We like to get stuck in with mess in the Reed household. Darcey has always had lots of arts and craft activities to lay her hands on and we’ve encouraged messy, sensory play since she was tiny. As she’s getting a little bit older and getting excited by pens and paints and is starting to build her hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills, we thought it was high time we started to organise the piles of ‘stuff’ we had all over the house which helped her to play.
After today’s swimming lesson, we stopped by IKEA as we were travelling on the M32 anyway and it was relatively convenient, with a view to picking up some jars and shelves. I’d seen the most beautiful Activity Station on Discovering Our Toddler’s Instagram feed a week or so ago and was determined to do something similar with Darcey’s desk. Unfortunately, we haven’t got a spare downstairs room yet. We are hoping to build a conservatory over the next year but as yet, Darcey’s desk is squished alongside our dining table, so our storage solutions had to be a little more streamlined. In IKEA, we picked up a plethora of galvanised goodies, in the form of a magnetic rack and a hanging rail and some buckets and pots to hang from them. Incidentally, IKEA; very busy on a weekend but very child friendly! We had a great time testing out the beds and drawers and sofas and exploring all the different corridors…an hour happily wasted in a shop, which isn’t like me to say!
Using the FINTORP rail and buckets we were able to store some of the bigger items from Darcey’s craft boxes, like her paints, pens, crayons, stickers and pipe cleaners. With the GRUNDTAL Magnetic Knife Rack and the three pack of containers we were then able to store the smaller items that needed containing with a lid. This ended up being things like beads, buttons and sequins, although I could see us needing more of these in future.
Nath’s developed a nifty little trick for when he’s drilling to save on the clean up afterwards – he tri-folds a post-it note just underneath the drill point and it catches all the dust that is thrown out afterwards. It’s particularly good on external walls when you get all the black mortar like we did here, and saves getting the vacuum out. Darcey was not remotely impressed with the drill, which surprised me because she is generally pretty unphased by noise but we had to have a little snuggle whilst Nath was drilling!
All in all, Darcey is very pleased with her new Creation Station. She has the magnets to her side and all her arty bits in front. I’m on the hunt for a lovely piece of driftwood to paint a sign for it so that it matches our living and dining room and we’re going to look for a rustic looking shelf to go above the buckets so that we can store her paper and other bits and pieces that haven’t fit here, but it’s a good start so far, it was relatively inexpensive and took less than twenty minutes to put together! A winner!
Except…don’t put beads within the toddler’s reach…