Saturday, May 9, 2020

Basement in Action

In addition to moving the toys and kids' craft supplies to their new homes in the basement, we have added a number of decorative and functional details such as a large, colorful rug and the kids' records. It's really come to life down there over the last month.

Framed record albums have been on one wall or another in our house for years now. Along with the record player, they most recently resided in our craft room where the kids would listen to Peter and the Wolf  while making their creations. 

The craft room upstairs is now devoted to housing my photography gear, sewing supplies, and some home office items. In other words, it's a gloriously kid free zone. 

Now Sophie and Michael listen, create, and play away happily in the basement, a relief in this time of staying at home.

One day I will totally support swapping out those framed albums for David Bowie and Pink Floyd when they're ready. For now, we're holding onto childhood and playtime for as long as we can.

There are still some projects beyond the staircase and barn door that will get most of Mike's attention shortly. On the walls I plan to put up a photo ledge for the kids' artwork and a large whiteboard for games of Pictionary and so on. 

Sophie spent much of the first day that the basement was open for business sitting on that little bench that houses their costumes, reading away.

The rug just arrived this week and has been covered in Barbie clothes, Pokemon cards, and two lounging ten-year-old's for hours each day since. Cleaning up afterward is thankfully still somewhat fun for the kids (although not instinctual--does that ever happen?). The novelty of having big deep drawers devoted to their treasures is still pretty strong and has kept the groaning and sulking pretty minimal so far.

Reusing the kids' old playroom shelves as a building zone has been one of my favorite ideas for the basement. One really can't resist the K'nex and Lincoln Logs for long when they're staring right at you, and the creative juices get flowing. The kids know that mixing the various building toys into different bins would physically hurt me, and they have resisted so far. 

While the space was still under construction, I found a convertible table and ladder-back chairs on swap sites for next to nothing. We've already enjoyed some family game time in the basement as the table has worked out as intended for Monopoly, puzzles, and crafting.  

We're waiting for retail to get going again before we get the couch we've had our eyes on all along. A TV for movies and video games will be the final big purchase. 

For now, the kids are enjoying the wide open area where the couch will go by creating elaborate Lego structures. It's been exciting to see how having some space to spread out and their toys in new and more accessible locations has inspired the Michael and Sophie to play more. The requests for screen time and petty arguments are inevitable, but this space has brought some joy and peace in a time when they're especially needed.