I think every toddler household is torn between keeping their home Pinterest perfect or letting it become your child's colorful playground. We chose the playground, mainly because most of our time is spent as a family in the living room and that is where she creates her daily mayhem. Sometimes I just give up on cleaning until she’s gone to bed because what’s the point. I clean one thing and she dumps out another. At least this way, we can keep it all centralized? 🤣
We’ve been wanting to expand Paisley’s toy storage into a more useful area for her. I decided I wanted shelving and some sort of desk so she can work on art projects without having to go outside or sitting on the ground with her coloring books.
We went to Ikea and looked around at some entertainment units. I found a few I liked aesthetically (so the living room can still look like a living room) but they just weren’t right for toddler use. So we walked over to the kids area and found the Trofast frame. At $40 a frame, we decided to get two of them and place our own table top. I love the plastic shelving because it’s so easy for a toddler to use! No worrying about getting tiny fingers stuck in drawers. The guard rails can be taken out and adjusted to your liking of shelves or empty space for toys or books.
Jeff went to Home Depot and picked up some Birch plywood. A whole sheet (4x8ft) ran around $60. We measured and cut the plywood and rounded off all the edges using a 1/4” round over bit. We finished it off with some sand paper on the edges and it was ready to place on top. If you buy a finished plywood, remember not to sand the finish, just sand the raw edges.
We spaced out the storage shelves to match the length of the plywood tabletop. This left a gap of about 18” for the chair to fit and be a desk. To attach the plywood to the top, we used thick strips of heavy duty double sided tape and then screwed from underneath to secure it in place using 1 1/4” wood screws.
She finally has tabletop space to play with all her toy houses and vanity sets. It’s perfect for lego building and art projects too. She’s been obsessed with Duplo Legos lately so we got a building plate and used Command strips to make a little Lego corner for her. It’ll work perfectly as her desk for when she starts school as well. Hoping this new organized play area keeps her well entertained and happy.
I want to eventually add some sort of shelving or artwork on the wall but we’ll see. Maybe we’ll use the leftover Birch plywood for something. But that will be for another time....