I decided to create zones for my kids and myself in our home. This all cam about because I felt like there was zero order to my home. Do you ever feel like that? Like there are people and things all over your house all the time? I think this is so common, especially when you have kids. I think it is especially so when you are homeschooling, because you are using your house each and every day. Toys migrate from the play room to the living room to the bedroom to even the bath tub. By the end of summer, I’d had enough of this mess, literally and figuratively.
What Do I Mean?
What do I mean by zones? I forget where I first heard of turning your space into zones, but I was reminded of them by Erin from Cotton Stem. The idea of creating zones means using your space intentionally to provide a change of scenery, spark creativity, or just a place to go that has a purpose. For example, that random corner in your kitchen that’s kind of dead space – let’s turn it into something useful!
made a little book corner in her kids’ bedroom. I thought, “Wow, I can do that!”. And I did. I went around my house and grabbed my son’s Anywhere Chair, a cozy blanket my kids love, an extra end table we randomly had, the basket of books which was not getting read in our playroom, and voila! We had our own reading corner in the upstairs loft. We named it the Book Nook, and it is now where my big kids do their independent reading each day. They LOVE it, and they are actually reading the forgotten books that were formerly in the playroom.
Bonus School Space
With the success of the Book Nook, I looked for other ways to implement zone . We have a large loft area upstairs that wasn’t really being utilized well. I took this space that now had the Book Nook and divided it into more zones. I moved a desk that was in my daughter’s room (it was only storing doll clothes) to the loft. I found a lamp and a globe. BOOM! A bonus zone for school work other than our homeschool room. We use this when someone needs to move to a quiet space. I moved our keyboard to the same wall as the desk to be included in the “school zone,” since the kids take online piano lessons.
TV and Video Games
I positioned the TV and Nugget couch to the next area in the loft to create a “lounging zone”. The TV cabinet also stores our LEGOs, so these are out of the kid’s bedrooms. This little TV zone get a lot of use on the weekends when my kids watch more shows and enjoy playing the Wii. It’s a small area. It’s literally just the Nugget and the TV, but the special thing about creating zones is you don’t have to have a lot of space to make something special.
Gross Motor Zone
The last zone I created in our loft is the “gross motor” zone. This is the biggest zone. I have a toddler trampoline in a corner and a sensory swing to hang from the ceiling. The Nugget couch is right there, and can be pulled over to make an obstacle course or slide or whatever. I also added the little toddler slide from the backyard. It was important to me to have a gross motor zone. I wanted an area where kids could play rough and get their wiggles out. We live in the Midwest, and the days are coming when it will be too cold to play outside. Our typical indoor playgrounds are closed because of the pandemic. Having this play space is essential, and it’s already getting used.
Now It’s Your Turn
I know not everyone has a large unused loft in their home. But the idea behind creating zones is using the little corners and nooks you do have. Turn them into a special place for your kids to go. Maybe it’s setting aside the end of your kitchen table and leaving out crafting supplies, or trays and tubs of playdough that the kids can access on their own. Maybe it’s taking that kids table that isn’t really getting used anymore and turning it into a board game table. Maybe you need a “mom zone” to keep your calendar, file mail, and meal plan. I created my “mom zone” in our kitchen. It is so nice to have all my things in one place. Assess what’s not working or take a space that isn’t being used efficiently, then let your imagination flourish. Take a look around and share what you come up with!
Below are a few links to some things that we have in our zones, but don’t feel like you have to buy a bunch of stuff. Shop your house first, then see where you need to fill in the blanks.
Indoor Sensory Swing:
Cozy chair for your own Book Nook: