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Playroom Photos - Livin' the Good Life

Jul. 1st, 2009

06:32 am - Playroom Photos

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A long time ago, my friend Jeannie requested that I post pictures of the playroom on my blog. Here are some pics I took of the room, all cleaned up after yesterday’s party.
These are the Waldorf dolls I wrote about in a previous post. I bought them from Kathy Kruse, a well-known doll-maker (who is, by far, my favorite). I created the doll bed from a wicker laundry basket, and I made the polka-dot, lace-trimmed coverlet and tiny pillow from scraps I had laying around. By the way, that’s Heidi in the bed, under the blue silk “blanket”. Her friend, Anna, is sitting in the wicker chair beside her.

I bought the contents of this playroom primarily with money that I earned as a Bradley natural childbirth teacher. I decided that the money I made should go right back into my students' children, as my teaching efforts are all about their welfare, and any step I can take to help further those children is enormously appealing to me.

There is a cotton-lined white wicker basket that holds a myriad of costumes I’ve bought/made over time (not pictured). My latest find was a “wolf” hat. Really cool! There are fairy wings and capes and, of course, the six twirling skirts I’ve laid out for better viewing below: (I know, I know. I got carried away with the skirts! They were just SO FUN to make!)

At this point, my costume box is glaringly devoid of boy costumes. As soon as the toddler boys in our group grow up a bit, I’ll be sure to remedy that.

At the bottom of the costume box are the “driving reins” I made for kids to “play horse”. (Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of them.) I saw some in a catalog once and thought, “I could make those!” I did it by cutting the top couple of inches off an old pair of jeans, so I could wrap them around me like a belt and snap the snap. The belt loops in back are used for clipping the “reins” to, which I created with two dog leashes. I felt pretty clever avoiding a relatively expensive purchase by recycling my worn-out jeans. It turned out so well, in fact, that I bought a tiny pair of kids’ jeans for 25 cents at the thrift store and made a child-sized harness, complete with jingle bells. I have to admit that I look forward to playing this game with kids. It’s been a long time since I’ve let out my “inner horse”!

I bought this child-sized table and chairs at Big Lots. It has held up well, so far. I made a point to keep a child’s point of view in mind as I created this room. Everything is close to the floor and within easy reach. Even the pictures on the wall are at a child’s eye-level.

This tea set is the favorite plaything in the room... by far. I don’t know what it is about serving pretend tea and cookies that is so attractive to little kids. They just love it! The tea set is the first thing that kids go for when entering the room.

These silk scarves are beautiful, delightful, feather-light, and oh-so-soft! The children like to fashion them into skirts, tops, capes, and headdresses. Wonderful for creative play.

This bookcase (which Damian built years ago) holds various games, puzzles, and books. I poured over Montessori catalogs, Waldorf catalogs, and other favorite catalogs that sell all things “natural” to find toys that appealed to me.
Right now the bookcase houses a macaroni-sorting game, where the child puts a different shape or color of macaroni in each cup of a muffin tin. (The kids actually prefer to serve dry macaroni in their tea set play.) I have a game called I Never Forget a Face, which is a cool matching game. There’s a wooden vegetable-cutting activity. There are various wooden puzzles and a wooden block-sorting wheel for babies and toddlers. I have a fishing game, where the child fishes with a magnet on a string and “catches” magnetic sea creatures, which are also wooden puzzle pieces to be returned to their places and then “caught” again. There are lots of high-quality picture books that I’ve collected over the years. I’m very picky about the books I read aloud to children. I only make available books that I’d be willing to read over and over.

On these shelves I have a finger-puppet/book activity on top. The middle shelf is a “table-setting” activity. The bottom shelf holds a wooden bead stringing activity. The doors of the bottom “cupboard” hide surprises… often something good to eat, like fruit-leather!
(Oops! I didn't get the bottom "cupboard" in the picture.)

Twelve miniature furry horses, each one with its own little “stall”… what kid could resist that? Plus, they have a wooden fold-up corral to contain the herd when they are taken out for exercise. And, of course, I think a Jack-in-the-Box is a must for any playroom!

This futon on the floor is for lounging. I imagined a place to read and nap.

OK, I guess it’s obvious by now... I’m just a big kid! AND MAY I NEVER GROW UP!!


Date:July 1st, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Beautiful, Darlene, it inspires me to get my second bedroom kid-friendly for my grandchildren. Maya graciously allowed me to use her beautiful doll-house as well.
I love the Käthe Kruse dolls. She lived in Germany from 1883 to 1969. Her husband was a sculptor and refused to buy a doll for their oldest daughter because “they are too ugly” so she made one. Later Max sculpted models of the heads of their seven children and Käthe used them as model for her dolls. Her dolls even made it to the 1937 world fare in Paris. I always loved these dolls and their story.
Happy summer, Willow
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Date:July 2nd, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Thanks for the info on Kathy Kruse. If you check out her website you'll see her latest dolls. If I had a million dollars, I'd buy them all.... just because. My extra bedroom is still the guest room. My guests just have to share the room with a bunch of dolls and toys! No one seems to mind.
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Date:July 2nd, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
My playroom is also a guest room, too.
I looked at your pictures so much last night before going to bed that I ended up dreaming about it and you! I love all the details. We also have the cutting vegetables in our playroom, and the mice box which we got from Chinaberry catalog. I like how you hang the pictures down low and how you keep the tea set up. Those are 2 things I don't do, and should. Oh, and I like how you have the scarves down low too, and on display. I'm sure that is so inviting.
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Date:July 8th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to create such an inviting space for our babies.
And thank you for posting in such detail - I will be sharing this post with the mamas in my playgroup often, I know it!
Love you,
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