Is it starting to seem like the only people who live in The Mad House are under 5 years old? The only other rooms I have revealed so far are my daughter’s Fairy Garden Room and my son’s Space Geek Room. Today, you get to see their massive toy room. I promise there are more grown-up room reveals in the future. It’s just that the kids’ spaces are so much fun to work on!
For a few years, while the kids are still little, the family room will be a dedicated toy room. Eventually they will grow out of it and we will turn it into a den, but for now it’s great to have a space for their toys in order to keep the living room toy-free. That’s the theory, anyway.
And before you shoot down to the comment section, I *know* the kids have a TON of toys. Like, way too many. You have to understand that I am an only child and my husband’s only brother is just getting married this fall. So my two kids are the ONLY grandkids for both our sets of parents and the only great-grandkids for my husband’s grandpa. That much focused love and attention sometimes equals an abundance of gifts.
One of these days, I am going to spot E.T. in this jumble of stuffed animals, I just know it.
When I was in college, my summer and vacations were spent working at an Early Childcare Center. The center was mostly one huge room, divided up into specific “areas.” I noticed that my son’s preschool room is arranged in much the same way. Since the family room is so large, I thought it would be a good idea to divide it up into little designated areas too. It at least gives us a sense of where everything goes when it’s time to clean up the room.
We painted the room a very neutral color because the carpet is such a saturated blue and because the toys and children’s decorations would bring enough of their own color into the room. Click the link for more information on the paint in The Mad House.
This part of the room is sort of our art area. My son’s IKEA easel hangs out over here by some Cars and Madagascar posters. I made use of the high ceilings to create a big art display area for the kids’ artwork. At the top of the display is the Feature Frame where my son’s favorite schoolwork will be hung.
Below that is a little TV and DVD player (that we still haven’t hooked up) and some shelves for magnetic drawing boards and the board books that my daughter loves to read. The shelves are just cheap Target cabinets turned on their sides.
There is a weird little closet in the corner of the toy room that is perfect for storing the art supplies and board games I don’t want the kids to have access to at all times. The games are stored up high and we take them out one at a time to avoid losing or mixing up pieces.
The next shelf down has bins and containers from the dollar store. The clear containers are full of playdough and playdough toys, and the stacking bins hold stickers, scissors, and paintbrushes.
The bottom shelf has crayons, markers, paints, and chalk all within reach. I store markers and chalk in old, powdered drink containers. I just rip off the label and use a permanent marker to label the container with the type of supply it contains. It’s much easier than have to search through a huge bucket for the special Color Wonder markers. I arranged all the drink containers on step-style spice shelves to make them easier to see.
The kitchen area is tucked in a corner with a little table for tea parties. The kitchen set and a small bin contain the play food, including the play food I made from recyclables. To the left of the pictured area is where we keep the baby doll stuff (stroller, etc) and dress-up clothes. Right now the dress-up outfits are just shoved into a little duffle bag. I eventually would like to come up with something that gets them out where the kids can see them.
In the opposite corner is a big bookshelf with all our storybooks and kids movies. The ABC 123 Wall Art survived two moves and is up on the wall in the toy room with four Smurfs posters from when I was little! The alphabet wall decals above the French doors are from the dollar store.
The rainbow curtains are twin-sized flat sheets from Walmart. I used the same technique to hang them that I did for the Watercolor Curtains in my daughter’s room and the Space Curtains in my son’s room.
I didn’t get a good picture of it, but the Fingerpainted Lyric Wall Art that my son and I made together is hanging on the big wall opposite the doors.
(PS The sun room is still a mess of empty boxes, so please pretend it isn’t there.)
I still LOVE the bin toy storage shelves that my son got for Christmas years back. The labels I created for the bins have held up surprisingly well, so it is easy for my kids to sort the toys into the correct bins (after they throw a fit about having to stop playing). I picked up the three-drawer organizer on Walmart clearance last fall, and it is perfect for holding puzzles. When we left them out in the open, they were constantly being dumped all over the floor and the pieces were scattered to the winds. This keeps them contained and safe.
The family room definitely got an injection of color, not on the walls, but with its contents! The room serves us very well for the time being, and we enjoy having a space dedicated to letting our little ones play and learn!
For all my toy room related tutorials, visit the thumbnail links below!