Basement Kids Playroom Update with Work Desks and a New Play Kitchen Space
I know this not news for all of you seasoned parents out there, but I've found that keeping up with the kids' evolving and growing play habits and preferences moves SO FAST. From what they want to play with, to how they play, their playroom space seems like it has to change nearly annually as they get older. Sometimes I feel like I've been too far ahead of them with what is in their space, and sometimes I'm behind. But that's another reason why #housedonemandead... it hasn't even been a year and we're already making updates to their play space.
When I first shared our playroom that we made out of a little funny nook in the basement last year, I felt like they just needed quite a bit of floor space for playing, and of course wrestling. We used fabric cube storage cubbies to try to visually separate the space from Zach's man cave room, which gave more vertical toy storage while books were easily accessible at the ground level under the TV.
But lately, the kids (when they actually play together) - but especially Abbey - have been much more into playing things like school and "work". Abbey's all about writing and sounding out letters and figuring out math, that she loves to carry all her preschool learnings over to playtime at home. Coloring is a big hit, and writing is too. I kept finding them in our multipurpose office/music room where I still had the desks set up from when we had to manage remote schooling after moving in. Those desks were originally in their playroom in the old house, so I decided it was time to give them back.
Book and Toy Storage Swap
With the playroom update, I decided to swap where we had books and toy storage. While the original intent of the fabric storage bin shelves were for creating kind of a visual wall block from the living room with some toy storage, it just meant that the baskets had to be taken down to kid level and were often just left there and dumped all over. So we swapped where things got stored to be more kid friendly. Of course even though we went vertical with the books, I tried to keep the integrity of the rainbow storage system!
New Play Kitchen Area
I also wanted to figure out how to get Abbey's kitchen space and equipment more functional. It was tucked into one of the entry corners of the playroom behind the shelf with all of her gadgets stuck in the fabric bins. Made for a clean room when things are actually put away - but it really wasn't that functional. She loves both real cooking and pretend cooking, so I'm here to keep fostering her interest in that so that someone around here can become a good cook! ;) I decided every good cook needs a counter so we got her all set up on the other side of the room.
With easy access to all her small appliances, she can really whip up a mean dish. (And of course she's always got to look pretty fabulous doing it too!)
Her kitchen supplies and decor has really been maturing lately... After my grandma passed away last fall, my aunt and grandpa have been working on clearing out a lot of the house. Us grandkids have been fortunate to get trips through to "shop" after each big wave of sorting and cleaning (I've personally been stocking up on some of the hottest party essentials from the 70s!). The little great-grands love shopping and Abbey has taken home a haul of kitchen stuff each time. From dishes and containers to pots and pans, the girl has loved shopping at grandpa's. Her latest picks have been these crocheted butterfly magnets, dried flowers between glass, little copper bundt pans and a strainer, so we had to start getting it all out on display! She's got plenty of room for future shopping trips too. I am sure grandma is looking down smiling on her every time she whips out some of her kitchen goodies.
Craft and Work Tables
The tables are back to the playroom where they belong. Hank and Abbey both now have their own workspace where they can get their craft on. These desks are from Ikea and could grow with the kids by expanding the height of the legs. When we first got them, we had them at the lowest setting - now they're full height!
While they were away at grandma and grandpa's house last, we surprised them with this update and got them each a couple of new desk items including these little LED task lamps and their own white boards. They get one bin each to hold all their materials so that the bulk of the craft storage stays upstairs.
Hank mostly loves having the desk and chairs back downstairs to help make forts. (of course) But Abbey's all about using them to work on her writing, turning them into a restaurant, or "teaching" us to write.
The wall decor was mostly already in place. They each got a Jake painting over their desk to round it out.
The pop-up house tent we had down made its way up to Abbey's room (more on that another time), which gave us a place to put this antique school desk Zach had in storage. You catching the theme here? I can't seem to get the kids let me get rid of this big bear (it's the one toy I feel like they will actually notice if it leaves and never comes back which is my usually toy clean out strategy) so he makes a pretty good student.
I'm not sure how many times this room will ultimately change as they get older, but for now, the playroom's doing what it needs to for the type of play they want!
Shop-able Furniture, Decor and More:
PAHL Desk in White from Ikea
TEODORES Stackable White Chair from Ikea
Magnetic Dry Erase Whiteboard (affiliate)
LED Task Table Lamp from Target
Stackable Wood Storage Bin from Target
White Wood Growth Chart (affiliate) - similar to mine
Little Tikes Corner Kitchen (affiliate)
Doll High Chair (affiliate)
Round Fluffy White Rug (affiliate)
Giant Teddy Bear (affiliate)
Better Homes and Gardens 4 Cube Storage Shelf (affiliate)
Better Homes and Gardens 8 Cube Storage Shelf (affiliate)
Fabric Cube Storage Bins from Target
Coiled Rope Warm Gray Charcoal Basket from Target
Decorative Basket Black Steel Rectangular from Target
Write-on, Clip-on Basket Labels (affiliate)
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