Did I tell you that we were building a spaceship? It turns out that closets are the perfect size for a playhouse. Sure, when you’re living in roughly 950 square feet that could be useful storage space but really. If you could go back to your own childhood and choose between having a place to keep clothes and toys and spare sheets or your very own space ship, what would you choose?
If you opted for storage space, you might want to quietly excuse yourself now. It’s awkward. Sorry.
So! The design challenge:
- Make a children’s bedroom look as though people live there on purpose
- Give the kids a place to play on rainy days where they can safely jump and/or bounce and/or navigate their way into a black hole by jumping through time thus appearing to go faster than light if for only a moment
- Don’t do anything permanent or horrifying to the walls because this is an apartment and we’d like to get our deposit back someday without a crazy amount of work.
- Spend less than $50 on the entire project
These aren’t the greatest pictures, but here it is!
There are four stations: The Lab, The Command Center, Engineering, and Navigation. This helps prevent fighting and allows for one or two more kids to come over and play. I tried to include plenty of assorted things to push and do and wiggle and read to keep them interested.
Here is the Command center:
Navigation: (that’s Graham operating the mapping system on his tiny etch-a-sketch)
Window to the outside: (The boys painted this together)
The door… I want to add round windows or something spaceshippy.
Here’s what their room looks like now. It’s hard to see, but there’s a flight path through the solar system drawn on the wall with chalk, and all the planets are labeled.
Oooh dang it, I forgot to take a picture of the fuel cell container. It’s a brushed metal toilet brush holder that was on the damaged clearance aisle at walmart. They have a pair of kitchen tongs for handling the radioactive material, plus safety goggles so I’m sure it’s alright. I handled radioactive fuel cells all the time when I was little and I turned out fine.
So yeah! Yay! They love the spaceship so far and I am dorkishly excited. Most of what’s in there was purchased in the automotive accessory department at Walmart, except the rope lights which were given to us by a kindly internet friend and the cushions on the floor. Those are six-inch foam cushions from an old sectional couch that my parents were throwing away. They’re perfect for jumping and bouncing and falling and maybe even sleeping on.
The posters on the ship’s wall are some of my larger prints that were damaged or creased, so we flipped them over and painted on them. The boys told me what labels and buttons they wanted – the only one I came up myself with was Flux Capacitor. They resisted, but they’ll understand and appreciate that one when they’re older. They drew circuits and all kinds of electronic things, and I painted the walls with verrry pale watercolor. Hopefully that will be easy to cover with a single coat of white when we move.
As for the room, those are vintage posters that decorated my dad’s room when he was a kid. The rug was a gift when Nicolaus was born. The boys’ quilts were handmade by Aunt Alisha and Internet Aunt Amy. The solar system was a project we did together.
Woooooo blast off!