Our Creative Space

032Purging. Simplifying. Organising. Creating.

As part of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series with myself and Kate from An Everyday Story, I’m culling play materials and re-designing our play spaces.

I thought I would share our newly organised Creative Space:

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Set up on our front verandah, our creative space has tables to create on, easels and most of our materials (a few art materials are still being organised).

I got the trolley from Ikea for my birthday after seeing Kate’s one on Instagram and knew it would be perfect for our space.

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These shelves hold our chalk and chalkboard, modelling materials, craft materials, stencils and our recyclables for creating (in the tub to the right)

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The trolley has writing materials, books, scissors and glue on the top shelf. On the second tray there are a variety of paints and painting materials. & on the bottom we have our stamps and do-a-dot markers.

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What do you think? What would you include?

Share your spaces on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Facebook page or the Lovable Learning Facebook group.

Our creative space

Stay tuned tomorrow for the start of another exciting week in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series (don’t forget the items you will need)!

Setting Up A Play Space | Day 3 – 30 DaysTYP

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Hi! Welcome to day 3 in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series! Today we’re discussing setting up a play space.

I’m still knee-deep in toy culling and organising. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen that I am working on our play spaces area by area.

For me, the most important features of a play spaces are that it is:

- attractive and inviting,
- tailored to the child/ren who play in it,
- accessible: with play materials on the child’s level,
- set up with what the child needs for each activity,
- as simple as you can get it.

10173588_10152410706753969_88889056_nConfession: Almost half of our toys are used infrequently.

The most significant thing you can do to to improve a play space is ask yourself a few important questions:

  1. How do my children play?
    Do they like to quietly play alone? Or do they take up lots of space?
  2. What can I do to facilitate that play?
    Perhaps a specific space for construction? or creativity? or reading? or a hiding-space for time to play alone?
  3. Is the amount of toys in the place manageable for your children?
    Can they put them away mostly on their own or is it a gargantuan task that will never happen without significant help?

A good chunk of our play happens outdoors. As do most of our sensory explorations and our art. This weekend I’ll show you our newly made over art area on our verandah.

outdoor play

You can share a photo on my Facebook page or on Instagram using the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series hashtag: #30daystyp

I will be!

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If you missed a post, here’s the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series

30 Days to Transform Your Play | Series Introduction

30 Days to Transform Your Play series
30 Days to Transform Your Play series with Kate from An Everyday Story and I (Racheous – Lovable Learning). We have created this inspiring and thought-provoking series for you. With simple and practical advice for you.

You – the mama who respects her child and is passionate about learning with them
You – the mama who tries to be mindful with the toys and materials that are brought into your home but still finds herself overwhelmed
You – the mama who needs to re-organise her children’s playspace but needs some guidance
You – the mama who knows her child’s interests but isn’t 100% sure what to do with that information
You – the mama who wants to know how to organise invitations to play and explore
You – the mama who wants to know how to help her child represent and express ideas and learning
You – the mama who  wants to transform your play

30 days to transform your play
So where do you start?

Think about and answer this: Why do you want to make changes to the way you approach your child’s play?

Over the coming weeks we will be working with you on all of the above and more. This is an interactive series. We want you to be involved.

Share your questions, updates and suggestions on our Facebook pages, Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp (30 Days [to] Transform Your Play).

And if you feel inspired to blog about your experiences, make sure you leave a link in the comments each day so we can all pop over and have a read. 30 Days to Transform Your Play.

If you haven’t already done it, make sure you set aside some time today to complete your homework from last week; you’ll need that information for tomorrow’s task.

Be sure to follow us as we update daily for the next 30 days and guide you with practical and inspiring tips to transform your play. See you tomorrow!

 

Montessori Homeschool Classrooms

Montessori homeschool classrooms

Montessori homeschool classrooms are always inspirational to me. Our living area is where we have our Montessori-inspired play and learning ‘room’. Many aspects will be improved on in the future but it works for us for now.

montessori shelves

These large shelves were a bargain 2nd hand buy and are perfect for the ages my children are at now. Lucy can reach all but the very top of the shelves, so I have to make sure that everything on the shelves is toddler-friendly. At 18.5 months, Lucy’s past the mouthing stage thankfully, so mostly it’s just breakables and anything dangerous. I can trust Cameron with some dangerous items (for example, the tacks for his hammer tap tap toy – not seen in the pic, on the far left top – are in a jar that only Cameron can use).

