot more in the coming months. That means we need to be able to entertain ourselves inside the house. I have created playing areas for Isaya on every floor of our house, so we can get trough the rainy days.
Aya’s playing areas are always “in progress”, meaning I like to change them up from time to time and love improving them. It helps her stay interested in her toys.
Main Play Room
Isaya’s play room is on the first floor (or second floor if you are in the US). This is were most of her toys are. There is a cosy corner for reading books. It contains the breastfeeding chair, a mini wicker chair and a comfy (mini) couch.
The majority of her toys is stored in an Ikea Kallax. This is perfect for play rooms, because they are easy accessible, very affordable (so it doesn’t matter if they draw on it…) and not too bad to look at. Above the Kallax is Aya’s picture board, containing photographs of her aunts, uncles, grandparents and mommies. On the right is her pink doll house – also from Ikea and customized by yours truly.
The other corner contains a little table and chairs (also Ikea). This is were she draws and makes puzzles. Next to it is her pink, customized bookcase, that holds the majority of her books. In the same corners is also her doll’s crib: a beautiful, pink one that grandma thrifted. She loves it! Aya is such a little doll mommy.
Downstairs Playing Area
If you have kids, this will sound familiar: slowly but surely your entire dining room and family room turn into one giant play room. It felt messy and honestly it didn’t really help Aya to play focussed and feel inspired by her toys. So I gave the storage area underneath the stairs a makeover. Because we have a pantry we didn’t really need it to store food or cleaning supplies. I painted the walls (chalk board paint!) and the shelves, put soft carpet on the floor, got some lovely wooden crates from Ikea and filled them with her building blocks, musical instruments, trains and art supplies.
It has become her “little house”. She loves playing in there, her own little area, surrounded by soft cushions, stuffed animals, books and toys. Obviously her toys leave her house. The floor of the TV room is usually strewn with duplo, train tracks and puzzle pieces. But it’s all easily cleared away and stored in a minute. Every once in a while I get invited into her house and we snuggle up under a blanket and read books together.
Art & Music Room
Because I have a background in art and my wife in music, one room in our attic is dedicated to creativity. This is were Aya and I come to paint – we both have our own easels and paint side by side underneath the big sky windows – and to make music. There is a piano, a key board, drums, guitars and all sorts of small musical instruments for her to jam with.
Hopes this got you a little more excited for autumn and gave you inspiration for your todds playroom!