Monday, August 25, 2008

How can people hate playstands?

Because for some reason, just about every photo of them online shows them as ridiculously expensive shelves for natural toys rather than being played with.

I hate those canopy arches a lot of them have now. Why? Because unless the children are old enough to pull them off themselves they SERIOUSLY inhibit play. I feel the same way about multi shelf units...okay one of them is fine. But I REALLY hate seeing them used as shelves!

Playstands were not designed to tidily delineate a small play space or create a little room. They were designed to help children meet their need to build on a large scale, to create their imaginative landscape in full form...without pirates commandeering the couch cushions, the dining room table, etc. If I didn't mind the kids standing on the diningroom table with spyglasses in hand I wouldn't bother having the playstands. Ours spend as much time as ships and buses and trains as they do a store, a house, a cave.

So I'm making a solemn vow. To protect the honour of the playstand I will NEVER post a picture of our playroom when I've tidied up and the pirates and trolls and mermaids...errr *children* have gone off to bed.


Anonymous said...

I agree! We have shelves for toys, and enough small tables/chairs/broomsticks for climbing on draping over and playing with that we have never got around to making playstands.

Poppy and Mei said...

Right on Mumma!
I never understood the canopy thing either...Xxx

Mad said...

I had never even heard of play stands before. In our house, we use couch cushions and foot stools.

XUP said...

I'm with Mad -- didn't know such a thing existed. They must be recent inventions?? When mine was wee we just used the furniture and big cardboard boxes and blanket and stuff

Mud Mama said...

They aren't new, they come out of the waldorf school kindergarten...and well they're just old fashioned "blanket stands".

They have a shelf and a rod for putting folded up /airing out quilts. They are about as wide as a single bed.

I know for a fact they have them in the Shambhala School kindergarten. :-)

I made mine about 8 years ago because I was doing child care and the fort building with the couch was taking a serious toll on the furniture. Plus, thewy'ere sturdy enough to handle the weight of an 8 year old...well thats how far we've tested so far. They are great if you have room.

Dineen said...

Oh, my goodness those photos at the site you posted are a horror! They so totally missed the idea. The play stands like you've built look very much like a thing (don't know what to call it) a friend has so that her kids can stand at the counter with her to cook. When I saw hers I told her about the play possibilities she could encourage her kids to explore.

Mud Mama said...

Oh yes! I think they call it a learning tower, that thing your friend has. They are great too! I've thought that when we get round to building an outdoor play set up we'd make two bigger than normal learning towers rather than a play structure so the kids could move them around and make what they need. Two of those in plywood and marine varnish with a few poles and boards and the play would never stop!