I am a huge proponent of making your home a place that makes your family happy to be there together. For me, this is as much about the actual physical spaces as it is about the experiences we have there.
Now, this is isn’t to say that the outdoors and having outside-of-our-home adventures aren’t important, but I think that I can tend towards the “go-go-go” mentality of wanting to get out of the house to make valuable memories with my little one, when instead making meaningful spaces in our home has helped me be more rooted in the simple pleasure of watching my little one play or snuggling up to share an experience together.
And so I made creating special spaces for my little guy a big priority this summer.
We created a reading nook with comfy pillows, low wall shelves, and book baskets-which we fill with constantly rotating books to keep it fresh.
We also created a few art spaces-an easel set up in our porch, his art “desk” (a.k.a. a shoe shelf from Target) with hanging baskets full of art supplies in the kitchen, and a small table and chair where there is always paper and drawing implements downstairs.
We set up a small music-making space, which consists of his own ratty guitar, a basket of percussion instruments, and an ancient electric keyboard. He also wanders into papa’s music room A LOT and plays the ukulele and the pretty guitars.
In the kitchen we found it helpful, and a lot of fun, to create him a learning tower so that he can “help” in the kitchen. He would often insist that we pick him up when we were cleaning or cooking, and now that he has a way to see what we are up to he is much more contented while we are busy. And most of the time he throughouly enjoys helping me bake (you know, besides that one time he burned himself on the griddle…terrible mama-moment).
Lastly-because it took so much stinkin’ time- we endeavored upon a Room of Exploration and Wonder (way better than a just a “playroom”, right?). Which we filled with a DIY play tent, more books, blocks, Duplos, natural items, a giant magnet board made from a oil drip pan, his activity board that we made for his first birthday, and a few other odds and ends. I also attempted a simple mountain mural on the wall…key word “attempted”. This space has taken him a while to warm up to, I think mainly because it is “off the beaten path”, shall we say? But, now he will ask us to turn on the lights in the basement and will wander down there by himself to play. It warms my heart 🙂
We treasure our moments in our home just the three of us. I feel a sense of deep joy and pride when our little one chooses to use one of the spaces I have set up for him. I hope that he feels deeply happy in his home. Like he belongs, like there is always something new to discover there, and that, most of all, it is a place that is full of time with his mama and papa pouring their hearts into him.
What are the spaces that your family gravitates towards in your home? What is something you have done to make your home feel welcoming to your little one? I would love to hear your ideas!