Upgrading the Playroom!
We are very lucky to have space in our house to give over to a playroom for Little Q (and her sister though that may need a new adjustment ) . This has the benefit of keeping the toys and mess contained and also more importantly giving her a space that is hers where she is perfectly safe and able to potter around and pay as she wishes.
I wanted to keep her bedroom a calm place for stories, cuddles and sleeping. This seems to be working for us and she tends to be much calmer in her room.
The playroom has developed a lot since we first set it up and the photos below show where we have got to right now. I feel it is really important that children can self entertain as well as interact. From the moment Q has been mobile she has been encouraged to find her own entertainment at times and to explore her surroundings without constantly being shown / given things / entertained.
As a result on our days together we always get out for half the day on a play date/ trip / visit / activity and the other half of the day is split into activities that I facilitate (looking at workbooks, playdough, painting, drawing, craft, board games, baking etc) but within that time she is able to potter around letting her own imagination lead her in play. During this time she loves to dress up, play in her kitchen, read (leaf through books), draw on her easle, play with her dolls / cuddlies, megablocks and more that I cant think of right now!
The playroom set up is designed to facilitate both these activities AND to be a guest bedroom when needed. We bought an IKEA Hemnes day bed so we can cuddle up and watch movies when we want to (this was great when she was ill with croup) but it pops out into a kingsize bed so when we do have guests (mostly my parents right now) they can stay in comfort.