Help me with playstands, please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-02-2010, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd love some help with this. We aren't Waldorf, but I really like learning more about the principles, and am trying to simplify our lives. I just read Simplified Parenting and LOVED it. I had been wanting to get playstands for awhile.

Through some freelance writing work, I was able to earn a set of playstands and canopy from Little Colorado. It wasn't the set I would have picked if I was buying them outright, but for the cost to us (nothing!) I am thrilled. Before we assembled them we did a massive toy purge, re-organizing everything and selling and donating quite a few toys. I put some in our attic for rotation and made sure that all the toys that were left were nice quality and not too crowded.

Here's my issue: I didn't realize that the canopy and playstands were going to be permanently attached. I guess from photos I'd seen, I had hoped that each playstand would have half the canopy and that they wouldn't be attached at the top. I had imagined that the girls could move them around and re-arrange them. I had also hoped that we could use them in both our living room and their bedroom. With the layout of our living room, they can't live there permanently, so we had to assemble them in the girls' room. Which means they are stuck there.

So, would I be better off just dispensing with the canopies all together? That way the two pieces could be carried around and used different ways. I really like the height of the canopy but it sort of seems to defeat the purpose for the whole thing to be so static, ykwim?

I'd love feedback on how you have done it, what has worked best, how kids get the most play out of them, etc. Or better still, if someone has an idea for a way I could make the canopy go on and off....surely if we were a little handier we could figure that out.

Thanks for any help!!!
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#2 of 12 Old 08-02-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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Not sure how those particular canopies work, but if they are permanent and both playstands have to stay connected in a fixed way, I would definitely forget about the canopy part. Just get a couple wood clips and a large playsilk can be draped and clipped to make a "roof". Much more cozy anyway, in my opinion, and infinitely moveable! We just have one playstand and use it with clips and bed sheets to build spaces with the couch, clipped to the window frame (cool window inside play house!), bookshelves, etc.
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#3 of 12 Old 08-03-2010, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I think you are right. I'm going to talk to DH about taking them apart. I really want to rig up a way that the canopy can come off....like maybe putting notches in them so they slide down over the top dowels of the playstands. But I really think having them stuck in the girls room is going to keep them from getting a ton of play.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-04-2010, 07:47 PM
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We have the Little Colorado play stands as well and we use it with the canopy. I just have it as their main/only play area downstairs and put all their toys in/under it. I think if you are having space issues you could use the playstands separately and just forgo the canopy...but that really is the best part

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#5 of 12 Old 08-05-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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Ours have canopy pieces that slip over the top bar of the stands. They can be free-standing, but the craftsman made me little pegs to use to connect the canopy at the top. We don't tend to move it around much. They carve out a space just for DS in the main living area. When he's older, I anticipate losing the play kitchen and putting in cushions and a lamp for a reading nook.

I guess I didn't get ours planning to move them around much. They get used every day and are a great way to make a play area within a larger room!

Here is a pic of the current incarnation. It's starting to feel a little cluttered, so it's probably going to be time to go through the toys again. But everything there gets played with ALL the time. That's how they survived the previous declutterings!!
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#6 of 12 Old 08-05-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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I wonder if there's a way to modify them so you can remove them more easily? We don't have them, and it would be a definite downer on my kids' play if they were on there permanently. They use them for so many things that they'd get in the way. Plus I don't think they could move them around as easily themselves.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if there's a way to modify them so you can remove them more easily? We don't have them, and it would be a definite downer on my kids' play if they were on there permanently. They use them for so many things that they'd get in the way. Plus I don't think they could move them around as easily themselves.
That is what I would love to do....I hate not using the canopy since we have it....and it does make it much taller. But it is impossible for them to move and difficult for me to move. And stuck in their room which they don't play in often. DH is concerned about modifying them in any way because of safety, but I really think it could be done somehow. I'm going to ask DH to take the canopy off and try it for a week that way. As is, it just hasn't gotten the play time I'd hoped it would. I've even seen them playing store and doctor OUTSIDE of the playstand which is ridiculous!
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#8 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mlh View Post
We have the Little Colorado play stands as well and we use it with the canopy. I just have it as their main/only play area downstairs and put all their toys in/under it. I think if you are having space issues you could use the playstands separately and just forgo the canopy...but that really is the best part

I know, I hate to lose the top! If we had room for the whole thing in our living room, that would be different. But the layout of the room just won't allow space without blocking a major walkway or, heaven-forbid, the television.

RollerCoasterMama, I love your playstand, it's beautiful. I wish we had an open space like that. I'm almost wishing I could nix the fireplace because it would give us so much more wallspace. Thanks for sharing the pictures!
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#9 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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RollerCoasterMama, those are the prettiest playstands ever. Can you tell me more about them- like what they're made of?
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#10 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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Thanks Malaine and Tasha! I fell in love with them about a year before I got them. They're from a seller on etsy. He recycles old wood from barns so the wood is full of character. One of the arches had a hidden weak spot and it broke a few weeks after I got it and he shipped me a replacement piece immediately! And when I was concerned about a 2 yr old with monkey-like tendencies, he figured out the peg system for me to just give a bit more stability. Here's his shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BarnWoodFurniture
I don't see that he's got a current listing for playstands, but if you asked him, he'd probably be happy to make a set. If I remember correctly, they cost about the same as the Little Colorado ones. These will never be outgrown. When there's no more kids around, I'll turn them into a mini-sun room with pillows and plants or something.
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#11 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Thank you so much for sharing!!! I know I've seen his shop before- I'm so excited to see if we can have playstands made now They are so beautiful, and your playroom has such beautiful charm and uniqueness to it.
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#12 of 12 Old 08-09-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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Thank you so much for sharing!!! I know I've seen his shop before- I'm so excited to see if we can have playstands made now They are so beautiful, and your playroom has such beautiful charm and uniqueness to it.
Yay! They really are awesome and quirky and I love them! Oh...and that's my living room in the picture. We used to have a separate playroom, but now it's just DS, me and the kitties in a smaller house. But the nice perk of natural toys is that they're so pretty! I don't mind one bit having them displayed in the main living area! And he plays with everything much more than when it was away from everything. The playroom was beautiful in my other house, but everything gets more use this way.
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