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Noreen Claire

ideas for joint "boys' room' Christmas gift?

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My FIL is giving us a small amount of cash for Christmas to buy gifts for our sons "from Grampa". I was thinking that we could buy a Playmobil castle and knight toys for DS3 & DS5's shared bedroom, but I cannot think of anything "shared" that I could get for DS7 & DS10, who also share a room. They have a small room with a bunk bed, 2 large floor-to-ceiling bookcases full of legos and books, a small rug, and an Ikea coffee table that is usually buried under legos and library books. There is also one beanbag chair shoved in a corner. The legos are the only toys allowed in their room, though we do have many more things on the main floor (puzzles, games, magnatiles, etc). There really isn't much more room for anything else; I have been toying with the idea of getting rid of the table and getting a small couch/chairs instead, but that isn't really a 'fun' gift from Grampa! Any ideas?

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I mounted a nice kite on the ceiling and we would use it outside when weather permitted. They also had a star gazer that lit up the ceiling that they both liked.

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I think upgrading the beanbag/table combo to a sofa, futon or chairs would be fun.  They are a good age to appreciate real lounging furniture in their rooms.  My son has one of those Ikea bouncy rocker chairs (not its official name, but I looked it up--it's the Poang) in his room, and it gets used a lot.  He's 16, but it's been in there for several years.  I made him put it together himself, and it was an excellent project.  It also has a small footprint and is comfy.

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I picture them building the Knex  amusement park ride.  Or a Snap Circuit set.

 

Edited by Tina
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10 minutes ago, mmasc said:

What would you do with the lights?

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6 minutes ago, Slache said:

What would you do with the lights?

Well, I think my ds has it in his mind to run them around his tv area. (That’s what he saw in his friend’s room and thought it was ‘so cool’. 😉😁 not actually on the tv, but kind of a 3/4 rectangle on the wall from the floor up to the tv, and back down. 

Eta: more detail

Edited by mmasc
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2 hours ago, history-fan said:

I mounted a nice kite on the ceiling and we would use it outside when weather permitted. They also had a star gazer that lit up the ceiling that they both liked.

A star gazer light would be cool!

1 hour ago, plansrme said:

I think upgrading the beanbag/table combo to a sofa, futon or chairs would be fun.  They are a good age to appreciate real lounging furniture in their rooms.  My son has one of those Ikea bouncy rocker chairs (not its official name, but I looked it up--it's the Poang) in his room, and it gets used a lot.  He's 16, but it's been in there for several years.  I made him put it together himself, and it was an excellent project.  It also has a small footprint and is comfy.

The two boys built the Ikea bookshelves themselves this summer, and my husband just helped to get them into place and secure them to the wall. They were so proud of themselves! I may look around for a small couch/set of chairs. If I get rid of the coffee table, that would give them 5 ft of wall space, but it would take up more floor space in front of the bed. The room is small.

58 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Hammock? ENO style, hooked into the wall? Sky chair hooked into the ceiling?

As cool as this would be, anything hanging from the walls would be a no-go due to the ferocious 5yr old who lives in the room next door...

58 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Kapla blocks, the big 1000 piece box of them and some of the gorgeous art book level design books for them.  

Off to check out what Kapla blocks are...

58 minutes ago, Tina said:

I picture them building the Knex  amusement park ride.  Or a Snap Circuit set.

 

We have a KNex building space in the garage (the neighbors were having a yard sale and gave us a roller coaster and a merry-go-round(?) when they couldn't sell it). Snap circuits are with the school stuff in the dining room.

52 minutes ago, mmasc said:

That is pretty cool!

59 minutes ago, Slache said:

Hammock or basketball hoop. Our hoop is attached to the top bunk.

A basketball hoop for the closet door might be an option.

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This is their room. Coffee table just visible, bottom-left corner. There's a closet after that, with a window and a radiator. The room is roughly 10x13, with a funny corner at the head of the bed. No other way to arrange the bed, I've tried!