From the top (left to right), we have – a nature basket, fake flowers that the kids play with, our story stones, our indoor plant that Cam waters, and the world puzzle map. The top shelf has Cameron’s hammer tap tap toy, duplo, puzzles, peg board, Lucy’s shape puzzle, our new larger human torso model with 3 part cards, and the pattern blocks. The bottom shelf features our Schleich farm animals, peg board (bigger pegs for Lulu), simple shape puzzle, number puzzle, basket of cotton reels for sorting, transferring into the recycled container behind it and threading. There is also a play balance scale, our DIY peg toy and a ball pound tower.

little shelves
This little shelf has our sandpaper numbers and letters (by Polliwog on etsy), our mini spindles that were just used so aren’t typically displayed like this (particularly because Lucy thinks it is Too Funny to tip the spindles all over the floor. Our mini knobbed cylinders, new binomial cube, alphabet cards and bean bags and collage kit that could really use reorganising!

 

med shelves

Lastly, these shelves store many of our favourites – our Australian map puzzle and cards, butterfly life cycle figures and cards, lock box, half of our new bell set with Imagine Our Life‘s printables, the post box, colour sorting stacker and advanced ball return.

You can find many of these items, or similar in my amazon store.

Some other bloggers have had really inspiring tours of their homeschool classrooms which you must see!

montessori mischiefThe lovely Aubrey from Montessori Mischief has a gorgeous video tour of her Montessori Homeschool Room.

vibrant wanderingsI always love everything Melissa shares on her blog Vibrant Wanderings. Her home-based schoolroom is sure to inspire you. I wish I lived around the corner from her!

natural beach livingKimberly has such gorgeous natural light in her Montessori-inspired homeschool room. You must see her blog – Natural Beach Living – which is full of helpful ideas.kavanaugh reportLast but certainly not least is Nicole’s amazing Montessori Toddler Classroom at The Kavanaugh Report. Be sure to visit her blog to see her posts on the incredible Montessori tot school co-op that she organises.

montessori home classrooms

Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite parts about the Montessori homeschool classrooms here?

You may see us linking up at these great sites here. Be sure to check them out to see tons of kids activity and homeschooling ideas.

A Long Weekend and Toddler Art Group

We had a long weekend (courtesy of the Queen’s birthday holiday) last weekend; which we took full advantage of and had one of those lovely, somewhat rare, productive, relaxing weekends where we truly got to spend quality time together & get projects done without feeling busy, rushed or overwhelmed.

Saturday was reserved for haircuts and relaxing at home getting chores done. Sunday we spent out and about where we went to Mike’s parents place (a gorgeous big home on acreage with chooks, a dog, guinea pigs and pretty wild Australian birds (and the odd possum, koala, deer or goanna – although Cam & I are yet to see these).

Cameron is very comfortable with Mike’s family & was happy to spend time inside due to rain and chilly weather. He plays very well independently at the moment and enjoyed being doted on. He is the first grandchild of Mike’s parents and they adore him. We had a yummy lunch before going to a birthday afternoon tea for a sweet friend of mine who is the Mama to one of Cammy’s little friends.

herb pot diy

Monday was particularly lovely where Mike and I spent the day at home doing things with Cameron. I baked bread, we started a herb pot, Mike took Cameron for a ride in his trike around the neighbourhood, Mike finished the custom chalkboard wooden lid for Cameron’s sandpit and Cameron and I did some painting.

toddler art group sensory painting

On Tuesday we had our Toddler Art Playgroup where we took things outside for messy fun! We made goop (cornflour & water mixture with food colouring), shaving foam paint and painted with acrylic paints and sand.

diy sensory toddler art group

It went really well despite some tears and hesitation at first with the new materials! Cameron walked through the paint with his socks on just before the playmates arrived and walked it through my tiles! Charli (our kitten) ran under the goop and got it on her forehead. It was messy and fun. Cam’s sandpit, outdoor toys and mudpie kitchen got a work out too.

toddler art group

toddlers exploring art mediums

Cameron’s practical life cabinet is well and truly up and running and he so loves it. It has even boosted his vocabulary as he has started asking (“peeze”) for different things before or as he gets them (bowl, juice, apple, banana, orange, tissue and water) because he has all of these things available to him now and is excited about the freedom he has.

montessori at home toddler kitchen snack set up

He is very careful and deliberate though and takes care with his actions. He will put things away as I ask. He is yet to learn how to sweep effectively, or use the dustpan and brush well, or use a spray bottle by himself – but he tries all three.

At 17.5 months, he can (with help) spiral & core an apple on the contraption, pour freshly squeezed orange juice from a small jug to his little cup, spoon any wet or dry food into a bowl somewhat successfully, feed himself, use a fork, get a glass of water from the dispenser (still has trouble sometimes, and still is keen on pushing the lever and allowing water to go on the floor occasionally), sponge up spills, wipe tables with paper towel and his face with a tissue or wipe.

montessori at home toddler shelves diy easy

Here is his new shelf set up in his playroom. He has puzzles and stackers, his dough & tools & a new peg activity. He has mastered the four shape puzzle and his stacker some time ago but still loves to repeat the activities.

Hope you enjoyed the update! Let me know what you think :)