Our New School Room

I love our new school room!  Over the summer I just got fed up with our school room.  It had been cute when we set it up but as the actual schooling got under way, it just became too disorganized, drab, and depressing.  It needed a redo and desperately.  Take a look, here are our before pictures…

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And now, ta da!

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I really wanted the room to be brighter and happier so I went with the bright green, blue, and pink.  And we desperately needed more organization.  The room was fabulous when it was first set up but now that the kids were older and a baby was in the picture, we had outgrown the original design and it was a hot mess.  I wanted to move away from the crowded cupboard to more shelf space that was organized.

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We bought the shelves from Walmart for only $30 a piece and then the colorful baskets came from Michaels on sale.  I made the tags out of scrapbook paper (all those stacks of it finally came in handy) and black chalkboard paper.  I just used a white paint pen to write on them.

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And here is the front of the room…  The bulletin board is for our Bible verse that we are memorizing.  And on the white board you can see our timer which has been so helpful in keeping us on track and helping the girls focus on their schoolwork.

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On the next wall is my desk.  When I first set up the room, I didn’t have a desk for me–my thought being that this was a space focused on the kiddos (and I didn’t see how it would fit at the time).  But that just didn’t work.  Maybe it’s the teacher in me but I needed my own space to work, prep, and plan.  The bulletin boards will soon be filled with the kid’s work and the bean bags are our reading nook.

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And here is our science center.  I really love it!  I covered an old bookcase in patterned contact paper (like what I used on the filing cabinet).  It hid the water damage and stains.  On the shelves are all of our science and social studies books and activity kits.  On top are our science tools.  The Parts of the Scientist poster came from here.

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The filing cabinet is one of my favorites.  My dad had given us the filing cabinet but it was pretty dingy.  I spray painted it purple and covered the drawers with the purple chevron contact paper.

redone filing cabinet

Be sure to take the drawers all the way out and remove the handles, etc.  There should be screws in the back that you can use to pry them off.

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Really I went a little spray paint happy.  Once I did the filing cabinet, I decided to paint my little plastic drawers.  I’ve had this set for years (you can usually find it at Costco or Michaels) but was just done with the multi-colored look.  So I painted all the drawers purple.  I also took off the silver handles to add the labels.  In the past I’ve used paper labels but this time I used dry erase tape so that I can change it whenever I want.

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I also painted our school desks.  They were looking dirty and dingy but this really brightened the entire room.  Just be sure to put many coats of a sealant such as polyurethane coating for wood.

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Finally, I added the paper flag banner to be a finishing touch and help bring cheer to the room.  I wanted a place that made me smile when I entered because I knew that would make the children smile too.  I used scrapbook paper and twine that I already had around the house.  For the flags I used the template from Flairy Tales found here.

Paper flag banner

Not only is the room happier, but it has made us more efficient.  It’s easier for the kids to help the room stay clean and shows them just how much we value their schooling.  Win win win!

Veterinary Dramatic Play

Guess what we did today!  Lately the girls have been obsessed with playing with their stuffed animals so I decided to set up a veterinary office in their playroom for after we finished school.

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We’ve always done child-directed activities so I’ve DSCN1286never actually set up something like this ahead of time.  If you know my girls in real life you know that they have no shortage of imagination (my mom would tell you that their whole life is dramatic play) so it just didn’t really occur to me sooner.  But this was super easy and considering the happy reaction, we will definitely be doing this again.  So here is our veterinary office using only supplies we already had on hand….

 

 

For our tables I used TV trays (we received some kid-sized ones a few years ago).  I covered one with a small table cloth to make it an examination table.  And laundry baskets came in very handy for additional set-up.
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Medical supplies we used:
  • Toy doctor kit laid out
  • Our microscope (to examine test results)
  • Plastic gloves (We don’t have any real ones but luckily I had some from my hair dying kit that worked just fine.)
  • Package of old gauze bandages (These come in every first aid kit we’ve ever gotten and I think we’ve only used them once.)
  • An ace bandage (I ended up letting the girls cut it into pieces to fit their animals and dolls so it looks like I will be buying another one.)
  • Clipboards with recording forms attached and pencils

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And I added:
  • Laundry baskets to serve as kennels for patients
  • Baby doll bathtub to wash the animals
  • A receptionist space with their cash register and play phone and some appointment slips I found online
  • Obviously all the animal accessories the girls have
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It immediately became a very busy office

 

Desk where clients pay and records are updated

Desk where clients pay and records are updated

We found great printables at:

I printed out all the different forms so that they could see which ones they liked.

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So it looks like we will be playing vet for awhile…

All of their customers waiting to be seen!

All of their customers waiting to be seen!

 

I loved the teamwork!

I loved the teamwork!

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