Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Ice Den

Do you have a nook or cupboard under the stairs? We do and it could become one of the most used spaces within the home. Throughout the year our cupboard under the stairs transforms into different themes. The theme for Winter this year is Ice... Brrrrrr. Mainly due to Isabella's new infatuation with the new movie Frozen.
Bee also enjoyed playing Santa in here and transported other toys into the area such as hand puppets and other small world animals.
The area was a success and when Bee's friends came around on a play date, they would end up in there reading stories or playing independently.


The entrance to the Ice Den

To create a cold feeling, I attached silver beads, icicles and various other Christmas ornaments to the coat rail. It created a bit of a dramatic feel, as you walked underneath them, whilst they gently brushed along your head.


I used Christmas battery operated lights and attached them to the walls using tape (as we do not have any plug sockets under the stairs and I also I do not have to worry about little fingers unplugging them)
Flash lights (torches) were placed in this space to make it exciting and encourage experimenting. Isabella also enjoyed making shadow puppets with her hand and the torch on the wall. 

For comfort

A spare comforter (duvet) and pillows were placed on the floor for seating. I also had a spare yard of white fleece to use as a blanket to snuggle up with. I tried to keep the objects white and blue to create a cold feel. The area looked so cosy and inviting I could have caught a few zzz's in there.
We added some strips of tinsel on the ceiling too, to look like icicles. Bee loved shining the torch on it to make it sparkle on the wall.

Encouraging literacy

A box with Christmas/holiday themed booked were placed in a white wicker box and a clipboard with a pencil attached, just in case my daughter and her visiting friends wish to mark make.

Ice tray
I purchased a roasting tray, from the dollar store (pound shop) and used it as the tray for the ice scene. Butter beans, polystyrene craft balls and cotton wool were placed inside along with some of Isabella's polar animals. If you do not have any polar animals, you could either make some out of salt dough and bake or cut out animals from magazines. The tray seemed to trigger Bee into wanting to learn about animals that live in the cold. 

Pictures of cold places

To add to the atmosphere I cut up some old calendars and pictures from magazines and placed them on the wall (you could laminate them if you want to use them again) to be truthful it was lovely to see some pictures of home (England) in the snow. We talked about what clothes we wear in the snow and about where the places in the pictures were. 

Snowman felt scene.
As seen in the post 'numbered felt snowmen' these cute little fellows rested on the wall. They provided hours of entertainment and all Isabella's friends who came to play fell in love with them. They provided an opportunity for the children to organize numbers and learn how to build a snowman.

Numbered penguins for numeracy
To add interest to the ceiling I added these cute little numbered penguins. I found them on the website To make them last I laminated them. Bee loved lying down and pointing the torch at them, naming the numbers.

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