Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Learning Center Re-do

Basment Pub to Learning Center!

I have finally completed a month long project. We have this great space downstairs next to the washer room in our German home. This is the space:

After it being a storage area, the junk room, and a pub that we never used.. I just had to find a way to make this useful for the kids and I. But as you can see. It's not a complete square. It's a rather odd shape becuase of the Bar side.. this makes it difficult to have a layout...So, every few days I would go and just sit in there, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, how cheap I could do it, and How I could decorate without anything permanent; seeing as how we have possibly till Dec to live here... ( look at paneling!! ugh!!!!)
These are the fixtures I couldn't remove. But I could move the bench nook.. but the table had to stay ( it's about 8 ft long) becuase there wasn't anywhere else to put it on our home.

So, with using only the things I already had in other parts of the house, and purchasing table paper for the walls and taping it on... and a few tables from the second hand stores in France, this is what I have come up with!
It's actually bright and Cheery in there!

the remaing blank yellow walls, I plan on putting up our Time Line.

First is the "Space Center"
This is the kids favorite part! And the first thing I created in here. It's a little nook there in the corner. I covered the lower walls with Tin Foil, and some space stickers... I hung a rack to keep their Space books on, and included 2 bean bag chairs ($14 thrift store find). I then taped christmas lights that were battery powered and the coooooolest blue, and taped that on as well...they flash and it makes it very "spacey." They play rocket ship ALL the time now. It's very cute. I also brought all the space things from around the house as well and put it in this play area.

Here's the control area... and a view from their Rocket =)

This is a great learning tool- from scholastic. It talks! the kids love it! ( yard sale find)

what do with the awkards spaces in this place! =)

Another great talking space thing... from scholastic- ( yard sale find)

This is an entertainment center I bought last weekend at the second hand store. It's bright orange on the inside.. I thought it was perfect for a kids area. and great storage, and made the perfect train table. this train set is from kidcraft. It's the space center train set. we got it off of kids woot.com for $35 this christmas!

the train set also glows in the dark! comes complete with rockets, trains, aliens, moon pieces etc..

I found this Build your own Rocket by TOMY at the thrift store for $2 a few weeks ago! I was very excited! this is great for both of them!

here are some space mission toys we picked up last summer, I plan on making a small moon sand pit where they can set this up and play!
This is pretty cool, we got this at a yard sale a while ago too. ( yes, you will get very tired of hearing me say that!) it's a ceiling show, in 3D. The kinders like it, but I am not that impressed. It comes with a few slides ...it's easy for the kids to use though.

and of course - space puzzles!

Next is the Geography Learning Center
yeah! Again I just gathered all the things I had in this category from around the house and school room, and put it all together. For now this works. the table is set up for the Geo Safari ( grandma is giving JT for his birthday next month) that is going to be so fun! The globe on the left is Geosafari and the Globe on the right is the leapfrog Globe. I plan on adding bins for each continent very soon...

This was a game I picked up, it's a memory game for Europe!

I was very excited that I had all this stuff already! And the kids love that they can move from station to station.

I bought this Creation Globe from Christian books. It is awesome! KT especailly enjoys it!

Music Center: We have tons of instuments... for now these are on the little shelf that goes around the room. the rest are in a bin.

This is an old school table i picked up last weekend. Isn't it cute? I bought two clip on lamps to put over each area. This is a great table for ANYTHING in the Learning Center. see the old ink holders?

Building Center
Daddy picked up this lego table with chairs a few months ago. so happy to pull it out! I hung a bulliten board above it so JT can see his "maps" for how to build his sets... he loves that!

This "Shape" table I picked up for 12 euros this weekend! the reason i got it was because all the shapes move! you can make the table bigger or smaller, and each kinder can have their own space. Groovy deal~!

These are some of the things in teh building center today. I plan to rotate these out very few weeks, to keep things fun: for example, I will bring out all the magnetic toys, and kits I have, one week will be all about dinos, and specific animals. This is where the mini sand trays will come in as well. I plan on also filling some of those trays with water, and differant things they can pretend play with as well .
below are Bob the builder lego duplos, Wedgits to Go, tinkertoys, melissa and doug dominos, and lincoln logs.

Since we are talking about learning Centers. I thought I would share some of the Play Centers in our home as well. Up on the 3rd floor is the kids Play Center.

This is a Sweet Shop I made 2 Christmas ago, it's still a favorite around here. I bought the set locally and then painted it, and added the sweets. It was supposed to be a kaufladen ( grocery store). wooden play food is a weakness. I have no problem paying full price..even outragious prices if that makes my little shop cuter~! =)

all the wooden food was purchased here in germany and the little set above is from holland.

how cute is this icecream stand? i had to drill it down so tiny hands weren't walking all around the house with the stand.

This red kitchen I Built when JT was just 2. Inside the fridge is storage for all teh food. plus the bottom baskets hold the food.

This is the other side of the Play Center. These are plastic Ikea bins i picked up. We keep each themed toy in these : Thomas the train, JJ JEt plane, Disney sets, Build a bear, Mr potatoe head etc... this way they can only take out one bin at a time! ya, right...like that actually happens.. =)

I painted the Pooh Corner using a transperancy projector and many hours of sleepless nights while daddy was deployed a few years ago. The kids loved it! and it will be sad to paint over it when/if we move..

It's a slanted room- so only one side has things. there is a small reading area too, but we mostly read together downstairs in our main living room.
And this is what we call the IMAGINATION STATION!!!
This is an old chest I picked up junking a looong time ago. It holds all their Dress up / pretend stuff! I have a mirror in the corner, and they go to town! we pick up costumes at yard sales all year round, and if there is something they really want to "become" i try to find it online. This is in it's own spot up by the guest area and the play area. It's so full I can't close it anymore! =)
What's in there? pirates, cowboys, doctors, princess, care bears, little einstiens, tinkerbell, nasa costume, knights, mickey mouse, minnie, gosh.... to much! =)

Thanks for checking it out! I am sure I will be tweaking the Learning Center the more we use it. I will make posts when I put new things in, and all together since I had most everything.. I spent about $140 to do the whole room including the furniture I bought. Bargains are the best!

Have a great week!

5 Thoughtful Comments:

diane said...

oh my goodness...I am in total shock! I can't believe that the pub has been transformed! You have been working like crazy! woohoo!!! congrats on completing a HUGE project!

Julie said...

I found your blog from the Yahoo Workbox Group and can I just tell you I am drooling over your centers!!! I want to come play and have school at your house:) Can't wait to look through your posts!

Jolanthe said...

Wow - you changed it around a lot! It looks great!!


Honey said...

I absolutely love your homeschool. I want to come and do school at your house! My kids would love it too. I love the idea of being creative with you have and just making things work. You have made things work well.


Angela at said...

Thank you SO much everyone!!!! that is so sweet!

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