Jump to content


Want to play decorator in my school/toy room?

Recommended Posts

Maybe it's because I'm still fairly new to homeschooling, or maybe it's because I'm currently only homeschooling a 10yr old and didn't have all those preschool/early elementary years to do the easy stuff, but either way I cannot seem to do this!


So....tell me what YOU would do in this space. I want it to be appropriate for DD10, but also maybe more suited for DD4 to use as well (still working on DH to HS her, but either way I have next year with her home still). A few stipulations:


1. The room is open to the rest of the house, so all things in toddler reach must be toddler safe.


2. There cannot be anything placed in the middle of the room (a table for instance) as DH has a spinal cord injury and needs to be able to get from the door with the baby gate (the garage) to the kitchen without obstacles.


3. The toys have nowhere else to go, so they must co-exist in this room. Yes, that includes the cozy coupe car - it is the most played with toy in our house. We live in Iowa and it's winter....it must stay inside.


4. I have a dry erase board but have NO CLUE where to hang it.


5. The blue workboxes/drawers are no longer being used.....nor are the baskets in the upper cube shelf that were meant to be workboxes for DD4. DD loved the workboxes and it's more ME that has been failing to implement them.


6. The desk (which is now cleaned off) is meant to house a "kid" computer, but is NOT something we are partial to keeping - it would just need a replacement for said "kid" computer.


7. I have little to no money to spend - maybe $100......if that.


8. No painting (we just painted the room).


9. We do most school work at the kitchen table or on the couch, but I'd LOVE to have workspace in the school/toy room as an alternative to the family dinner table (much better to not have to clear all the time).


So.....how to make this room a bit more preschool-ish, but appropriate for a 5th grader AND toddler safe? Please, please, please be specific. If you say to hang something, please say where! I'm not opposed to rearranging furniture. I really am homeschool room stupid!! Help me!!!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not keep the preschool workboxes as fast-grab-activity-boxes for when you are needing to occupy the younger while you work with the older?


You can still use the blue drawers as subject drawers for your older, or one of the larger ones for library books. Use the top one as like a big pencil box - pencils, scissors, etc. Nice, high, out of reach, but yet easy to pull out the drawer to put on the desk for school time or simply pull something out.


Desk. Clean it off. If you don't need the computer, then get rid of it, but it could still work as a great work space. Put another chair along side it, and you can sit next to her to work on things.


White board. If you work well at the desk, hang it over that. Want some space for her to write? How about the wall over the heat vent? You can pull the chairs over there while you work on the white board, and return them to the desk when done, so as not to block the pathway.



And.... if it were MY room, I'd ditch the toybox - you have so much shelf space and great baskets! (I am so not a fan of the huge toy box where the one thing that's wanted is always at the bottom.) I would instead have a small preschool size table and chairs.




ETA: I misunderstood about the computer/desk. If the desk is too small to use for a desk and a computer desk, then I'd recommend either a larger desk/table, or an additional one.

Also, you could consider moving all of the shelving to one end of the room (around the kitchen side), and using the other side as the older kid side.

Edited by JoyfulMama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, this may sound weird, but here are my initial thoughts.


I would want to use the cubby bookcase, at this point, strictly for toys. So, I would flip it on its side, so the cubbies would all be in easy reach for the little ones. Does that make sense? The top (which used to be the side) would be low enough, and wide enough, to put most of the bigger toys (looked like a little people farm or something in the pic, plus the trucks, etc. that are too large for the cubbies. I'd also put "fun" books/board books in these cubbies. I'd keep this shelf off of the taupe colored wall enough to hang some of those hooks that are basically peel and stick, and easy to remove. This is where I would put dress-up. Anything that couldn't hang, like dress-up shoes, etc, I would put in a smaller bin directly underneath the hooks. I'd hang some primary colored wall hangings, maybe with the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc above the cubby shelf (that is now horizontal, freeing up hanging space). This would be the preschool wall.


Then, I would move out the toybox. There looks like enough room to put the other white shelf directly next to the white shelf already in that corner. I see there is a switch there, but you could leave room to reach it. I'd organize all the books, learning manipulatives, games for school, etc over here.


I'd hang a dry erase board near my desk, and place the workbox system there as well. I'd try to keep admin. looking stuff on that wall. Hope that helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay...the cube shelf is actually 2 shelves, so it would be easy to unstack them. I originally bought the 2nd one for additional toy storage when DS was born, but ended up using it as a workbox system for DD4 instead. That meant I had to put it up higher where DS couldn't reach. If I ditch the workbox system for DD4 (even though she loves it) since I'm not doing it anyway, that would be an easy transition to make for toy storage.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the hook idea....I'm just worried about how many hooks I'd need. Hmmm.....she has quite a few dress up outfits. I also wonder what to do with the lower shelves of the bookshelves at that point? DS can reach them, which is why they have toys on them currently. We desperately need more book/curriculum space, but don't have anything to spare, other than those lower shelves. He tears anything on them to shreds though.


The wall with the desk is really not set up well. It is by FAR the largest wall of them all at a good 12-15' long. The only thing on it is the desk. We end up parking the car, a grocery cart (which could easily go in the basement with the kitchen set) and the baby stroller along side it, but that could probably be arranged another way.


The other tall bookshelf was supposed to be housed where the toybox is, but it does cover that light switch and there was no way around it, so I had to move it over to the other side.


I really thought I wanted to get my hands on some old kitchen cabinets (I found a place that does remodeling and would give them to me if I call ahead) and use them to create an entire workspace along the desk wall. I would put 2-3 lower cabinets spaced out along that wall with a counter top placed on top as 2 separate desks. Then, stretch an entire row of upper cabinets across the length of the wall without doors on them as shelving space. But, we don't intend to live in this house for more than another 4-5 years, so I worry about that major of an installation and being able to sell in a few years. I also worry that having the depth of the countertop right inside that door will create a very tight feeling enterance to the room?!?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could mount some shelves along the top of the room (over the desk would probably work well, or over the cubbies if you unstack them) to hold the extra books you don't have room for right now. It's a cheap solution and would keep things up and out of the little one's reach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could mount some shelves along the top of the room (over the desk would probably work well, or over the cubbies if you unstack them) to hold the extra books you don't have room for right now. It's a cheap solution and would keep things up and out of the little one's reach.


Nice idea!


So what about a calendar? Circle time type activities? I think I've about got DH convinced to let me HS DD4 :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would move your desk to where the pack and play is in the picture. I would have the desk jut out a bit into the room, so that when you are sitting at the desk, your back is to the wall where the cubbies are now. You would be able to sit at the desk and see the room (like a teacher does.) The bookcases would need to be moved over a bit, so that the desk wouldn't be too far into the room. You'd have to measure to see if dh could easily get around it or not. It might not work, but it's an idea if it will.


I would put the cubbies on their sides where the desk is now (as someone else suggested.)

Edited by Garga
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First thoughts...

Three file cabinets (new) would burst your budget. They do lock, which would be nice for you, but you'd have to make sure the key(s) don't get snagged.


What would you keep in all those file cabinets? I guess I could keep everything in file cabinets... but I am more visual, I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...