Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Story Time Tent

Every so
often I come upon
an idea
that I
just have
to try out.

The idea for this story time tent came from Wondertime magazine a few months back. The magazine ran a story about creating these little places of magic and one graced their cover that I thought was just beautiful. A dear friend gave me a subscription to the magazine for Mother's Day last year, and I have to say that I have been surprised by the number and quality of creative ideas their staff writers come up with. My favorite past time with my children is reading to them. Nap times and bedtimes are best, but so are rainy days spent up in the playroom in our attic. For some time now I have wanted them to have a reading nook and have been pondering the most suitable place for one. I liked the idea of a tent immensely since it was not a permanent structure. I move the children's playthings around from room to room every few months and I did not want this to be an exception. It was so incredibly easy to put together. Nothing more than an eye hook sunk into a beam, a netting secured with a carabiner to the hook, a strand of Holiday lights, an old velvet Harlequin patterned tree skirt for the floor, some cushions, and best loved books. The netting itself was so inexpensive but I spent some time finding one that had character. This one has a circular hoop at the top to help with the tent effect, two pale shades of blue and lilac netting, ribbon streamers in white, and ribbons to tie back the door panels. It came with butterflies attached to the netting, but because these were not very realistic in appearance, I used a seam ripper very carefully and removed them. I had some clear sewing thread and used this in various places to attach the Holiday lights to the netting. Out of a stash of old linens I found some beautiful plaid Designers Guild pillow covers and these lay about to prop books and elbows, and some sleepy heads. The whole project took less than a half hour from the time I started. When the children went upstairs to the attic this evening for a bedtime story they knew something was happening since we always do our bedtime story in bed. I plugged the lights in and the children's faces lit up too. Both sat at my knee enveloped in the tent and spent most of their attention looking up at the billows of netting and the twinkling lights. The tent had just the effect that I was looking for. I carried two sleepy babies down to bed and they were in dreamland as soon as their heads met their pillows, probably seeing stars in their dreams right now.
Note: The story time tent works really well in our attic because the whole tent can be draped over the stairwell and beyond reach of little hands when not in use. The carabiner attachment also makes it really easy to take down and stash away. I would never leave children unattended in this type of structure- netting, ribbons, and electric lights can be very dangerous if parental supervision is not constant.

1 comment:

Jaime said...

The lights on there are great Kristen. What a darling place for a story time.