Patrick and Elise are either best friends or Elise is Patrick’s worst enemy. There isn’t a lot of in-between.
On Wednesday Patrick lost all privileges. No screen time. No toys. No anything fun. He. Was. In. TROUBLE! All he had left were books and Elise to pass the time, and since he HATED ALL THE BOOKS we have lining the bookshelves, he was left with Elise and a Lakeshore catalogue that was lying around.
For one hour – SIXTY long minutes – they sat on the chair and a half, side by side discussing everything in the catalogue. Patrick had a captivated audience as he discussed the merits and play potential of each toy. Elise had someone talking to her and listening to her point out colors, baby dolls and animals.
It only took an extreme purging the house of all that Patrick loves to bring these two together. As Tim said, “All you had to do is point them at each other and slowly walk away and they did the rest.” We didn’t have to set up some elaborate toy with flashing lights and sound effects, I didn’t have to referee toy sharing, they just talked to each other. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that was all they ever needed to entertain themselves?
Sometimes all you have to do to make your kids fall in love with their toys again is to give them a little face lift and move them to a new room.
(photo from August 2012)
(photo from Sept 2012)
This weekend we brought the dollhouse up to the playroom and put the play kitchen in the basement and you would have thought that we bought all new toys. It was just the change the kids needed to make the rainy dreary weekend fun.
Both the play kitchen plans and dollhouse plans can be found at Ana White. She is my DIY hero.
I am the opposite of trigger happy when it comes to design. I like to think through and know all possible options before I take the leap and even then I tend to play it safe and classic on big decisions (hence all the white in our home and the fact that we still don’t know what the new kitchen layout will be). On the other hand I like to push both Tim and I out of our comfort zone on things that are easily changeable like bold curtains (Please tell Tim we need this fabric for our family room curtains), art prints and throw pillows.
This mindset carries over into smaller projects as well, not that building a dollhouse is a small project but it is just a toy. All that said, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Elise’s dollhouse is painted white and the wrapping paper wallpaper is scotch taped in place instead of a more permanent Mod Podge solution. Does the paper fall down? Yes, quite often actually, but then I get to put new stuff up in its place so it is a win win. I chose the wrapping paper and Elise chose which rooms got what pattern. I think she did rather well. Shout out to Hallmark’s line of wrapping paper with the grids printed on the back. It really made this project so much easier.
This is the face she gave me after she asked, “Play dollhouse with me Mommy?” and I responded, “let me take just a few more pictures.”
This swatch of quilting fabric in a spray painted frame has moved from the laundry room where it had cloth diaper washing instructions written on it to a place above the play kitchen stove with “Cooking is fun” scribbled across it.
Now it is reading the classic “home sweet home.” Because this “art” is so light I am able to hang it with 3M command strips. You can see the little pull tags on top of either side of the frame but I try not to care about that. The other white spot in this photo is from when I removed a shelf that was hanging there and the shelf took the paint right with it. There are always multiple touch up paint jobs to do when you have three kids who like to color and a mom who likes to DIY and rearrange.
The kitchen is in the basement now and Patrick is loving it. It ends up that his plush action figures require a lot of pb&j and mac n cheese to sustain the castle conquering they do on a daily basis.
Now that the kitchen is downstairs I can see that it is a much better fit for the basement play area. There is more room to play grocery store. In fact, I think that the construction machine garage will turn into a grocery store this coming weekend. Time to break out the little reusable shopping bags the kids get with Subway kids meals and the play money I have been hiding. I wonder if I can find that cash box I used at last summer’s garage sale….
If I am feeling really ambitious maybe I will even make up a sheet of coupons in GIMP for the kids to cut out and cash in at the grocery store!
Right in our own living room.
Look what’s coming in the mail!
All just in time to justify the purchase as an Easter gift!
The boys are all about marbles and marble runs right now so I am SO pumped to surprise them with these two sets.
Now the only question that remains… What toys will the boys choose to donate to make room for the new marble runs?!