Sunday, September 08, 2013

Don't forget the middle child

 If you've been reading previous posts you will have seen how I created a art space/table for my oldest (7.5) and then my littlest (2.5) but a few days after the littlest one had her area and was enjoying it so much I noticed a change in my middle child.  She seemed irritable and more sensitive than usual (which I suppose is pretty amazing in itself!)  But as I thought about it more and observed her and began to think about what she needed.  I asked her that night about if she would like her own area.  I described a little bit about how it might look.   She already had a craft area and didn't seem to need that and she did like to play in her room.  No, THIS kid needed an "Imagination house" -- and that's what she calls it!
She loves to dress up and unlike her older sister (who is more interested in comfortable clothes) will be worried if she thinks her clothes don't "match" or will look "stupid" and definitely has an opinion about her fashion sense.
SO, I stayed up late one night and created this space for her underneath the built in shelves in our little apartment.  The frame of the "imagination house" was from a play house the girls have (back from when the oldest was 2) and I just unzipped the walls and stored that and laid curtains over it and pinned them together.  "Bob the beanbag" chair got a make-over and became ruffly rainbowy.
One of the first things she wanted to do after getting her house was to write a book!   She's so like her daddy in this way.  :]   First she drew all the pictures and then dictated the whole thing to me so I could write it down (and YES it had a great story arc!  There was a problem and then a climax and a rescue and a happy ending.  It was simple but really great to see it ALL come from her!)  I know Waldorf doesn't teach kids to read till they are 7, but this kid really does NOT want to wait that long.  I think some of her frustrations will be relieved when she learns to read this coming year.  She already knows all the letter sounds and creates her own spelling to words... and.. frankly, when I read a LOT of different posts about readiness she seemed to fit all of that.  Her older sister didn't, but this one.. yes.  I don't think I'd want to start the 1st grade stories  this year and all that with her if I was doing the full Waldorf stuff, but learning to read along with her older sister will be just right I think.

Notice the "water fall" on the right?  It's just some draped fabric safety-pinned in place.

At first she had a few more toys and things in it, but then decided it was too "cluttery for her imagination" so took many of the stuffed toys out and back into their bedroom.  It doesn't have that green pillow in it anymore either.  The yellow curtain looks like it was made for this, but it was actually just left over from a set of two.  I only needed one for my room, but needed it longer so used the second to add length to the first and I am SO glad this leftover one fit so well!

The little round table used to be black to match my other furniture, but for her "Imagination house" I painted it blue and pink.  She squealed when she saw it in the morning after I painted it and set up her house (that was a late night, but worth it!)

Looking through the top.  This fabric was just a leftover curtain that I wasn't using.

She has just enough supplies for her table and a little box for some treasures (a favorite shell and rock are on the table.)  The final piece to this special area is a couple little felt boards that I let her pick to add to her imagination and story telling abilities.   Two dolls with clothes to mix and match and one cute chubby panda felt also with clothes were her choices for felt pieces.  I'm hoping it will be a fun way for her to spend her time in there before she can read and turn it into a real "reading nook."  :]
It was wonderful the first day especially to see her so excited and inviting her sisters into her space and playing so well with the other two.  I think they all just needed their own space that they could "own" and go to and be responsible for. 

We live in a small town-home apartment (1,040 sq ft.. which feels smaller considering that we only use the upstairs to sleep in and do most of the living downstairs.) but creating a space for each girl has made such a difference in their attitudes and moods!

1 comment:

lenorediviney said...

I love this. I hope that when I move the kids around in winter that it will produce such joyous effects.