IMG_20191206_181506177.jpg

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If you get rid of the table, then where will they build their legos?  I would be hesitant to get rid of it if they are using it to build on.  My boys have a lego room, and I am constantly scrounging up more tables for them because otherwise they build on the floor where the assembled creations get stepped on and the loose lego pieces get lost.

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14 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

If you get rid of the table, then where will they build their legos?  I would be hesitant to get rid of it if they are using it to build on.  My boys have a lego room, and I am constantly scrounging up more tables for them because otherwise they build on the floor where the assembled creations get stepped on and the loose lego pieces get lost.

DS7 builds on the floor. The table just gets piled higher and deeper with stuff. The floor is clean right now because I helped him pick it up last night. It's usually a minefield of Legos! There are two flat, pull-out Lego trays on wheels under the bed, plus plastic totes in the closet and the basement.

DS10 only builds on the dining room table, and then displays his Legos high on a shelf, never to be touched again. 

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Would they like some kind of speakers and music playing device set-up? I would say a stereo, but I think that term is well out of date at this point. Whatever they call such things these days.

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Here they are:  https://www.amazon.com/KAPLA-1000-piece-set-Booklet/dp/B000I0RWDK/ref=asc_df_B000I0RWDK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312139956878&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18227621354291375945&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032151&hvtargid=aud-799727667774:pla-457608099258&psc=1

 

Key point is they are smallish, identical, and build very stable structures.  No irregularities.  You need a lot of them to really get creative but honestly a duffle bag with 500 would be great. 

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

Outdoor toy instead? My kids loved their tether ball pole at the last house. 

That's what I was going to say. Outdoors opens up a lot of possibilities. Just get outdoor toys for all of them. 

Nerf guns, laser tag set, scooters, outdoor chalkboards made from plywood and chalkboard paint, super soakers, a tent, stomp rockets, sidewalk chalk . . . 

Bonus one, nothing else in the house. Bonus two, the kids are OUTSIDE. 

If you have a trampoline park near you, you could buy tickets and lunch/treats. 

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18 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Here they are:  https://www.amazon.com/KAPLA-1000-piece-set-Booklet/dp/B000I0RWDK/ref=asc_df_B000I0RWDK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312139956878&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18227621354291375945&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032151&hvtargid=aud-799727667774:pla-457608099258&psc=1

 

Key point is they are smallish, identical, and build very stable structures.  No irregularities.  You need a lot of them to really get creative but honestly a duffle bag with 500 would be great. 

Kapla is great.  We have the 1000 piece set.  We got them wen our boys were age 4 and 5 (or may be 3 and 4).  Now, at age 10 and 11, they still get tons of use.  The structures get more and more complicated.  Lately they've been making complex dungeons filled with traps and treasure (think dungeons and dragons) for their lego and playmobil guys to explore.  One of the nicest things about Kapla is the impermanence of the structures.  You build them, play with them awhile, and then wreck them.  The wrecking is part of the fun.  Have a look at Kapla's US site, and at Benjamin Crouzier's videos.

There are Kapla knock-offs.  We learned the hard way that Keva pine planks (from a Keva Contraptions set) are poor quality - some of ours were warped, and the weren't all exactly the same length.  The planks really all need to be identical for the structures to work properly.  ( A bit like comparing LEGO to Megblocks.). Other knock-off might be fine, but we've decided to stick to Kapla brand.

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It's not helpful for you now, but maybe down the road. We just gave our 2 boys (now 13 and 15) the best gift ever - their own bedrooms. They were exploding - they had outgrown their bunkbed and were exploding in tempers. We had to build a new bedroom in the basement (including cutting concrete to put in a bigger window). So it was expensive, but so worth it!

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I would get rid of the bunk beds and use the money to build 2 lofts instead. Dh used the plans on anawhite.com to build dd's loft. Each boy would have room under their loft. We put a comfy chair and a stack of shelves plus a rug under our dd's. You could put a couch under one and a lego table under the other. Or just arrange some other way. The lift is super sturdy and we made it just tall enough for her to stand under. 

