Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Calvin's Playroom Reveal

This project has been a dream come true.  Our house has a loft space upstairs that we had previously used as a catch-all for everything we didn't have space for in our downstairs living room.  After Calvin was born, we starting spending time up there in the mornings (it's right outside his room), and he just loved it.  At the beginning of the pandemic, I started taking screenshots of spaces I loved and collecting art/items for what I deemed my "functional gallery wall."

I've always loved keeping Calvin's toys organized (here's my post from his first year of toys and organization), but this is was needed quickly as he got bigger and his toys got bigger.  Below are a whole bunch of photos and at the bottom of this post, I've linked everything I can think of from each little space.  If I missed something and you want a link (nothing is affiliate or sponsored - just want to share what I love) - just email or leave a comment!
Here's the BEFORE:
And the AFTER:
One of my favorite spaces is this little book nook area.  I love switching out the bookshelves in Calvin's room every month, and now I have another space to share seasonal favorites.  Plus, a festive felt ball garland is now my monthly go-to.
Looking back to the other side of the room, you can see the "functional gallery wall" on the left and my absolutely NOT Montessori-style toy storage.  While it's not perfect, everything has a space (so I can clean up in 5 minutes or less), it allows Calvin to make his own choices about what to play with, and it's off in the corner, so he grabs what he wants and comes back to the middle of the room to play.  You'll also see the door to our upstairs porch next to the organization, and Calvin loves playing out there with his toys (and looking at the garbage trucks and buses in the mornings).
And lastly, a close-up look of that gallery wall.  I'm still looking to add more to it, but for now, it's perfect.  I'm so happy with how much Calvin loves his dollhouse, and even though I haven't found any dolls for him yet (IKEA only sells the furniture for it haha), he LOVES putting his lovey sloth to bed in the little bed and play with him in there.  It has given him so many ideas for pretend, open-ended play.
Here are all the product links (mostly from Amazon, Target, and IKEA):

Gallery wall:
Dinosaur letterboard ||| Clothespin photo frame ||| Dollhouse ||| Dollhouse furniture ||| Rainbow yarn & wood sign ||| Custom woven wall hanging ||| Clock ||| Basketball hoop ||| Calvin map made by a neighbor

Pom pom pillow from Target dollar section

Train table hand-me-down from a neighbor (similar)

Book nook:
Bookshelves (are spice racks!) ||| Floating circle shelves ||| Rainbow inauguration print ||| Set of 3 mini photo frames ||| Pom pom garland ||| Stuffed animal storage bean bag - yes, that striped thing is filled with stuffies!

Toy organization: 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Calvin's Favorite Toys: Year One

Why, hello, blogging world!  I have been working on this post for a while (Calvin is 20 months now hahaha), and I finally found enough links and photos to share it with all of you.  I thought some fellow mamas might enjoy a list of all of Calvin's favorite toys.  

First and foremost, our absolute favorite toys are his Lovevery boxes.  He has a subscription where he received a box of Montessori-style toys every 2 months for the first year (and every 3 months now), and they are amazing.  They are all developmentally perfect, but that being said, he also goes back to many of the "younger" toys quite frequently.  FYI, nothing in this post is sponsored nor do I use any affiliate links, but if you'd like to subscribe to Lovevery, you and I can both get $20 off our next order (if you're a first-time subscriber) with my referral link.  Email me at meg.borrowedheaven@gmail.com if you'd like my code!  Thanks, friends!
Other than the boxes, almost literally every single other toy below was gifted to us or suggested by another mama.  Moms really do know what they're talking about - haha!  We have A. Lot. Of. Toys, and we use Montessori-style toy rotation so that Calvin really enjoys and engages with all of his toys.  We have a toy space up in our loft, and a second space in our downstairs living room.  Every Sunday night, I pull everything he had the previous week and replace it with new items.  On average, he has about 8-10 toys in a play space, and I try to always make sure there's something in each of these categories: a puzzle, something musical, something with wheels (his favorite category haha), something to stack, something to sort, a set of blocks, something that makes noise (electronic), and books.  
We started this at about 9 months, when he started being able to crawl around, and before that, we had little baskets of toys around his activity mat.  He used to love pulling toys out of the basket!
The one thing you won't really see in this post are books.  I started doing books and toys together, and I can't even tell you how long this post got.  The book post will be separate soon eventually.

