Monday, August 9, 2010

A Look at the Lounge

I've had a few readers ask about supplies, organization and the like so I thought I'd give you a peak into Little Learners Lounge.  We have a small nook in our dining room that I have been using as Eva's art station and it is where we do a majority of our projects.  The heart of the area is her little work table.  It was a Christmas gift from her Grammy and Papa.
I love the storage bins and, as you can see, Eva loves decorating it with stickers.  (The kid has a serious addiction to all things sticky!)  I placed a scrap piece of oil cloth on the top for quick clean-up (and because it is much easier to peel stickers off of than the wood is.)  I recently got the caddy for markers and such in the dollar spot at Target.  It turns and Eva is able to easily access her supplies.  The bins underneath the table hold crayons, stickers, notebooks and cards (Eva saves greeting cards) and coloring books.  I keep other supplies and items in two small drawer cabinets I snagged when my neighbor was cleaning out his classroom.
Eva is able to access and use any of the items in here and we've been working on putting things back where they belong when we're through.  Just outside the nook is a chair where I store her smock and newspapers/brown paper I use to protect surfaces if we aren't working at the table.
Under the chair is a box for scrap paper and projects that can be dismantled and reused.  In the buffet behind the table I store items that I prefer Eva not to help herself to if I'm not around.
I usually keep a puzzle or two out for her but have found if she has access to all of them, she will dump out all of them.  I also keep my supplies (scissors, white glue, glue dots, permanent markers, etc) out or reach.  One cabinet and two drawers are also dedicated to our supplies while the rest actually hold silverware and dining room related stuff.
I keep unused paper and the messiest of all craft supplies- glitter- in the drawers.
To the right of the table I have a piece of twine hanging that we use to display finished products and just outside the nook is the felt board (it's a big picture frame with the glass removed and felt adhered to the inside).
Now onto a few other questions:
What supplies should I get for my child?
Some of the things we use the most are crayons, markers, stickers, glue (white and glue sticks), paper, paint and brushes.  Other fun things to have are pom poms, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, craft foam, coffee filters, glitter, sequins, beads, dried pasta, yarn, ribbon- pretty much anything can be a craft supply!  I pick up a lot of things in dollar stores or the dollar spots at places like Target, JoAnn Fabric, Micheals, etc.  Oriental Trading also has a ton of great craft supplies.
Where do you get your ideas?
Having taught first graders and younger for over 13 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have tons of ideas stored up.  I also run internet searches each week based on the theme I've chosen.  A great deal of inspiration comes from the blogs I follow as well.  Here are a few of my favorites:
No Time for Flashcards
Two Little Seeds
The Amazing Mess
Meet the Dubiens
Little Page Turners
Little Fingers, Big Dreams
I Can Teach My Child
Excuse Me Mrs. C
Counting Coconuts (one of my absolute favorites)
Along the Way
ABC and 123 (a great collaborative site)
The Virtual Vine
Kinder Korner
Hubbard's Cupboard (an awesome preschool resource)
Do you own all those books?
I wish!  I do have a lot from my teaching days and Eva has built up quite a collection too but each week I do a search in our library's catalog based on the theme of the week and include any I find.  We do read all those books though!  And I have been trying to get a few non-fiction books each week.  We may not read every word of them but they are great for learning new vocabulary and seeing realistic pictures of our topics.

I hope that this gives you an idea of what it's like in the lounge!  Please feel free to leave any other questions you may have- I'd be happy to answer them too.


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to show us around! It's very inspiring!

  2. You're welcome! Thanks for inspiring the post Jen!

  3. Such a great post, I always love seeing how people do things! And what a great set up you have! :)

  4. Hi thanks for putting me on your inspiration list! xxx

  5. You are so organized. I love that you use all types of spaces to store.

  6. this looks awesome!! i wish i had more time at home with my 2yr old. what does a typical day's schedule look like for you?

  7. Totally trying to copy your set up...slowly, but surely.