Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Decide on the height of the loft; we chose 4' since the closet is 8'
Install your supports, screwed to the studs in the walls and into anchors if additional support is needed.

Create a 2x4 frame.

Cut a sheet of plywood the dimensions of your closet space. Depending upon the size, you may need to cut it in half in order to install. We were able to install ours as a single sheet. We did not screw our plywood down, allowing access from underneath if ever needed.

We added a facer on the front of ours and also required a spacer in between the support and the facer to provide us with the space we needed to install the "window" so that it remained in the doorway to the closet and didn't interfere with the mattress.

The "window" was made with an air nailer. Simply purchase lengths of wood in the dimensions you would like to use and cut it to size, lay it out and nail it together. Use glue as well to provide added strength to the joints.

Paint or varnish your window and install it with screws. Ensure it is a very tight fit into the space, gives it lots more strength.

The handle you see was bought many years ago for a play ground set but I'm sure you can get them at Canadian Tire or Home Depot. The ladder we made ... lengths of wood for the sides, dowels, a spade drill bit (the same size as the dowels you choose. Decide how many dowels you want to use and mark your wood on both pieces. Drill through the outside to the inside of your side rails with a small drill bit. Then, use your spade bit on the inside of the rails to create a pocket for the dowel to sit. Use glue to add strength and screw in your dowels.


Ikea Picture Ledges:

Wall Decal from Find on that fits and compliments your space.

Ikea Bed Canopy:

Mattress: Ikea Foam Mattress ... Cut to size.

The finished product:

You can duplicate the bottom with the same materials as above if you are looking to accommodate two children.

Monday, 27 June 2011

monkey see, monkey do

it is amazing (and honestly also very frightening) to me how quickly children mimic others. i've always chuckled inside over the years at children repeating things i say frequently and copying the simple things i do as a caregiver every day. my son makes me spend a few moments putting extra thought into everything i do by copying my actions, especially those involved in our every day routines. he'll tell me to lay down and "nigh-night" while he sits besides the bed and reads me a story. i hadn't given a second thought to the amount of closeness he felt while i sat beside his bed and read to him. that day i did. The next day i read him a story snuggled in his bed with him. these moments won't last forever but i want the feelings he gets from them to be ever lasting.

i've always worked with children five and under and I think that because of that, i forget that children grow up and on some level (although thankfully not all levels) stop needing you. i have a live in reminder of that right now. my soon to be ten year old brother is living with us for the summer and i am reminded of how quickly children grow up when he says goodnight, walks away and shuts the door behind him .. when he takes off down the street on his bike .. and when he says, "yeah duh!" when i ask him a question i should apparently already know the answer to.

it's a different world beyond five.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

trucks and babies

my son is very much a boy. it's all about trucks and tools and other things that go. it's also all about babies. he has always loved to pack around babies, care for babies, and of course, play trucks with his babies. when he was younger and just starting to be verbal, i watched in amazement as he "taught" baby sign language to his baby. "more" he would say as he touched the baby's hands together. while working on our deck this week, he zipped a baby into his jacket and packed it around while he dug and raked. last night at bed time he gathered up three of his babies, took them to his bed, tucked them in so carefully and patted their backs. so loving.

the moral of this story is ... buy your son a baby.

it won't make him less of a man.
it might even make him a better man.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Chalk Day

I was outside playing with a group of 2-5s yesterday afternoon and they drew a huge monster on the pavement with chalk. Another staff came outside and they announced that "we are drawing this huge monster so it can scare away our teacher and we can do whatever we want."

Love it!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

what has your child taught you?

There's no better teacher in the world than a child. I have learned more from my son in the two years he's been a part of my world than I can ever imagine teaching him in his lifetime.

What has your child taught you?

boys will be boys

I have always cared for children of both genders and had an awareness of the difference between boys and girls. When I pursued my Early Childhood Education I was looking forward to truly understanding these differences, getting into the science of it. I was surprised and disappointed when this was not something that was addressed. I read snippets of information here and there over the years and then when I became pregnant and found out it was a boy, my desire to learn more became my pregnancy project. I ordered books online and began to read. I quickly felt like I understood gender differences better than I had in the past.

I had a day last week at the daycare where for the first few hours in the morning I had all girls in attendance. It was mellow and quiet and everyone was happily focused on self-initiated and self-directed play. It was peaceful. Needless to say it didn't stay that way. Which, before I learned about the science behind boys and before I was mom to a boy, I found very frustrating. I am quiet by nature and prefer a mellow and peaceful environment. Although it's still the type of environment I try to create both at daycare and at a home, I understand and appreciate that sometimes and occasionally more often than not, it just simply won't happen. Boys need that busy activity and the best thing I can do is encourage that and create opportunities for active learning every day.

I've also learned that it can be a simple adjustment. My son has a set of coloured sorting bowls and a variety of coloured vehicles. We have a similar set at the daycare with dinosaurs. The girls will set out the bowls, sit, and sort them gently and carefully by type or colour. A simple adjustment for the boys who find this challenging - set the bowls across the room or around a table so that they can continuously move while sorting; let them toss the items into the corresponding bowls rather than set them in; get involved and make mistakes so they can laugh and correct you :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

by definition, according to a 4 year old

The children were exploring the buckwheat in the tactile table and inevitably some ended up on the floor.
On their own accord, they grabbed the little brooms and dustpans and went to work cleaning it up.

One child says out loud, "This is embarassing."
Another child replied, "Embarassing? Embarassing is when you don't have clothes on at school."