playstand issues (x-posted in Waldorf) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 01-01-2008, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone...

We got the Camden Rose playstands for Christmas, but I am starting to second guess the purchase... Please help me out here, playstand lovin' Mamas!

For starters, when the canopies are joined, the playspace underneath is very narrow. Too narrow for my DS's barn to open up for play, too narrow for all three kids to sit underneath and play comfortably.

So I checked out pics online and saw that many people don't use the piece that joins the canopies, but simply spread the stands further apart and drape the long silk across and clip. I tried that and it looks great, there's lots more room to play, but the stands are very tippy. One of them has tipped over three times, twice onto a child (once, it wasn't even my own child! ).

The other issue is that kids aren't even really sure what to do with them. They like them in concept, but seem to be at a loss for how to use them in play. I actually think that my girls already have imaginations that are too good, LOL - they never had trouble creating pirate ships/grocery shops/schools/nurseries for their babies without playstands. I have tried to inspire them to incorporate them into play by setting up scenes under them with tree blocks, the barn and animals, their baby dolls and...nothing.

The stands are beautiful and cost an arm and a leg - WAY more than I ever planned to spend on a Christmas gift. PLEASE help me figure this issue out, I really want to make them work for our family!

Leeann, mama to 3*magic*kids: DD 1/03 DD 9/04 DS 8/06
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#2 of 12 Old 01-02-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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I can't offer any advice, I'm sorry. But I just wanted to say, that was the reason I decided against playstands for Christmas this year. As beautiful as they are, I was concerned I'd end up with glorified (and VERY expensive) bookshelves. They sure look cool though! Maybe your kids will discover they love them given a little time.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-02-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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These are mine, they have the canopy and are spread apart for space.I don't have a silk all the way across so that the taller kids can stand if needed. My 10,7,5,2, and one year old play with this daily with no tip over issues. Please ignore the mess and naked girlie playstands
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#4 of 12 Old 01-02-2008, 03:33 AM
 
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I was going to suggest that you bolt them to the wall in some way - even if one side (short side) is bolted, that would eliminate the tipping issue, as it is really unsafe! That would make them less flexible, like can't just move them around as wanted, but much safer. Another option is to make the connecting piece longer. You'd need to start w/new wood. You could bring it in to home depot and ask for help making a new one - they probably won't do it all for you, but they'll get you to the place where you know what to do and have the materials (if not the tools) to do it! If you have the tools, perfect! If you don't, my recommendation would be to take a little trip to the Fire Station (good for the kiddo's!). Once you are there, casually ask around if any of the guys do any building or anything, maybe they have the saws and stuff to help. You might need a mitre saw, which is expensive and a complicated tool, but if someone you can find (or know) has one, that would save you a lot of trouble! Then you'd be able to put it together more safely w/the longer connectors and have enough room for everyone to play!

Lastly, you can call the folks at Camden Rose and tell them your story. They may have given you the wrong piece? Or would be willing to redo the connecting bar? I dunno. Most of these places do want happy customers, though!

Good luck!

andy

Mama to B and O , wife to J and me to me! :
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#5 of 12 Old 01-02-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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We have the Camden Rose play stands as well. They are gorgeous, but very tippy. My kids love to play in them and there is plenty of room when they are spread apart. My dh keeps saying they are going to fall on someone, especially because they are on carpet. Not sure what to do about that issue.
I was worried that my kids were not playing in them at first, what I found...that I already knew ...was that we have too many toys. Once I cleared the play area of all the crud toys and then arranged the open-ended toys on the play stands in baskets...they couldn't be in there enough. They love to play store, doctor (funny, because they hardly go ), restaurant etc. They are 2.5 and 4.5.

ETA: I'd be interested to hear what Camden Rose says about the tipsiness and also, ours did not come with a connecting bar. Hmmmm....

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#6 of 12 Old 01-02-2008, 11:38 AM
 
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Ok, having gone and looked at the playstands on their website, I see there is no true connecting bar.

What I'd do is create one (actually two, one on either side at the top) using double ended clamps and wooden pieces. It won't be as beautiful as the rest of the wood, but it will steady the entire thing a LOT. 1 idea is you can slide the clamp off a ratchet clamp, add it to another long one so that you have basically a double ended ratchet clamp. Those come in 2, 2.5, and 3 ft. lengths. A 2nd idea is to just bolt smaller clamps onto the ends of a nice big 4x4 or 2x4 and use that. Claw clamps would work for that nicely, and would be easy on your wooden stand if you pad them just a little bit with some foam or microfiber.

hth!

Mama to B and O , wife to J and me to me! :
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#7 of 12 Old 01-02-2008, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input and suggestions. There actually is a connecting piece that holds the two canopy pieces together, but it's only about 6 inches long and makes the play-space really narrow. Adding a longer connector is the perfect solution. I think I will email Camden Rose to suggest that they offer a longer connector.

I'll keep you updated... I REALLY hope I didn't just spend $300+ on glorified bookshelves...

Leeann, mama to 3*magic*kids: DD 1/03 DD 9/04 DS 8/06
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#8 of 12 Old 01-07-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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what about sewing up some heavy sandbags that you could strap or velcro to the stands to give a bit more stability?

Don't worry about the expensive bookshelves factor--there is an inexhaustable supply of waldorf enthused parents out there dying to create the perfect wool-wood wonderland playspace for their little ones. I think you will get a very nice price on ebay for them...

Me, I handed my FIL the book "toymaking with children" when dd turned two and asked him to bang up the playstands. He bought the wood and made a few cuts and they sat in his woodshop. Three years later (this year) we went there for Christmas and low and behold, there were two playstands and canopies---they were beautiful. DD just turned 5, ds is 3---I hope the kids aren't too old at this point! No way I could sell these---my inlaws would disown me!
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#9 of 12 Old 01-07-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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We made playstands as the kids' big christmas present one year-they are gorgeous, gorgeous! But they get incredibly spoadic use. Like so much else that we were convinced were "must haves", the truth is that the children preferred creating their own cozy play spaces. And although their creations aren't beautiful in the way waldorf would define it, they are treasures to the kids and infinitely more creative.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-07-2008, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
We made playstands as the kids' big christmas present one year-they are gorgeous, gorgeous! But they get incredibly spoadic use. Like so much else that we were convinced were "must haves", the truth is that the children preferred creating their own cozy play spaces. And although their creations aren't beautiful in the way waldorf would define it, they are treasures to the kids and infinitely more creative.
This is what I am starting to realize in the wake of a massive waldorf toy buying spree. I'm gad I am not the only one! I got really worked up about all the lead/plastic issues and went a bit overboard. The toys that the kids are actually playing with, however, are the ones they had before mommy went a wee bit nuts and got rid of anything questionable. Something tells me that waldorf themed toy stores were VERY profitable this holiday season...

Oh well, my grandchildren will have beautiful toys to play with someday .

Leeann, mama to 3*magic*kids: DD 1/03 DD 9/04 DS 8/06
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#11 of 12 Old 01-08-2008, 07:06 AM
 
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Hi, we have the camden rose playstands as well but we bought the wide larger shelf for the bottom shelf and it really grounds the playstands they don't tip at all. I have mine placed about a foot apart we love them and also have them set up with the palumba wood stove and toys aranged in baskets. I would post a pic but not sure how?
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#12 of 12 Old 01-08-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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Sometimes I wonder if it's how my kids like to play as well. Both of my kids like to be on the floor, with their toys all on the floor, when they play. The shelves actually held very little appeal for them, as we belatedly discovered, because they like to suround themselves with their creations. If they want their toys up anywhere, it's usually to play on their beds!
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