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4 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

I would get rid of the bunk beds and use the money to build 2 lofts instead. Dh used the plans on anawhite.com to build dd's loft. Each boy would have room under their loft. We put a comfy chair and a stack of shelves plus a rug under our dd's. You could put a couch under one and a lego table under the other. Or just arrange some other way. The lift is super sturdy and we made it just tall enough for her to stand under. 

I love this idea, and have mentioned it to my husband before. The problem is that the room wont fit two beds/lofts, unless they were along-side each other facing away, and then there would only be a tiny amount of space to walk around them. It's 10x13, with two windows, a closet, a radiator, and a weird corner that has the heating vent pipes running from the boiler in the basement to the roof. I keep trying to figure out how to do this, but i can't seem to make it work. These two are expected to both be well over 6ft when they are grown, so this is going to be an issue!

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4 hours ago, wintermom said:

It's not helpful for you now, but maybe down the road. We just gave our 2 boys (now 13 and 15) the best gift ever - their own bedrooms. They were exploding - they had outgrown their bunkbed and were exploding in tempers. We had to build a new bedroom in the basement (including cutting concrete to put in a bigger window). So it was expensive, but so worth it!

I would love separate rooms, but that's not going to happen here. We have 10 & 7 in one room and 5 & 3 in another, equally small room, with DH and I in the largest bedroom. DS24 is in the basement, but I hate having him down there and reuse to put anyone else down there once he leaves. The entire finished portion (2/3 the basement) needs to be gutted and redone, as there is water damage from a broken water main on the street that took 18 months to get the city to even admit existed after we noticed it. We would need egress windows, too. If money was no object, I would install real stairs up to our attic, add a full-length dormer to the rear side of the house, and put in a 3/4 bath as well. That could add 2 or 3 bedrooms, and everyone could have their own space! But, that won't happen with me as a stay-at-home mom, and I hope to be able to stay home for 3-8 more years.

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2 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

I would love separate rooms, but that's not going to happen here. We have 10 & 7 in one room and 5 & 3 in another, equally small room, with DH and I in the largest bedroom. DS24 is in the basement, but I hate having him down there and reuse to put anyone else down there once he leaves. The entire finished portion (2/3 the basement) needs to be gutted and redone, as there is water damage from a broken water main on the street that took 18 months to get the city to even admit existed after we noticed it. We would need egress windows, too. If money was no object, I would install real stairs up to our attic, add a full-length dormer to the rear side of the house, and put in a 3/4 bath as well. That could add 2 or 3 bedrooms, and everyone could have their own space! But, that won't happen with me as a stay-at-home mom, and I hope to be able to stay home for 3-8 more years.

We had to wait a while before we could make this happen. My dd 19 needs her own room, my ds 17 got the basement room. 

Every family dynamic and house is different. My uncle with 3 boys and 3 girls seemed to be able to keep the 3 boys in one room (at least part of the time) while the girls all had their own rooms. 

While your dc are little and enjoy having a bedroom buddy, life is good!

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5 minutes ago, wintermom said:

We had to wait a while before we could make this happen. My dd 19 needs her own room, my ds 17 got the basement room. 

Every family dynamic and house is different. My uncle with 3 boys and 3 girls seemed to be able to keep the 3 boys in one room (at least part of the time) while the girls all had their own rooms. 

While your dc are little and enjoy having a bedroom buddy, life is good!

We bought this house from a family that I had known since 1st grade, and they raised 4 boys and 1 girl here. There are days that I just don't understand how that was possible, as there is NOWHERE to put all the food that a family of 7 requires! Also, they were all fairly short, where DH is 6'2" and several of my boys are expected to be taller than that. I love this house, though, and I don't plan on ever moving again!

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You couldn't put two lofts side by side? Almost like a double bed on the top? But istead of building a ladder, just build the ladder with slats on the short side of the bed. 

Screenshot_20191209-204539_Chrome.jpg

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1 hour ago, Chris in VA said:

You couldn't put two lofts side by side?

Using those bed dimensions, putting two of them side-by-side, and accounting for the bookcases on one wall, that would leave 2ft on each side & 3ft at the foot of the bed to get around. That would be a tight fit!

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