I have spent the past week re-organizing my children’s play/learning spaces (2 years and 4 years old) with my children’s help, tidying up any clutter. A great way to start the new year. The next step is to work on the rest of our house.
Our Learning Space;
This is a shelf for my 2 year old. The shelf was made by his Grandpa. The pictures on the top shelf come from National Geographic Magazines and are put in photo frames that his Nan made up to be used for this shelf.
Items on the shelf include;
- Number counting coloured wooden rings on pegs.
- Sound puzzle
- Narrow to wide green puzzle
- Short to tall blue puzzle
- Lock/latch box
- Ikea shape box
- Tactile shape sorting blocks
- Occupation puzzle
A shelf for my 4 year old. The top shelf has some number books, sandpaper numbers, a magnetic number puzzle and a wooden teach the time clock with printable clock cards. On the bottom shelf are wooden pattern blocks with pattern boards and some lacing cards. On the right of the shelf you can see yoga cards and mats which are used daily.
Letter writing little letterbox and small sized paper.
A language shelf for my 4 year old. On the top shelf is a black board on one side and a white board on the other side. On the middle shelf is a Montessori Letter book, some alphabet cards and alphabet wallet cards and some wooden magnetic lower case letters. On the bottom shelf is sandpaper letters and a sand writing tray.
A space on the floor for our moveable alphabet.
An Australia wooden puzzle map, globe and Montessori map book. There is a world continent map sitting behind this shelf. I am looking for a better display alternative.
Our nature table contains a large magnifying sheet for beginners and a small magnifying glass and bug catcher/viewer and child-sized binoculars.
Some books that I rotate according to interest at the time. On the bottom shelf is a felt board and felt pieces/shapes for play.
Our Play Space;
A shelf for creative play and block building. The basket under the white table has wooden bits and pieces which my 4 year old pretends is food. She often plays shops or picnics and likes to make food for other people.
An old computer that doesn’t work and a cash tin with replica Australian money in it for shop play.
Our block space contains wooden cars and trucks, wooden train tracks, wooden small blocks, Lego Duplo and in the round basket large wooden blocks that Grandpa made for my children. The other blocks that are not out on the shelf is small sized lego which is for my 4 year old and is kept on a higher shelf.
Puppet Theatre we were give as a gift two Christmas’ ago and still very popular.
Play scarves and musical instruments.
Play cushions and dress ups. The cushions were made by Nan and the Shelf made by my children’s Grandpa. Most of the dress ups are hats, scarves, mittens etc.
Doll house made by Grandpa and Melissa and Doug barn.
I haven’t included photos of our art space but you can see my recent post on Art ideas toddler to preschool which shows what at materials we have used in our home.
Post Edited 10th February 2016;
Current art shelf for a 4 year old and 2 year old.
I set this space up yesterday. This shelf is off our kitchen near our dining table.
Top shelf; tracing and leaf template rubbing work with a wooden bowl that contains crayons and oil pastels as well as a couple of pencils, some stamps (stamp a scene Melissa and Doug brand) and some tempera paints that my 4 year old uses. My toddler tends to use the art easel to paint outside whereas my 4 year old will often paint at the table inside.
*This shelf I will rotate the most often and I will aim to leave the other two shelves as is.
Middle shelf; Drawing caddy that contains coloured pencils, paste in a jar with a paint brush, scissors, and some items used for collage (shape cutters etc), sticky tape and a glue stick. Sorry you can’t really see them in the picture but they are at the back of the caddy. There is also an A4 sized paper tray with white paper. I will sometimes add coloured paper. In regards to the drawing caddy, we have two of these. As of this past week, I am keeping one on the art shelf with basic triangular shaped pencils and the other one on a desk in our learning room which contains items that only my 4 year old uses (includes permanent markers and lead pencils etc).
Bottom shelf; Wooden boards, a caddy for holding sculpting/modelling materials, a small wooden bowl with items in it which I rotate. My toddler likes to use these with play dough. Also in this picture is a small container of play dough with an easy to open lid. I alternate between play dough, clay and plasticine. My toddler only uses the play dough at the moment. I used beetroot juice to make the pink colour.
My children choose to work using these art materials at the dining table, outside or at a small child-sized table that is located next to this shelf. Normally with a 2 year old you may not want to ‘over stimulate’ them by having too many items out at the one time, but I found that my children often do art together, so they use the materials mostly together. Also it is good if you can have items placed on a low shelf that your child can reach. I just had to work with what we had at home. Sometimes I may set up ‘an invitation to play/work’ by placing an art material on the low child-sized table ready for use as opposed to leaving it on the shelf all the time.
My 4 year old likes to paint, draw and using the modelling materials the most. My 2 year old likes to use crayons, stamps and stickers the most. He loves anything to do with collage (gluing and pasting). For his age he uses liquid paste whereas my 4 year old prefers to use a glue stick or sticky tape. I have some other art supplies in a cupboard (charcoal, chalk pastels, liquid watercolours) etc.