It was back in July that I wrote about removing the loft from our play space. At that time it looked like this;
I liked the way the block bin looked when it was placed diagonally across the room but it did not function well. There was limited room in the block area and the angles were causing issues with my plans for replacing the old rubber floor tiles.
So, a few weeks ago I moved the block bin back towards the cozy couch. This move makes the reading nook into a smaller, quieter area that is less prone to active play and heavy traffic flow. It also provided a much larger space for block building adjacent to the workshop/music area.
Love the new flooring now too.
I added an another shelf between the back of the block bin and the dress-up clothes rack. This adds stability, provides extra counter space for the housekeeping area and creates a ‘tunnel’ so the children crawl through to the cozy bench instead of running and jumping 😉
The larger, combined block/workshop/music space has also allowed me to incorporate the new-to-us/second hand ‘science table’ that was donated to our program – thanks Jamie!
I certainly had no intention of restricting the use of the table to only science activities. With all the tools in the workshop area beside the table I thought it might make a good workbench. So far the children’s favourite use for the table is another tunnel – they much prefer to crawl under the table to get to the nature area instead of walking (running) around the table. They also like to use the spaces in the table as tunnels for the toys;
Maybe it is the new room arrangement but dropping – and catching – objects through the pipes has been gaining popularity again too.
We’re loving all the new activity with the old stuff.
The last day of our week outdoors started with me making the ‘trail mix macaroni salad’ – pasta, bacon, raisins, grated carrot, sunflower seeds, and salad dressing (I used ranch).
The flavour was good but I’m still not a fan of pasta salads — it is the texture of cold pasta that I don’t like. The children all ate it but no one begged for more.
I received some gifts from the children when they arrived;
When we got outside I set up the tunnels. There were several items I had handy just in case the children got bored – they rarely get bored outside so most of the items didn’t get used. I wanted to get the tunnels out because we haven’t used them for a long time. The children cheered;
I left them out all day and they were used for a variety of activities but the favorite one involved the balls – of course;
We also did some crafts — these children prefer active play so getting them interested in crafts is sometimes a challenge — messy crafts are the best. I suggested that these might make good Father’s day gifts but left the decision up to them;
Later in the afternoon I noticed that there were pieces of bark neatly arranged in the tipi;
When I asked what the bark was for they informed me that it was ‘jail’ and they continued playing. Some arrests were made, there was an attempted jailbreak – involving a pinecone ‘knife’ – everything ended peacefully.
So, here’s the evaluation of spending one whole week outdoors;
- Nap time outdoors is AWESOME even (especially) in the rain.
- Eating meals outdoors is ok occaisionally but eating every meal for a week outdoors is tiresome.
- No one complains about being bored. No one misses the indoor toys.
- I discovered that I would not survive if I had to work any place that required me to wear shoes all day.
- All the ‘little things’ I normally do in spare minutes throughout the day – loading/unloading the dishwasher, checking/responding to email, miscellaneous paperwork, prepwork and cleaning-up etc don’t get done during the day. They add an hour or two to my workday after the children leave — I normally only work 12 hours a day, this week it was closer to 14 hours per day.
- I miss my coffee pot.
- I have absolutely no trouble falling asleep at night.
I highly recommend it! 🙂