Life has never been more divided into ‘indoor weather’ and ‘outdoor weather’ than it is now I have a toddler. It feels like it has been raining for months and the reality of staying indoors for an entire day with my darling girl is just not what it used to be…
The day begins perfectly calmly, Aarya is content with all her familiar toys, enjoys a happy breakfast whilst watching her cartoons, she plays a bit then has lunch and sleeps for an hour or two, then wakes for more play [it is now still only 2pm and still five and a half hours till bedtime]. As the afternoon wears on, a result of boredom she increasingly begins to act more crazed – loudly dragging out every single dining chair, clambering and balancing on each one with a manic grin on her face whilst I watch with my heart in my throat. All i can do is pull her off and she will start again like a zombie mountain climber. OR she will go climbing in her room hoisting herself up by the bars of her cot then shout indignantly as she gets herself stuck. She wants to get in, then climb out again, then in.. and she still hasn’t discovered the possibilities of climbing the shelves as yet…
In an effort to combat impending Winter months of ‘indoor-ness’ – I decided to get proactive and prep stay at home activities that would keep Aarya busy playing in her room. We live in a spacious flat and Aarya has plenty of toys, Lego, puzzles and curiosities that she plays with over and over again – but no big imaginative play toys as yet.
My lightbulb moment came when thinking about what she loves doing the most. Her current obsession is stickers – she loves looking at them, holding them, talking to them, then sticking them on various surfaces but is too small to peel them off herself and gets frustrated. To replicate this I thought of creating some sort of magnetic wall play area for her in her room. DIY possibilities included: 1. Fixing metal sheets on to portions of a wall or furniture. Too permanent and too much effort. 2. Magnetic paint. This needs three coats and would be tricky to keep her out of the way whilst it dried each time. 3. Magnetic wallpaper. Close, but messy and time consuming with the use of wallpaper paste.
Along came Groovy Magnets a Belgian company with the simplest and most stylish solution. A magnetic wall sticker that also doubles as a chalkboard…
The adhesive matte black Magnetic Sticker comes in a roll in two sizes – small and large and you simply peel and stick! We had to do a bit of measuring and cutting as we wanted to fit it against a nook in Aarya’s room – but it was literally the most no brainer DIY ever.
The brand also sells some amazing contemporary kids Magnets – alphabets, numbers, circles and stars in hues of matte white, black, copper and gold and mint green – not to mention the most beautifully illustrated animal puzzles in geometric patterns [see the bear above].
Aarya loves her new wall, thrilled with the ease of her new ‘stickers’ and the control she has over her play. She sits in front it with a cushion, busily collating magnets, talking to them, kissing them [she has accumulated some new Noddy magnets] and most importantly of all playing on her own! : )
I love the fact that the addition of new magnets can completely change and reinvent her toy and when she gets older she can draw and write on the chalkboard too!
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org