Thursday, September 16, 2010

Play Zone

Here are some pictures of our Structured Play area. It is a small corner in a spare bedroom. We have company about once a month but not consistently. This area is not aesthetically pleasing but it is doing much more so I let it go! (We rent and can't do anything to the house anyway!) The area is perfect because it has a lot of natural light, a built in bookcase and a window seat. Plus it is out of the way so we can go there just for our Structured Play time!
Yes, the blue trim IS that obnoxious! It is not the picture!
I have used the window seat as a shelf, it is perfect hight, for items I want him to explore. There is a basket of library books and a basket of 'game' pieces. The game pieces are the Matching, Sorting and finger puppets. The big comfy chair (one of the first major purchases I made after college, can't part with it!) would be idea for reading but Jake will not sit to read with me. Across from the chair is a dry erase board that has the flannel board and this month's theme words. Above that are large flashcards that have a circle and red apple.
Baskets with books and game pieces
Dry Erase Board and Flannel Board
This is across from the chair and window. It is a built in shelf the bottom shelf has a theme appropriate puzzle. Next shelf up has family board books that will stay permanently. They are color, shape, word books. Above that are art supplies and mommy supplies that are out of reach. On the floor in front of the shelf is the sensory box.
Everything starts neat and in its place but certainly does not stay that way! Here are a few 'after' shots. And these are after a short session of Structured Play!

Wait, I must have picked up before taking these! They are not as bad as I remember it being! Come on those puzzle pieces are never in the correct place!

The important thing to remember is that this is play even if it is
Structured Play so it is ok for the place to be a disaster, it SHOULD be! I usually know it is time to walk away and end Structured Play when Jake starts throwing things, breaking things (He pulled Johnny Appleseed's arm off) or just not seeming interested. 

Notice the room is not over the top and does not looks like a classroom. It isn't a classroom! I do not want it to be over stimulating, he is 1 after all. He needs to focus on playing not looking around. As he gets older and has more focus that may be an option, but for now small details are enough. 


  1. This is amazing. In a stay at home mother and pride myself on really focusing on my children's education. I just recently thought about getting my degree in education and curriculum development. I'm constantly looking for new ways to each them something and not just the traditional at the desk or at the table way. I have an eight year daughter and a one year old son. I just want to thank you for this information. Moving into a new home and setting up his nursery geared towards education is a must. This have me so many helpful ideas. Thank you again. God bless you are your family!


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