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Begin With A Small Space
Is there an awkward room you are trying to fill the gaps in? A corner that could be turned into something useful? Sketch it out and begin rearranging furniture!
For our small space, I am really excited to share with you our Preschool “Classroom” today! And no it NEVER looks like this..like EVER. If you make it to the bottom picture in the post, you will see what it normally looks like on a daily basis. I definitely cleaned up the place before pictures and just dream a little of what I would like it to look like everyday. IF ONLY!
Also, if you are trying to build your preschool inventory, I recommend doing it little by little. This whole set up (while small) took me almost a year to put together. Slowing adding to it when there were birthdays, holidays and occasions to buy another book or puzzle for the kids. I could not have done this all at once or I would be broke….and my husband would cry a little. Haha
So when we moved into this house we quickly realized there would be little room to convert into a playroom like the last rental had. It took some moving around of furniture but we finally found moving the couch forward and squaring off the living room allowed us to make the perfect little school area for the kids.
When planning my “dream preschool” the table I wanted for the kids was one from pottery barn…But well one day haha. So I saved for this cute little table that has been PERFECT for the kids. It is from IKEA but can also be found at Amazon and is called the Sundvik Childrens Table + Two Chairs. Later on the plan is to reupholster the seats with something fun like from Fancy Ashley . I am trying to decide on something neutral since I have a boy and a girl. I am not sure how to go about material yet though!
Ok isn’t she kinda adorable? (When she is not throwing a tantrum haha) She loves dressing up in all her dresses made by grandma!
Set Up Different Stations For School
We do all our school activities in this area. When we do our painting activities, we usually go to the big table (since the table is white and all..) Haha. I mean I trust the kids but not THAT much to keep the table clean from paint! I would love to have a little area for different things like they do at preschools but we have definitely gotten creative here in our little nook.
Ideas for different stations could include:
Reading Nook, Math/Science Station, Art Station, Dress up/Creative Play, etc. We do all of these here at the table. Besides the dress station and reading nook. I have the kids do their books and coloring time usually on the White Fur Rug on the floor or in their Teepee in their room. (I had the teepee out here but it took up a lot more room than I wanted, so we moved it into their room).
Begin Building Inventory For Your Preschool
We honestly started our Preschool Adventure with books. I am a book hoarder and can never have enough books. Right now the kids go to books have been Pete the Cat, Where’s My Mummy, & The Pout Pout Fish. The kids fight over The Pout Pout Fish every night. It is so silly and I love hearing them in the room singing the little phrases in the book. We actually got this book initially because my kids were constantly fighting and counting about everything. It talks about choosing to be happy and we always ask the kids now if they are being a “pout pout fish” when they whine. I love using books as a learning tool. My Favorite part about Pete and the Pout fish is that they are a series of books and can be a collection for the kids.
When we began putting together kids tools for preschool I knew collecting glue stick, crayons and training scissors would be a must. I was concerned though about getting them scissors though. Since all they see is me cutting hair for a job, I was REALLY scared they would go to town on each others hair when learning. I loved these training scissors though because when they DID start pretending to cut one another hair…Nothing fell out haha. I guess a mom win for me this time?
Those cute shapes I found at the dollar section of Target and the ABC Banner I found in the preschool section at the Dollar Store.
Organize Your Supplies and Games
Now that our collection of school is expanding I now wish I got two of these square cubed boxes. That way I could put all the books in one and all the other school supplies in the other. Again one day at a bigger playroom. But for now we absolute love this little area. While that rug looks white, it is actually covered in crayon chips from the kids laying on it and breaking all the crayons we own!
Having an area to organize up makes it feel a little nice to find everything..Even IF it looks like it does usually. I know it CAN look like this nice clean spot occasionally!
I don’t have a specific organization for everything but from left to right i have all the coloring books and preschool workbooks in the green bucket, crayons in the next green bucket, chalk bored in the next and those little pink bins are actually the kids quiet time boxes. I have different quiet times for the kids depending on who actually naps that day or if they need a break from one another. (Which is like everyday for an hour!) But inside the boxes are a little different for each kids but mostly, quiet games, little puzzles, some little toys from the dollar store.
An example of what might be in the box once in a while are Gator Grabber Tweezers with little pom pom fluff things (I have no Idea what to call them haha), Jigsaw Puzzles from Melissa and Doug, Stickers and little notebooks, crayons, Play-doh, Staking cubes, Cars, some lacing puzzles (my daughter loves these but my son could care less)
Like I said, one day I’ll have a section for dress up but for this small spot, this will do for now. We have all our dress up dress made by my mom for the kids. Aren’t these gorgeous! I think she should be selling them! Then the little mans capes are of course a must so he can avoid dressing up as elsa once in awhile HAHA. This happens more than I would like to admit sadly.
These puzzles stacked I have tried to get a couple each Christmas or birthday for each of the kids. Most of them are from Melissa and Doug. We have also been given a lot of them from family and the kids always love them. But I have this love hate relationship with them because we always lose the pieces! (Update) A friend just told me about this Puzzle Storage Case where they can just slide right in!
So the reward chart….Let me explain…The kids are going through what I think should be called the age of terror….They have entered this new phase of tantrums, hitting, biting (have no idea who taught this!), pinching each other, as so on. So we may or may not have taken away every toy last mont and put it in a large tote….
When they did good things, had manners, said please and thank you, and just were good helpers they slowly earned back their toys. They would get stickers for doing and saying nice things. Then during this same time we had to create a “Family Rule” chart also.. it just helped them a little more see when “mommy said no screaming/fighting you broke a family rule.” Sometimes it works sometimes mom wished it worked better..
Rinse & Repeat Cleaning
And here you go.. What this area normally looks like everyday of my life…I am not even joking when I say they destroyed this area by the end of the day, after I cleaned it up! But we tried right?!
My favorite place to go for more quiet time activities is at Cutting Tiny Bites . She gave me most of my ideas for multiple boxes. Right now i just have two but rotate what goes in them once in awhile. We are already planning out holidays and I have a list of school things that maybe the kids would enjoy? Haha, maybe its just me. I know my oldest would for sure because she loves learning and always asks to do another activity.
What things do you want to put into your preschool? I am thinking about adding this Magnetic Travel Chalkboard When we move I think the kids are going to be so bored for how long we have to drive! What do you think? Any car game suggestions for toddlers?
Do you have a small room and want to incorporate a play/ school area? What have you found works best? I would love to know!
Hope you found something useful here! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! You can also find me over on Instagram daily. Hope to see you there!