Kids Space: Casita vs. Cabin
This month’s Small Family Homes Blog Community topic is ‘Kids Space’ so I thought I would take the opportunity to share the spaces we have created for Idgie in the Casita and the Cabin. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies who have shared their take on the topic this month by clicking on the links at the end of this blog post.
The main reason we opted for the Casita Spirit Standard (sans bathroom) over the Casita Spirit Deluxe (bathroom) is because it provided a dedicated space for Idgie. Even in the 40’ foot Class A that we were transitioning from we did not have this. We had been accustomed to bed sharing with her in the Class A. We tried having her in travel crib at the end of our bed but knowing and seeing that we were right there when she woke up at night just wasn’t working for us. It turns out bed sharing did, especially because we had a King bed (!!!!) in that RV. Idgie would be two by the time we moved into the Casita and we knew with the combination of her continuing to grow like a weed and the size of the Casita bed (somewhere between a queen and full) we wouldn’t last long with bed sharing. So a couple months into Casita life we transitioned her to her own bed…..less than five feet away from ours.
Given that the Casita is 17 feet long hitch to bumper we don’t have a ton of space but having a dedicated space for Idgie proved invaluable for us, even as tiny as it was. The 17′ Casita Spirit Standard model comes with bunk beds up front. The picture below is from the day we picked up the Casita with both bunks in place.
Since we didn’t need the top bunk we opted to take it off to open up the space. It left a small shelf under the window that the top bunk would rest on which Idgie used for her “treasure boxes” full of things she found along our travels.
During the day her bed would be made and serve as a sitting and play area. We would also store her toys in a wood crate on one end of her bed, which by the end of our year full-time in the Casita was overflowing. We initially stored her books in the small space between her bed and the divider for the table but that collection grew as well eventually ending in storing her books in a basket on the other end of her bed.
Every night we moved the books and toys to the seat of the dinette, and the collection of stuffies, that also grew, to the foot of her bed. We also put up a safety railing which thankfully we won’t need next go around.
She also has one cabinet under the dinette seat closest to her bed that was dedicated to legos,play-doh and craft supplies. She didn’t have a dedicated space to do table activities so we would usually do them on our small dinette, or if we didn’t need to be inside on a table outside.
By the end of the year things were definitely feeling cluttered in there, if we didn’t move into the cabin part time we definitely would have had to do some purging and reorganizing of her things.
Currently the Casita is cleared out in preparation for a deep clean and reorganization for getting back on the road late this spring. As we won’t be traveling in her full-time I think it will be easier to manage keeping on top of the things Idgie seems to collect along the way.
When we moved into the Cabin I think we were all a bit excited for Idgie to have her own space that was actually separated by walls. Idgie was thrilled to help pick out items for her room and about the size of her bed. Her room is pretty small by normal standards but it’s plenty big and has more than enough room for the essentials, plus way more. We chose a bed with storage underneath. We keep her clothing in one drawer and extra sheets/blankets in the other. She also has a closet in her room but we will be adding shelves to it and using it for storage.
We have one cabinet that stores all her games, puzzles, play-doh, legos and miscellaneous other toys. We opted to keep the cabinet low to the ground without the legs so the she can use the top of it as a surface to play on.
We might have went a bit overboard on things for her because she was so excited to have a room. We surprised her with a kitchen because she has wanted one FOREVER.
We also added a dollhouse shelf for play or storage, her bin of books, a small reading shelf where she keeps her library books, and a kiddo size chair she picked out. We upgraded her stuffy storage with a bin we had in our storage unit but honestly we probably need to downsize the stuffies soon. We are still in the process of completing her room and plan to add some shelves above her cabinet, a dedicated space for her musical instruments, hang some art/pictures and potentially add a cork board or magnet board near her reading space so she can hang pictures/artwork.
In addition to Idgie’s room she also has a dedicated craft area in the main part of the cabin right outside her room which includes a small table, stools and an art cart with all her craft supplies. The art space is by far everyone’s favorite. She uses it every day, multiple times a day.
While it appears that Idgie enjoys having her own room and more space I think the novelty of it has already worn off. She spends time throughout the day in and out of her room but mostly she still enjoys being where we are and will bring things out to the main part of the cabin to play with. The transition into the cabin for her doesn’t seem to have to do with the amount of space as much as it has to do with the fact that we are staying in one place for a longer period of time. For us having more space for her to craft and have some quiet time has been great. I no longer have to put limits on what she can do when I am making a meal because we only have one small table space. The thing that Adam and I have loved the most though is being able to close her bedroom door, have lights on and not worry as much about waking her up after she goes to sleep. It will be interesting to see how the transition back to the Casita this spring goes now that she knows what it is like to live with a bit more space.