Making a work and playroom…

Sadly, this is not my office

… is what I’ll be doing this week. This morning, thanks to a retweet from @dotterel, I read a piece in the Guardian about Children’s computer and television time. I know that Harry watches too much TV and I had been thinking about cutting it down, but the article really focussed my mind. We have two rooms downstairs (and a teeny kitchen). The front room is my office, but I’ve thought for a while that there’s a lot of wasted space. My desk is in one corner and the rest of the room is pretty much unused apart from drying clothes on the maiden in front of the radiator (glamorous, no?). The back room (next to the kitchen) has sofas, the TV and the dining table (which folds away) so there’s not really room for the boys to play.

So I decided to move the dining table into my office, which means that we won’t be tempted to have the TV on while we’re eating (I know, that’s a very bad habit) and it will also be a quiet place for Harry to do his homework or any other creative activities and there’ll also be more room in the living room for Harry and Joe. Of course it means I’ll have to remove all the stuff from our dead cars** and rearrange my desk and the bookshelves and find somewhere to store all the stuff that needs to go to the charity shop (that we can’t actually take to the charity shop because we haven’t got a car). But that’s fine. I’ve been reading Keri Smith’s Living Out Loud and Eric Maisel’s The Creativity Book and thinking that I needed to work on my creative space – this is the push I’ve been waiting for.

On the walk to school, I mentioned this to Harry. He said, “That’s a great idea!” and immediately started making suggestions which basically amounted to me turning my office into school.

Harry: “You need signs on the wall for Register and Assembly and Activities and we have to have a worry box and a friends box with buttons that you press. And we need a prayer – a morning prayer and a home time prayer.”

Me: “That’s sounds nice. Maybe like a Stainton Family prayer.” [Note to self: Google non-religious prayers.]

Harry: “And if you put buttons on the wall, the one for Activities should be the sound of children laughing and having fun.”

Me: “That’s a lovely idea, but it sounds a bit tricky. I wouldn’t know where to begin to make that…”

Harry: “Oh you just need batteries… and stuff.”

Oh, of course. Batteries and stuff. I’ll get right on it.

Harry wants to call the room the Swinter* Playroom and he’s going to make a sign for the door.

“Will it be finished when I get back from school?” he asked.

No. No it won’t.

(While I was just googling for playroom ideas, I found this secret playroom accessed through a wardrobe. Coolest thing ever.)

* This is Phineas & Ferb’s combination of summer and winter.

** You can read more about our dead cars in my new column for LittleStuff


6 thoughts on “Making a work and playroom…

  1. Great idea to separate the dining table from the TV room. This is one of my bug bears, that we sit down in front of the TV to eat (often the only time we have any time together) and watch the box – and I don’t even have kids, whose days I’d want to catch up on.

    I know you write with the TV on but I need a quiet space and it’s fantastic that Harry is being so enthusiastic and supportive of your plans, if a little ambitious as to when they’ll be realised!

    1. Thanks, Kathryn. Me and David started talking about it when we were in Northumberland, where there was a big eat-in kitchen and we all sat at the table. It was so much nicer.

      I don’t always write with the TV. At the moment, my computer is in the front room and the TV in the back, but I usually have a DVD playing in the corner of my computer screen!. 🙂

  2. What a lovely idea. I am glad I am not the only mother who admits to their youngling watching too much TV. I am terrible for it. Luckily Doo, the OH, wants to sort out our little back room into an office space so we can de-clutter and seperate the work and play environment.
    Loving the pic of the room though 🙂
    Take care and good luck, KC xx – Always welcoming new friends xx

  3. Oooh how exciting – I love getting my teeth into a good ‘project’ – and that wardrobe Room – I’d be sorely tempted to hang icicles off the ceiling and turn hat-stands into lamps/trees and of course, throw in a load of white shag-pile…. ahhhh Mr Tumnus….. so…. um, have you finished yet? (it is end of school now)!

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