Here we go:

Let's start with the big things... I highly suggest looking on Facebook marketplace for all of these.  They can be pricey, but we got many of them from neighbors!

Now the little things (mostly listed by starting age)...
  • OBall rattle - 1 month to 10 months (favorite on the changing table)
  • Stacking cups - 6 months on
  • Dragon WubbaNub - 6 months - 1 year (we quickly learned that we were overwhelming Calvin with too many toys in the car, so we gave him this one pacifier, and he was easily entertained)
  • Melissa & Doug puzzles: peg, hide and seek, and chunky wooden puzzles - 7 months on (these really helped with his fine motor skills early on)
  • Little Tikes golf set - 9 months on (he learned to "throw" around 9 months and loves to play catch together)
That's it!  I've started thinking about his favorite toys now (at 16 months.... edit: ooof I started writing this post 4 months ago haha), so I'll be sure to do another post like this around the 2 year mark!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Baby Favorites: 9-12 Months

Calvin turns 15 months old this week (How?!?!), and after seeing Kelley's 6-9 month favorites, I realized that I never posted my own favorites for my own for months 9-12!  At the start of 9 months (in February), Calvin was just learning to crawl, so a lot of these favorite have to do with movement.  Then, by the time he was a year old in May, we were in full lockdown from COVID-19, and we spent (and still are spending) countless hours at home.  We are making the most of it, so investments like the tricycle and a snack tray for each stroller are so worth it.
You'll notice a couple of toys and books, I also have two posts planned just for favorite toys and favorite books throughout year 1, but if there are any other baby-related posts you would like to see, please let me know!  At the bottom of this post, you can find all of my previous "favorites" posts!
1. Crib rail covers: Calvin loves to chew on. anything.  I started seeing little bits of something (turns out it was paint) on his face, so when I realized he was chewing his rails, I bought these.  They tie on and don't really keep him from chewing but does keep him from destroying his crib and eating paint.

2. Bookshelves: These are close to the ground, next to his crib, and he loves picking what books to read and handing them to me!  

3. Books: Calvin loves to read.  He has tons of favorites, but anything with sounds or that move are on top of the list.  His favorites at this age were: Noisy Baby Animals (sounds), Trucks (lift the flap), and Hello Farm (indestructible books).

4. Baby gate: Well, technically this was a pet gate so that the cats could get up and down the stairs, but this one works great.  It's tall and wide enough for the top of our stairs.  

5. Snack trays for Uppababy and BOB strollers: Since it's so hot out, we got both of these trays to keep his water bottle when we walk.  He also loves bringing little toys with him on walks.

6. Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Tricycle: I got this in my neighborhood swap group for $10 and could not believe how expensive they are!  I would absolutely not pay full price for this, so make sure you check out your local Facebook marketplace.  That being said, it is actually worth its weight in gold because Calvin LOVES his tricycle rides around the block.  

7. Melissa and Doug wooden toys: These are the best quality toys I've found.  These are other Facebook swap group finds, and Calvin especially anything with moving parts and wheels like this car carrier: up and down lift, cars that roll, helicopter that spins.

8. Toddler utensils: A few months ago, when using his baby utensils, Calvin kept yelling and pointing at our fork.  We switched to these and he loves them (I think they feel more like "big boy" utensils).  

9. Golf set: Calvin just loves throwing balls and hitting them with the clubs.  This is a toy I didn't picture using until he was older, but he's obsessed with it, when I ask him if he wants to "play golf" every morning, he crawls right out to the loft and grabs the balls.

10. Bubbles: We need to get a battery-powered bubble blower, because the amount of time I spend blowing bubbles is crazy haha!  This little one is so great!

If you missed it, you can click on the photos below to see our other favorites:

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