The Farmer’s Market!
I always want to encourage my boys to eat well, so I loved the idea of adding a farmer’s market to the playroom. At one point I considered creating a grocery market with boxed goods to choose from on a shelf, but in the end I stuck with the farmer’s market to subtly promote “fresh” and “locally grown” food. The marketplace is the one we reviewed for KidKraft a while back. Check out the post to see how we added the flower holders on the side. To label this section, I used a print with apples and purchased it to say “farmer’s market” on it. The apples are neat because they have numbers inside and the number of seeds on each corresponds to it–yay for counting activities!
To go with the market, I painted a fresh fruit tree and I turned it into a fun activity. I will be sharing this tutorial soon! We couldn’t resist putting this little chipmunk near his tree. How cute, right?!
Several farmer’s markets I have been to in the past had someone playing music, so I added their musical instruments to that corner of the room as well. Now one can perform while the other sells. How nifty is this bin we found on clearance (you can buy it here)?! It hid their smaller instruments perfectly to keep the corner neat and clean, and it also doubles (or triples, I suppose) as a seat or a table! I call that a great bargain-hunter find. This momma appreciates anything that can multitask. Behind the bin and guitar you might notice the chimes. Boy, were these fun to make, and it was actually pretty simple and inexpensive to put together. I plan to share the tutorial for this too! By the way, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t, so you can keep up with all these crazy fun tutorials from the playroom.
Lastly for this corner, I wanted to give the playroom some height. Since the farmer’s market is notably held outdoors, I brought the outdoors in to their market with some hanging clouds. I love how they turned out.
Instead of doing them all the same, I chose three types of clouds–cumulus, stratus, and cirrus. These would make fun crafts to do with the kids, though I recommend the parents do the hot glue. The cirrus clouds were modeled after this Floating Art Sculpture from Childhood 101 (instructions at the link–we used white paint though and more sticks), the stratus clouds we used a chunk of cardboard for the center and clued clumps of pillow stuffing (from a new pillow–it was a grey color so it worked perfectly) and hot glued it on in small chunks, and the cumulus clouds were made from cut foam plates glued together to make a 3D effect. We mounted the cumulus clouds to the wall with sticky foam mounts in multiple places and the others we tied fishing line to (for the stratus clouds I took a heavy-duty needle and threaded the line through the cardboard centers so it would be sturdy and not fall.).
To better explain the clouds and give the kids something more to look and and to read, as my oldest is working on reading and learning new words, I painted this small canvas “types of clouds” painting, showing a variety of cloud types and encouraging the boys to look up and try to figure out which type hangs above the room.
Just because I wanted to and my boys are totally into these right now, we added a paper airplane, specially folded by Daddy (since Mommy totally stinks at making these).
Auto Repair Shop
My boys love, love, love cars and trucks, so much so that their dad made this ridiculously cool truck grille toy car organizer with working lights (see the tutorial.). Okay, so it was my idea, but he did pretty much all the work so I’ll let him take most of the credit. This used to hang in E’s room when he was a toddler (his room was awesome, check it out here), so we made sure we hung it up in this house when we moved. It’s a staple decoration and it had to be in the playroom! We decided our next theme would revolve around this truck grille, so we created an auto repair shop wall.
You can see we kept a spot for all the extra toy cars (because we have two boys, so there is no way they would all fit on that grille; instead they switch them out periodically) and we made a spot for their play tools inside this 2-drawer plastic storage bin (we kept the wheels off…). I used Minted labels to show what was in each drawer, so my boys know right where the cars and tools belong.
Above the storage bins, we hung a wooden embroidery board to which we stuck hooks to hang some of the tools. You could also use a piece of pegboard with a piece of yarn tied to it. On top, we put an oil pan filled with all their plush and soft balls (this should be totally new and clean–I do NOT recommend a used one–in fact, unless I say we repurposed something, just assume everything is new and purchased for specific use in this room.). Next to the drawers I gave the boys a small bucket and some clean automotive rags so they can pretend to wash the truck grille.
To add some pizzazz to the repair shop section of the playroom, we added a couple art pieces we found at Hobby Lobby. I have some more plans for this section still; hopefully they work out so I can share.