There are so many wonderful and inspiring play and learning spaces all over the Web. Some are large taking up entire rooms and while wonderful, that's just not realistic for my family. So, when Lizzie started showing a lot of interest in both writing and drawing, I knew I wanted to set up an area that she could go to and have plenty of materials at her disposal. A lot of my inspiration for this area came from Mariah Bruehl and her blog Playful Learning. Her writing caddy was foremost on my mind while creating this space.
We had a small, unused cabinet that I moved to a sunny corner of our living room. The girls' table is set up next to the cabinets. Then, I gathered baskets, boxes, empty cans, and plenty of art and writing supplies. The purple basket is full of all kinds of paper. Plain paper, lined paper, old stationary, colored paper, and even a few coloring pages. In addition to the various types of paper, I also made sure there were different sizes as well. Then, I set out our box of crayons, markers, colored pencils, and recycled muffin tin crayons. We have an A,B,C stencil book I found at our library's book sale that I added to the area. I also included a cup with a few more stencils, a pencil sharpener, and glue sticks.
This is an independent area that the girls can use anytime they want. It's also in an area of our house that we spend the most time in, which was very important to me. Now the girls are able to draw, color, or write anytime it strikes their fancy. And, I have piles and piles of drawings to attest to how much they use this area!
A learning space doesn't have to be large or expensive to set up. It could be a small corner of a room or it could even be portable in a basket or bin. But, it's a wonderful way to encourage a budding interest in your child!
Do you have any special learning or play spaces in your home?