So today, for Where To Wednesday, we decided to head to some toddler's bedrooms and discuss what does and does not work for us. First of all, I have to tell you that my kids' rooms will win no design award! I have SO many wonderful ideas on things that I would like to do to their room, but unless I can find some extra spare time to get anything done (you moms know what I'm talking about), I have to be content with what we have! We actually moved into our house when I was in my third trimester with Andrew and had so many projects to tackle before these rooms---so as much as I love the cozy rooms my boys have, one day I inspire to make them even better!
MUST HAVES in a toddler bedroom:
1. Let's start with a reading corner...I think a "must" for toddler rooms! Both of my boys have a bookcase full of books right next to a special reading chair from their MeMe, although I think they read on the floor most often:) Having books at an accessible level is crucial for toddlers---and don't get too bent out of shape about getting them back in a neat, orderly manner! You can tell we love books SO much at our house---Andrew's bookcase is stuffed with ratty tatty books as he gets all the one that Aiden wants to pass on to him! And I think that Andrew can about tell me what every book is about on this shelf because we read SO much! And Aiden can "READ" so many of his books because we have read them over and over and over. We often start our day with some book browsing and definitely read before nap time and bedtime, as well as throughout the day! We also have children's books in almost every room of the house so they have very easy access to books!
I also love having a rocker in Andrew's room. We got this when we were expecting our first and it passed on down to Andrew. Here is where we read all of Andrew's books before nap time and bedtime---I love cuddling with him in this rocker because he is SO not a cuddle bug most of the day, too busy!
2. I LOVE having my kids' names on the wall---not only does it look cute but it is a great learning tool for children as they get older. What a great tool to learn all the letters in their name and learn to recognize their name! I created these myself just with some letters from the craft store and a little craft paint---but there are SO many awesome places to purchase these as well!
3. I love making my boys a cozy sleeping spot! Aiden switched to a bed when he was 21 months---and despite his young age actually went through the transition quite well. His bed is a twin-sized bed from Ikea which is a little lower to the ground than most other twin beds but perfect for this age. He is very small for his age so I was a little nervous about putting him in a bed that was higher off the ground, but we LOVE this one. He sleeps with all his favorite stuffed animals and his quilt which was handmade by myself, but don't look too closely because there are imperfections! We are working on the morning chore of making his bed every day--he is at the perfect age for just starting to learn. Andrew is still in a crib, and although we switched Aiden at this age out of necessity for the crib, I definitely am not ready for him to move to a bed. He is a great sleeper (knock on wood) and as long as he has two dog lovies and his blanket, he sleeps like an angel!
4. And of course, there must be a place to store all the toddler clothes! Both of them have a dresser from Ikea (love that store!). Aiden's dresser matches his bed, hence the reason we bought it. All his clothes are accessible to him---which is great because he can dress himself, but also not so great if you are a Type A mom who likes to keep straightened drawers! I have learned to let loose about certain things as my kids are getting older--I only straighten the drawers when laundry goes in about once a week, other than that I ignore the fact that there are shorts and shirts jammed back into the wrong drawers! Aiden started dressing himself over a year ago---and I think one reason why is because we gave him free reign to his dresser. Pants/shorts are in the bottom drawer, shirts are in the middle drawer, and then I love having the baskets. These store socks, underwear, swimsuits, and a few out of season shirts for unseasonable days! Andrew's dresser is also sorted similar and thankfully, he doesn't have the desire to turn his dresser into a tornado so it stays neat and tidy!
5. Last, my boys have a few toys in their room! We don't spend a lot of time upstairs as it is just the three bedrooms, but I find it useful to have respective toys in each room for times when I'm doing chores upstairs or getting ready for the day. We also spend a few moments upstairs before/after sleep time and right before bed. This is also a great place for the boys to head when they want some alone time. Eighty percent of the time when we arrive home from a morning of preschool/errands/or playmates, Aiden heads to his room for some down time before lunch. And if you have had a 3 1/2 year old, I'm sure you have dealt with some bedtime battles (could be a post in itself, right?!). Our rule is that you can play/read in your room as long as you are quiet until you go to sleep after we do our bedtime routine. Aiden loves to create roads, play "Toy Story", etc. during this time!
6. And I have to share one of my most favorite things in Aiden's room that is a MUST in this house! We have the American Innovative Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Nightlight. It was a LIFE CHANGER! You set the time when it turns to green in the morning and teach your child not to get out bed until then. We purchased this when Aiden was between 2-2 1/2 and it really did save our life! He was up at 5 am for awhile there and we had to do something, especially as Andrew was a nursing infant and we were TWO exhausted parents. It really did work it's magic (with a few tears to help teach the lesson!)---and we still use it to this day. We have it set now for 7 am. He is usually awake between 6:00-6:30, but plays quietly in his room until his clock turns green and busts into our room to tell me that his clock is green and it is time to get up! Also, if you push the little feet on the bottom, it will tell you the time, a great learning tool for children.
7. And I have one more AWESOME thing to share with you today, including a fabulous coupon code---we received this name puzzle stool from Cubbyhole Toys. My boys are loving with this fabulous stool! This one is personalized for Andrew---although Aiden has been enjoying it as much as Andrew. What a great way to teach children their name. The boys have loved taking the letters in and out of the puzzle that was created by Cubbyhole Toys. And they LOVE being able to reach things that they normally can't--light switches, reaching things on the top of the bookcase, and are fascinated with just climbing up and down. My boys are under the tenth percentile in height, so we will take every advantage we can get---and this stool is perfect. What a great addition for any toddler room and so cute as well!
This would make a "special" gift for any child and Cubbyhole Toys has so many personalized stools to choose from, as well as coat racks and name puzzles. One thing that I find really special that this shop does is that they will engrave a keepsake message on the bottom of the gift to make it a special treasure for so many years. All stools are hand cut and created uniquely for the individual. Debi, the shop owner, is giving our Chirping Moms readers a special discount code to use that will run through 9/30: Use code ChirpingMom and you will receive 10% off any purchase. (Christmas shopping anyone?!?!)
Visit Cubby Hole Toys at their Etsy shop or through their website to check out all the wonderful things in their shop.
Hope you enjoyed our tour of toddler rooms----please leave a comment and tell us what else would you add to this list?!?! And don't forget to check out our wonderful guest post from Andie at Crayon Freckles today posted here, so many great ideas to keep your toddler engaged!