Saturday, September 17, 2011

Play Spaces

Well, I suppose it's that time again.

Time for rediscovery.

In our family, we spend lots and lots of time at home.  None of us take any classes (not that I'm necessarily opposed, just that mostly I/we think... well--we can (and do) do that at home!  : )

Naturally, we don't have any particular place assigned for learning, but rather it happens wherever, whenever, and however it will.
But as we have lots of tools and materials, we do keep them as organized and accessible as possible.

And since we're about to move from living outside to living inside, it's time to get everything all shined up and ready for play.

First I give you the rumpus room.  Here's where many of our things live when they're not on the patio tables outside, in the cabinet in the livingroom,  or on the shelves off of the kitchen.  Or on the floor somewhere.  :)  (For full inventory -sans newer stuff- if you're curious, visit this post of last year... I listed or linked just about everything.)

On the left is the art and craft bookcase, with science stuff on the bottom two shelves.
The middle bookcase with the human torso on it holds our science stuff.
The case on the right holds mathematical things.


Art and craft shelves (with science at the bottom)


 The shelves on the left hold zoobs, lacing cards and large beads, gears, zoomorphs, 
lincoln logs, Knex...
the one on the right holds our musical things.

Around to the next corner is our case with games, and all of our costumes, puppets,
and things for dress-up play.

These are the shelves off the kitchen.  
This started because we always had something growing at the end of the kitchen counter...  needed a spot for "current happenings".  :)

The shelves hold lots of art supplies, some library books, the microscope sometimes...
and anything that is being utilized at the moment.

In the livingroom, we have a few shelves that hold current favorite games and puzzles... mostly empty in the summer, but packed full when we don't have our outside living space (patio tables stacked high with games and projects).

Right now we have the tangrams, our lovely (and beloved) geoboard,
Othello, Sudoku (and Nim), Mancala, Maddie's reading books, the Cuisenaire rods, 
and our pattern blocks and game boards.
(very, very light right now - they've just been cleaned and cleared out.)

In the den we have five floor-to-ceiling bookcases full of books (mostly mama's novels, literature and non-fiction, the children's books and junior non-fiction are mostly in their bedrooms), with two shelves that hold books that are either on the radar, something I need to check out, or things we've been thinking of.
(Again, shifting shelves are fine, fine things!)
Next to the computer desk, we have a gorgeous case filled with the rest of it...


the top shelf is mine, for my art and nature journals, a box full of pancake watercolors, and the more serious (expensive) art supplies.  The children are free to use these things, but they do belong to me, and I prefer they ask before they use them.

 Kimberley pencil-watercolors, my set of Prismacolor pencils, sharpies, chalk pastels, 
the nicest oil pastels, charcoal pencils...)

Then we have our artbooks and posable humans, then Trevelyn's shelf for computer play, and Maddie's computer shelf (software, earphones, calculator, etc).

That's it!
All ready for play.


  1. I'm getting lots of great ideas here!

  2. I love how organized you are! Do the kids help with the cleaning, or is it mostly up to you?

    I am always trying to figure out a better organizing system, but no luck so far.

    Thanks for the tour and the inspiration!

  3. I love peeking into the homes of other unschooling minded families. I lke the idea of a shelf for current projects. Like you, the end of our counter tends to become the landing spot for drying artwork, drawings, etc. I recently made some video tours to link up with Faith's blog but then realized all these different ways things could be better organized. So there's been a lot of shifting and reorganizing going on here. It's amazing how a different location can spark a re-interest in something that has been there all along.

  4. Melissa - absolutely. Rotating shelves are so great for that!
    At this time of year, as we've been living outside most of the time, we've discovered so many things the lat couple of days while organizing and cleaning, lots of "Oh! I remember this!!!" :) So fun!

  5. And Tina - uh... sometimes they help, but sometimes they don't. I don't demand it, but often I'll call to Madd to pick up the legos she left on the front porch. Maddie leaves loooooooots of things around. :)

  6. That is sort of how we do it around here too. We have over 100 model horses that Emma loves to play with all over the house. That and her books are about the only things I "require" that she pick up, and usually only after I have stepped on 4 or 5 of them.

  7. I do love admiring how organised you are. You wouldn't like to fly over and organise me, would you? Or perhaps I should fly over there for some on-the-spot tips? Or both :-)

  8. LOVE the shelves for current projects--I could rescue half our table that way!

  9. Love it when people share their baskets and shelves and boxes and bowls and containers and what-nots!

    We're doing a little rediscovering here, too--'tis the season! :)

  10. Love many spots around the house for discovery and learning that seem to be present at all the homeschooling houses we visit:)

    Wonderful! Inspiring me to move things around and do some refreshing around here:)


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!