Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Preschool Setup

I wanted to post about our preschool set up since I struggled finding inspiration at the start of all of this. I wanted it done as "nicely" as possible without being too over the top "daycare" feel. We do so much entertaining at our house between holidays, birthday parties and play dates that I didn't want primary colors and ABCs all over the game room! Yet, it needs to be "fun" for the kids or they won't want to be there. It's a fine line.

I knew I wanted a framed chalkboard but I wanted it magnetic because we were going to be limited on wall space for our lessons. I didn't want a bunch of push pins in my wall so having the chalkboard be magnetic just made the most sense.

Here is our DIY giant magnetic framed chalkboard (tutorial of how to and how not to build one here)!
framed magnetic chalkboard
We connected two 22.5" Fintorp rails from Ikea for the hanging bar and attached 2 buckets and 1 oblong bucket with matching hooks.
Mammut Children's Stools from Ikea

What kid doesn't love sitting on a stool? My girls love pulling them out from the wall a bit to sit and read a book! 

My favorite part is the "library wall"! I've seen this done a million times on Pinterest and finally decided to go for it once we decided to preschool at home. What I love is that once we done it will being a book display we can easily flip it into a photo gallery of framed photos sitting on the ledges (the original use for these Ikea ledges).
homeschool set up
The bookshelves are 45.25" Ikea Ribba Picture Ledges
We have 2 Pink Mammut Tables with 4 Chairs

I plan on adding letters above the library wall to spell out "READ" and then put the 4 square framed photos of the girls reading that we already have above the chalkboard. 

We had already owned 1 Mammut table with the 4 chairs and LOVE it so much we added a 2nd table. It allows for the girls to have more elbow space than trying to cram them all at one table. They wipe up easily with clorox wipes (crayon, marker, name it). Oh, and they work great for birthday parties too!

We also mounted a magazine rack to a small side wall (which can easily be removed by sliding off the nails for entertaining purposes). I use this to organize the preschool paperwork for the week. I designated the bins Monday-Friday from top to bottom.

We also got 2 bookcases from Ikea and turned them sideways for storage under our archways (this is the area behind our couch in the game room).
The 4 bottom storage bins in the picture above are for supplies (art, paper, etc) and I don't let the girls get into them (although Scarlett is still testing me). 
Expedit Shelving Unit in Black-Brown from Ikea

The 4 bottom bins in this unit are the girls' "learning zone" bins. The 1st is full of puzzles. The 2nd is full of music (xylophone, maracas, whistle, etc). The 3rd bin is fine motor skills (games, lacing, bean bags, etc). The 4th is our cookie sheets, ABC magnets, and Power Magnets. 

After first we bought ITSO bins from target and they fit but they were SO snug I struggled getting them in and out. Plus we didn't agree with the polka dot pattern once we got them home so we exchanged them out for these (below) and they fit perfectly!
Storage Bins are Threshold from Target

The rest of our game room is the normal set up - couch, coffee table, tv, toys, etc. So we basically do our work in this corner space of the game room. We do any painting downstairs in the kitchen our on the patio.

When we need to stretch our legs we typically march around the game room during our Bible songs. The girls go play "centers" in their rooms (kitchen, dollhouse, etc). We also have outside play twice a day for the girls to burn some energy!

So far after 2 weeks of preschooling at home this set up is working great! We may add a circle rug under the library wall at some point but hasn't been a problem not having a rug for them to sit on.


Erica said...

Can you please tell me the size of your chalk board? I love it!

Tonya said...

Sure! It's 55.25 inch square. I believe we got a 48" square piece of sheet metal. Hope that helps!

Erica said...

Thank you so much! Can't wait to make (ehr, get my husband to make) this.

Shelley Davis said...

Hi, this is my first visit to your creative space! Wow you do great stuff! I love your directions. They are so clear and easy to follow.
Thank you,

Wendy Ahlman said...

Seriously, you're so amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! God bless!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information... I really love your blog posts.....!!

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