Many moons ago we put together this adorable playroom for our children.
We enclosed an area in our house and lovingly placed all their crap in cute drawers and baskets within it. We felt it was necessary to trap them and all their multi-pieced sources of entertainment in a space with doors.
This changed our lives dramatically.
Unfortunately, since our children are so tricky, they keep growing and changing, making it nearly impossible to adequately accomodate their most current needs.
(I was SURE that was going to end after the first year, but as it turns out I am very clearly wrong.)
It turns out that the kids aren't using all that many "toys" recently, going totally against the idea of giving them a whole room to play with toys.
Aiden and Cole mostly care about running around outside, arguing about the existence of both imaginary and real things with unexplicable passion, Lego building, torture of all kinds, and their iTouch games. Stella cares about riding her scooter, digging and tracking in sand, whining, purse carrying, and "art" of all forms and fashions.
I didn't think this would happen until at least the age of 10, but they simply don't need a whole bunch of plastic toys that they can attempt to destroy anymore. So I purged. I purged a LOT.
I have two giant boxes of books, a giant box and two bags of random toys and stuffed animals, two tubs of the "nice" toys to put in the attic for the potential someday, and an obsence amount of trash.
(Does it seem alarming to anyone else that I literally could walk through my children's rooms and playroom on any given day and fill a grocery bag with trash? Where is all this coming from?)
It felt wonderful.
I left only the building blocks/Lincoln Logs/Legos, musical instruments, arts, and dress up.
What they all really needed was a room to "hang out" in during the down times and watch a movie or show so they would get out of my living room with all their stickiness, lingering, and awful TV choices.
(Not that I EVER let my children watch TV.)
(Total lie. My kids watch so much PBS.)
(Fine, they also watch Disney Junior.)
(FINE, and Cartoon Network. I can't fight all of them!)
Our kids are now the proud owners of a redish-pink Ikea love-seat (with washable cover) that fits all of them comfortably and keeps them far, far away from me for extended periods of time. Ikea is the most wonderful store on Earth.
We are all delighted!
Now if we could just put a mini-fridge in there and a hot plate, I think they could basically fend for themselves!