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Tot School New Space

Now that our move and subsequent projects are wrapping up, I've finally got around to choosing and starting to set up our new tot school classroom. It's not complete yet, so I'll do a full reveal when its complete. But, I did want to share a few concerns and see if anyone had suggestions.


Unlike our old tot school classroom, the new one is not in it's own space per se. Its in a nook in our family room, just mere steps from Henry's playroom. At this time, we don't have any door or physical block between the two spaces. This makes me nervous. Really nervous.

What if Henry doesn't want to concentrate on tot school because all of his toys/TV/fun stuff are within reach? How am I going to keep the two groups of toys separate? Since some of his tot school toys require close supervision, how am I ever going to be able to leave him in the family room to get stuff done around the rest of the house?

So, anyone else have a similar issue? Those of you without a totally dedicated space, how do you keep everyone safe and engaged? Are there benefits I'm just not seeing?


We are looking into the possibility of putting closet doors on the opening. I'm not sure if its possible yet, with the size of the opening, or the concrete floors under the carpets. And the playroom has a door we are going to put on after it gets fixed. But does anyone else have an idea of how I can separate the two spaces?

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Comments

Lindsay said…
I just looked at that picture and said OMG! AWESOME! I WISH THAT WAS MY TOT SCHOOL SPACE! Very cool layout.

I kind of have a similar problem. Ethan's tot school room IS in his playroom. While a lot of toys are just strewn around our living room, a lot are also stored in the tot school space. This past week, he only wanted to play with his regular toys. He had no interest in Tot School, really. I think it was the activities. So far, I've found if I can hold his attention with some neat tot trays, he ignores the other toys in the room. This past week, I was so desperate, I moved them into a closet so he wouldn't see them and he still hated tot school, so I think it was my trays.

I think maybe at first he'll be like "hey, cool toys! TV! in here!" but then he'll get used to your system. That's how it was for Ethan, anyway. He really ignores the toys when we're doing tot school if he's interested in what we're doing.

The only issue I've REALLY found is how I have my tot school stuff stored (in bins, in the open). Ethan likes to go through them and pull things out and decorate the house with them, and that's been hard. Trial and error, I guess. I think your new space looks great and Henry will warm up to it and figure it all out!
Kaysha said…
I like the new space! That looks like it will be awesome!

I think it will be less of an issue than you are anticipating. Xander's trays are in our room, along with other toys and distractors. I think Henry will like the Tot School activities because they will be new/rotating and he will get to do them with you. Any trays that require supervision I keep in a closet or up on a high shelf, only getting them out when it is time to do them.
Samantha said…
Wish I had this problem, but all our toys are mixed together in the living room. Hopefully when we move I will have separate spaces. But if I was in your situation I would be inclined to switch the spaces- put tot school in the play room and move his regular/safe toys into the nook. That way you can shut the door on the toys/activities that require supervision. Another option would be to install cabinets in the nook that you can lock with baby-proofing gear.

Good luck! I'm sure the right solution will present itself once you are all settled in and see how the space works best for you. Can't wait to see the finish product!
Anonymous said…
We have a similar problem in that our school room is also our dining room :) Would it be possible to put curtains in the opening near the school area - some that possible are hung from the inside of the 'school area', if you didn't want to see the curtain rod, and they could blend in to the room. That way, if you add to that the door to the playroom, both areas could be seperate, to keep him from getting in to school things when you aren't close enough to watch him, and vice versa keep the playroom off limits during school time? I don't know if that is a workable solution or not, but it was my first thought when I saw the pictures (which by the way is a very nice room! :) ) - Amy
Deb Chitwood said…
What a lovely room. I hope you're able to get everything just as you want it! Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

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